Supersonic Advantages And Disadvantages

875 Words4 Pages
The SR-71 blackbird is a two-man supersonic flight vehicle that has mainly been used for reconnaissance missions by the U.S. Airforce. Developed by Skunk Works, an advanced development group from Lockheed Martin, the blackbird maintains its position as the fastest and highest flying production aircraft in history. For this plane to be a reality the design team not only had to overcome conventional problems with flight, but a whole multitude of new problems stemming from the proposed cruising speeds of several thousand miles per hour. With the Blackbird being designed during the height of the cold war, and with other spy planes being shot down over Cuba, it had a long list of capabilities to accomplish. The main inspiration for the…show more content…
The fuel had to have a chemical mixed in before combustion to be able to ignite. Last but most definitely not least, the wing shape the plane utilizes is the delta wing, the same as other recognizable supersonic planes like the Concord and the XB-70 Valkyrie. The delta wing has many advantages over traditional swept wings when it comes to supersonic flight making it an obvious necessity. The most notable advantages are that the delta wing has an increased lift at the high angle of attack used, and the unique shape decreases drag at supersonic speeds. This was great for supersonic flight but during takeoff if the plane was fully loaded with fuel, over half of its 170,000lb fully loaded weight was fuel, it couldn’t actually take off (Kucher 1). There had to be a limited amount on board, just enough to take off and get up to altitude and immediately find the refueling jet. With all of the engineering and design that had to go into the SR-71 it is truly a marvel of its time. With a grand total of only 32 ever being made not a single one was ever lost to enemy fire, but two were destroyed due to accidents. It made countless secret reconnaissance missions throughout the cold war over many Soviet influenced areas and each time without

More about Supersonic Advantages And Disadvantages

Open Document