Re: AND the X-15, but...

Message posted by Magoo on April 20, 2001 at 15:59:08 PST:

True, the X-15 pilots were true pioneers.

However, once again, the X-15 was dropped from a mother plane, and landed like a glider (more like a brick actually!) It had a rocket engine and its primary mission was to fly as fast as possible for a couple of minutes at a time.

In contrast, the A-12/SR-71s' primary mission was recon, and it could hold Mach 3+ for 75 minutes at a time. A couple of its missions are some of the longest operational flights ever recorded.

For example, in 1973, a couple of SRs operated out of Griffis AFB in NY and Seymor-Johnson AFB in NC. They flew non-stop 10-hour return missions to the Middle East to monitor the Yom Kippur war and its aftermath! Other missions would launch out of Beale AFB in CA, fly across Canada and the North Pole to the Russian sub base at Murmansk, and then back around the top of Norway to recover at Mildenhall in England.

Just trying to put it all in perspective...speed and altitude records are great, but the SRs did it every day and for hours on end!


In Reply to: AND the X-15 posted by Thud on April 20, 2001 at 9:09:56 PST:


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