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The SR-71 flight manual

posted by Jason Kottke   May 12, 2010

Some parts of it are still classified but most of it is available to read online.

We Work Remotely

The most remarkable airplane of the 20th century

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 26, 2009

A short appreciation of the SR-71 Blackbird, an airplane that was literally faster than a speeding bullet.

“It wasn’t like any other airplane,” he told me. It was terrifying, exciting, intense and humbling every time you flew. Each mission was designed to fly at a certain speed; you always knew the airplane had more. It was like driving to work in a double-A fuel dragster.”

The skin of the plane’s fuselage was a whopping 85% titanium, which was purchased, during the Cold War, from the Soviet Union.

Update: See also SR-71 Groundspeed Check, Google Map of where all the Blackbirds are, and SR-71 Disintegrates Around Pilot During Flight Test:

Everything seemed to unfold in slow motion. I learned later the time from event onset to catastrophic departure from controlled flight was only 2-3 sec. Still trying to communicate with Jim, I blacked out, succumbing to extremely high g-forces. The SR-71 then literally disintegrated around us. From that point, I was just along for the ride.

(thx, doug, clay & tom)