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Posted: 9/18/2004 5:02:21 AM EST
They were of the same era, more or less. Which one had more performance?

Speed
Ceiling
Bling Bling
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:10:06 AM EST
Hmm ... Interesting comparison. Well, just out of my gut, I think that ultimately, the Valkyrie would have been able to out-run the SR. As far as ceiling goes, that may have been a wash - service ceiling +80,000, absolute ceiling ~FL1000!

So we get to the most salient of technical arguments: bling. I think a lot of the SR's bling comes from its sexy shape and the fact that it's black. However, the XB-70 had the boss canards and the drooping wingtips. Consider that, further, the SR has a tandem cockpit configuration while hte XB-70 sported a side-by-side arrangement. So, in that sense, it's kind of like comparing a Ducati 996 to a Ferrari Enzo. Both super-sexy, but carved out for different kinds of joy.

Good one, Wobblin-Goblin!
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:11:17 AM EST
SR-71.
End of discussion.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:11:38 AM EST
The XB-70 had a six-pack of engines. What engines they were I don't know, but I know that the XB-70 was a VERY expensive plane, even more expensive then the B-2 is today. The Although the B-2 is $1 Billion a pop, the XB-70 was $700 million a pop when it was created which is the equivillant of what in todays $$?



Anywho, here is some info.

FAS Link


With research and development studies beginning in 1955, the XB-70 was a large, long-range strategic bomber was planned to be the replacement for the B-52. As in the B-58 program, the Air Force wanted new technology advances. To this end, the Air Force gave the prime contractor total weapon system responsibility. Competition between Boeing and North American for the contract occurred during the design phase. In 1958, the North American design was chosen and a development contract awarded. The Air Force requirement was for a Mach 3, high-altitude, long-range bomber capable of carrying nuclear and conventional weapons.

Although there was a technology breakthrough in 1957 that made Mach 3 possible, the XB-70 never went into production. The continuing emergence of new SAMs was the key factor in the demise of the XB-70, just as it affected the B-47 and B-58.


The XB-70 had a length of 196 feet, a height at the tail of 31 feet, and an estimated maximum gross weight of 521,000 pounds. It had a crew of four: pilot, copilot, bombardier, and defensive systems operator. The delta wing had a span of 105 feet with six turbojet engines side by side in a large pod underneath the fuselage. The wing was swept at about 65 1/2o, and the wing tips were folded down hydraulically 25o to 65o to improve stability at the aircraft's supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3. At this speed the Valkyrie was designed to ride its own shock wave. A large canard foreplane near the front of the fuselage with a span of 28 feet, 10 inches was used for stability. In addition to its sharply swept delta wings, the XB-70s had two large vertical tails.
The aircraft was fabricated using titanium and brazed stainless steel “honeycomb” materials to withstand the heating during the sustained high Mach number portions of the flights. The propulsion system consisted of six General Electric turbojet engines (J93-GE 3) with two large rectangular inlet ducts providing two-dimensional airflow.

The entire mission (including return) was to be flown at Mach 3, but even then the aircraft was vulnerable to SAMs of the 1960's vintage. A high altitude, Mach 3 penetrator cannot maneuver well; its straight and level trajectory would have been an easy course to plot and intercept. Further, the technology that made Mach 3 possible yielded an airframe with a large RCS that added to the effectiveness of SAMs against the XB-70. The airframe was not adaptable to low level penetration to avoid SAMs because the delta wings were very thin and did not lend themselves to the structural modifications necessary for sustained, low level flight.

The XB-70 design had payload flexibility but not mission flexibility. In 1959, the XB-70 concept was changed to a recon/strike RS-70, making it a reconnaissance aircraft with a bomber strike capability. However, its reconnaissance capability would not have been as good as the super high altitude aircraft designed to fill the reconnaissance role. The XB-70 was an aircraft which fulfilled the criteria it was designed to meet, but whose mission had been eliminated by defensive threat technology.

The high drag of the Mach 3 airframe required a fuel load comparable to the B-52 but limited the range to about 5,000 nm. It was capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear weapons internally, but due to its design and Mach 3 mission profile, it could not carry external ordnance.

