An amazing tribute, though perhaps unintended, to one of a few military aircraft that remain as viable today as it was when it was first introduced. This little remote controlled takes you through the paces as if it were the real deal. One of the first things I noticed was the sound. It sounds like a real jet. The second thing I noticed was the red fire extinguisher just before the jet created a small hurricane while warming up and testing its systems.
The SR-71 Blackbird Full Air Force Version
To really understand this jet, which first appeared in the U.S Air Force in 1964, you have to understand that as a recon jet this was a tool that was way ahead of its time. It was also ahead of it’s time in terms of manufacturing. The 1967 fleet of Blackbirds totaled just 31 jets. That number might seem shockingly low, but not much available could touch them. They were literally the fastest things on earth.
To develop this jet, new barriers to speed and environment had to be broken. The jet could travel at Mach 3.2 which is not just about dealing with the sound barrier, but also the heat barrier. Friction is wicked at that speed. The outside shell of the jet reached temperatures of over 1050 degrees Fahrenheit. That translates to 838.7 Kelvin. Lava from a volcano as it is erupting reaches a Fahrenheit temperature of 1200-2000 degrees. So we are talking nearly a hull temperature equivalent of lava. The black coloring on the jet is part of its ability to handle all of that heat. In later generations the black coloring also helped to deal with absorbing radar.
The frame of the Blackbird is made out of Titanium which is one of the strongest and lightest metals on earth. The jet experiences a great deal of G-force when maneuvering at high speeds. To match the structural integrity of the jet, every other system on the plane had to be equally as strong. Nobody wants to be the pilot of a jet moving at Mach 3.2 when the windshield gives out and leaves you exposed to what must be an instant death.
Furthermore, systems like the hydraulic systems must be able to deal with pressure, heat, and function at 100 percent capacity when needed. These are machines of war. They must function as intended at all time. The power of this weapon was the ability to deploy it instantly. Keep in mind that the alternative was a satellite weapon system, but even when in orbit, a satellite cannot easily be coerced into changing position. Satellites also have a very narrow window when they can target an object. The Blackbirds on the other hand could be launched and strike quickly.
RC A-12 SR-71 Blackbird Stats:
- Length = 3250 mm
- Wing span = 1730 mm
- Powered by twin AMT Olympus RC Jet Turbine Engines
- Thrust @ S.T.P. 190 N/19.4kg @110,000 RPM
- 42.7 Lbf @ 110,000 RPM
- Max RPM 112,000
- Burns 19 ounces of fuel per minute at 42.7 Lbf
In short, it is every bit of the word Jet as it’s bigger version. The speed capabilities and the air agility that this RC model possesses is incredible. Do you want one as bad as I do right now?
It might look simple, but flying one of these via remote control is not easy. It takes a considerable amount of skill, and officially, I’d like to say congrats to the pilot for his easy 3-point landing. How many of you think you could fly and land this incredible micro aircraft without crashing?