In 1961, President Kennedy announced that the XB-70 program was to be reduced to research only, citing high cost (over $700 million per prototype) and vulnerability. The Kennedy administration felt ICBMs were more cost effective because they were less vulnerable and were cheaper operationally. Although two XB-70 prototypes were built, with the first flight in 1964, the program terminated in 1969. The XB-70 had speed, range, and adequate payload, but it was expensive, not suited to low level penetration, and thus did not compete with ICBMs for strategic funds.


During the early 1960s, the NASA Flight Research Center was involved in support of the national Supersonic Transport Program (SST). Two prototype Mach 3+ high altitude bombers, built by North American Aviation for the Air Force, became available for SST research with the cancellation of their intended military program. Aircraft No. 2 (serial # 62-0207) with its improved wing design, was capable of sustained Mach 3 flight at altitudes around 70,000 ft. This highly instrumented vehicle was destroyed in a mid-air collision with NASA F-104N (N813NA) on 8 June 1966. An attempt to substitute the slower No. 1 aircraft (serial # 62-0001) into the research program met with limited success. Ship #1 was flown by the NASA Flight Research Center (now NASA Dryden), Edwards, Calif. from March 1967 through early 1969. The XB-70A program produced a significant quantity of information about supersonic flight up to Mach 3 speeds. In many areas, such as noise (including sonic boom runs), clear air turbulence, flight controls, aerodynamics and propulsion system performance and operation problems, it related to SSTs.



Specifications
Span: 105 ft.
Length: 185 ft. 10 in. without boom; 192 ft. 2 in. with boom
Height: 30 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 534,700 lbs. loaded
Engines: Six General Electric YJ-93s of 30,000 lbs. thrust each with afterburner.
Maximum speed: 2,056 mph. (Mach 3.1) at 73,000 ft.
Cruising speed: 2,000 mph. (Mach 3.0) at 72,000 ft.
Range: 4,288 miles
Service Ceiling: 77,350 ft.



Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:15:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 5:17:27 AM EST by vito113]
I heard a story that the XB-70 was all a big spoof job to sucker the Russians into thinking their massive Integrated Air Defence Network was outclassed and getting them to spend gazillions of Roubles on a new system and aircraft to shoot down these hoards of high altitude Mach 3 Bombers while the US had actually decided to go down on the deck…

Anyone know about that?

ANdy
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:19:25 AM EST
Yeah, I know about that story. You're exactly right - it's a story.

The fact is that at the time, the US defense policy was about as reactive as that of the Soviets. It was really only until all of our intelligence assets (aerial, satellite, electronic, human) could be pooled and correleated that we were able to realize that the Soviet capabilities were generally overstated by them and us.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:22:17 AM EST
Kind of like bankrupting them with Star Wars?

Maybe. But I doubt it. I don't know for sure but I get the feeling the Valkyrie was a valid project we fully intended to pursue. Due to technical issues it washed though.


The Soviets did build the Mig 25 to combat the Valkyrie though. And so we built the F15 and F14 to combat the Mig 25.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:30:20 AM EST
I'm going say the SR-71.

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:41:58 AM EST








Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:45:38 AM EST
The SR-71 was the sexiest coolest aircraft to ever take flight, and probably flew more missions in boys dreams then it did in real life.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:46:24 AM EST
On Display in Seattle

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:49:56 AM EST
When I was 11 years old, I read a book about the XB-70 Valkyrie. 5th grade dreams of being an Air Force pilot...

Where's the link to those photos posted above? I'd love to look through 'em for fun.
Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:56:10 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:00:30 AM EST
If you're in Michigan you can stop in to the Kalamazoo Air museum and see a SR-71B.

The SR-71B on loan to the Air Zoo is the only B model in existence. Only two were produced, and the other crashed on approach to Beale AFB on January 11, 1968.

The B is a trainer model.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:01:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By Specop_007:
The SR-71 was the sexiest coolest aircraft to ever take flight....


Nope.





The bomber that thinks it's a fighter.

THIS is the sexiest aircraft ever to take flight.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:03:54 AM EST
There are two aircraft I would donate my left testicle to get a ride in:

The F-4 Phantom

The B-1B Lancer
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:11:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
There are two aircraft I would donate my left testicle to get a ride in:

The F-4 Phantom

The B-1B Lancer



Only if it's Low Level and full speed and I'd add the F-111 to that list.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:13:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:





The bomber that thinks it's a fighter.

THIS is the sexiest aircraft ever to take flight.



BAD TO THE BONE!!!
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:34:25 AM EST
I remember reading that 80% of the RS-71s thrust was because of it's intakes, and because of the intakes
it was able to achieve the same speed as the XB-70 with only two engines.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:37:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:38:49 AM EST
But wait, there's more:

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:42:34 AM EST
Remember the CB Colby books, I do. Huge fan when I was in grade school
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:44:10 AM EST
Saw an SR71 rolled out of a hangar when we had training at Eglin AFB. It was one waaaay cool bird!
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 7:40:51 AM EST
Gotta bump this.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 7:43:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By twonami:
Remember the CB Colby books, I do. Huge fan when I was in grade school

I read every one I could get my hands on from the Mid-Continent Public Library in the summers. I'd love to get my hands on some now! Ever seen any for sale?
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 8:45:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By Sniper_408:
www.aviationpics.de/prev/sr71.jpg



Where did I park my SR71?
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 8:54:58 AM EST
SR71 why because it's still here!.
The B1B is a bad ass, at a air show I went to I seen it do some unreal shit!
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 8:59:06 AM EST
SR-71. It still blows me away that those two planes were designed in the slide rule era. But the SR-71 has done stuff that is still classified, and if I remember right, its actual performance envelope is still secret, is it not?

The SR just rocks.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:00:20 AM EST
I didn't think they made that many SR-71s in the first place!?


Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:12:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By SNorman:
I didn't think they made that many SR-71s in the first place!?

www.aviationpics.de/prev/sr71.jpg

Depending on who you ask, there could be as few as 2 and as many as 8 missing from that picture.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:21:48 AM EST
The SR71 had it beat hands down.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:24:16 AM EST
Stop it, you guys!

This thread is giving me wood.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:24:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
SR-71.
End of discussion.



Ditto. Fastest Air breather ever. Top End is still classified, 40 years later. All done with a slide rule. and a welder, no computers, no CNC.

There are at least 30 missing from that picture.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:27:01 AM EST
Both are extremely cool and I would have loved to see what the XB-70 could have really done (think of all the upgrades that could have been added since those days). But as far as actually doing the most for it's nation, the SR-71 is really the only choice.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:28:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 9:29:55 AM EST by sniper1az]
I was told by a guy who used to work on the SR71 that there were 20 built that he knew of left in service. They did lose a few early on. It the fastest plane ever built. I think over 3000MPH. I do know that the tires on the main gear were super trick. I worked at BF Goodrich in Akron, Ohio in the '70s. We made all the main gear tires. They were silver when they came out of the molds becaues we could not use carbon black in the compound of rubber. It crystalized in the wheel wells under heat caused by friction with the air at high speeds. This caused the rubber to become brittle, almost glass like. If you shot one of those tires, it would shatter like glass !!! So, we wound up using an aluminum/magneisum power instead. So, the tires were not black, but silver. Then we painted them black!!! Look at a photo of one landing where you have a good lighted view of the tires, the treads are silver, not black !!!
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:29:50 AM EST
My vote goes to the SR-71 as well......... I was really pissed when Klintoon retired them from service.......
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:30:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 9:39:38 AM EST by DzlBenz]

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

Ditto. Fastest Air breather ever. Top End is still classified, 40 years later. All done with a slide rule. and a welder, no computers, no CNC.

There are at least 30 missing from that picture.

Uh, hold on. Analog computers were used for aerodynamic computations and flight control system simulations. While not digital, a fair amount of the machine work was likely done with punch-card CNC machines typical of the era.

I've never seen a source claiming less than 12 or more than 20 production examples. Keep in mind that tail numbers were very often changed, and sometimes completely removed, in order to increase the confusion about the exact number of actual examples.

I'd like to see a source for 30 SR's built.


I beg your pardon.


From SR-71 Online, the definitive online source for SR information.

Sorry about the formatting.

Welcome to Blackbird Losses, a brief description of the demise of each Blackbird airframe. The information presented in this page is courtesy of Peter Merlin.

. A-12 M-21 YF-12A SR-71A SR-71B SR-71C
Built 13 2 3 29 2 1
Lost 5 1 2 11 1 0

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 12:22:56 PM EST
Shameless bump.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 2:56:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
www.sport-zone.biz/exported_files/other/Jets/b1b-1_std.jpg



I crewed B-1's for about 11 years. Coolest thing on an engine run was watching the engine fuel flow jump when going into augmenter. It switched to the precise engine meter to the Mass Fuel Flow meter. The graduations of the reading go from 100-1000's, to 10,000-100,000's! Too much fun. Maintenance was only authorized to take one engine at a time into aug.....I did say "Authorized"
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 2:59:23 PM EST
The shot of all the SR-71's at Beale reminds me of some of the muti-AR photos some of you guys posted on the 13th!
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 3:02:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 3:10:03 PM EST
In addition to the SR-71 coming from the slide rule era but was it or the U-2 sketch that was drawn up on a napkin at a restaurant almost like a doodle? I remember it was one of the Skunk Works jets that had its start thanks to a napking drawing.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 3:14:25 PM EST
Remember Habu...

To have a nickname like that, the thing has got to be cool.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 4:12:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 4:16:06 PM EST
All of these b1 pics make me drool. I love this airplane more than any other.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:32:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By PennvilleBill:
My vote goes to the SR-71 as well......... I was really pissed when Klintoon retired them from service.......



Don't be. Clinton and his cronies are assholes...but not complete morons. The Habu went away only because there is something better available now to do strategic recce. Remember that: The requirement has not disappeared...in fact we need it now more than ever. Keyholes and their children are great spy satellites but they don't have the timeliness nor the mission flexibility of an aircraft. The logic of a follow-on to the Habu is simply too obvious to ignore. Plus...there HAVE been several clues in the last ten years or so about the existance of a follow-on plane. The power plant design used to be the long pole in the tent...but the technolgy required to build the appropriate engine was publicized about ten years ago. I just can't believe it isn't already flying.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:37:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 5:39:53 PM EST by QCMGR]
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:39:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By GIJoe:
The shot of all the SR-71's at Beale reminds me of some of the muti-AR photos some of you guys posted on the 13th!



Is that Beale AFB??? I worked there once...saw some U2s, but no SR-71s...
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:41:47 PM EST
The B-58 Hustler was one of the very first model airplanes I built. That was a cool model!
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:56:32 PM EST
SR-71. Better yet, the Intercepter version, YF71?


Love the XB-70 Valkarie, but she's a bomber, not an intercepter, which is what the SR-71 was orginally designed for.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:25:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 6:27:35 PM EST by HABU]
I gotta give the nod to the SR-71. Kelly Johnson was a genious.


Originally Posted By sniper1az:
I do know that the tires on the main gear were super trick. I worked at BF Goodrich in Akron, Ohio in the '70s. We made all the main gear tires. They were silver when they came out of the molds becaues we could not use carbon black in the compound of rubber. It crystalized in the wheel wells under heat caused by friction with the air at high speeds. This caused the rubber to become brittle, almost glass like. If you shot one of those tires, it would shatter like glass !!! So, we wound up using an aluminum/magneisum power instead. So, the tires were not black, but silver. Then we painted them black!!! Look at a photo of one landing where you have a good lighted view of the tires, the treads are silver, not black !!!

The six main BF Goodrich tires were 32 ply and filled with nitrogen at 415 psi. They cost $2300 each and were good for approx. 15 landings.




Originally Posted By LWilde:

The requirement has not disappeared...in fact we need it now more than ever. Keyholes and their children are great spy satellites but they don't have the timeliness nor the mission flexibility of an aircraft. The logic of a follow-on to the Habu is simply too obvious to ignore. Plus...there HAVE been several clues in the last ten years or so about the existance of a follow-on plane.

If something is acting in HABU's stead, it would be very hard in this day and age to keep it quiet. Kinda like W keeping Osama's capture quiet till right before the election.
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