The fastest plane in the world was designed with a drafting table and a slide rule.. The Lockheed SR-71; Designed and engineered by Lockheed Martin’s ‘Skunkworks’ Advanced Development Program.
One of the most innovative aircraft ever built. This plane flies over 2000mph (that’s New York to London in less than 2 hours), at up to 85,000 ft. You can’t shoot it down – it’s faster than bullets and missiles. It’s also one of the only machines ever built that uses -less- fuel the more power it makes (more on the engines below).
On a recent visit to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in Oregon, we got to check out a Blackbird on display..
As luck would have it, there was actually a group of pilots and crew members that made a rare appearance to speak about their experiences with the Blackbird. What an amazing program to be part of.. One interesting fact of note; At 85,000 ft, you can see over 3 -trillion- times more stars than you can from the ground!
The engines in the SR-71 are a hybrid of a traditional jet engine, that converts to a ram-jet above super-sonic speeds. The air coming into the engine was already going faster than the jet engine could push it, so they incorporated a air-bypass to go around the jet engine so it becomes a ram-jet. The ram-jet just keeps making more power the faster it goes. One pilot described approaching mach 3 with the throttle pulled all the way back to the stops – and still accelerating… which he called the plane ‘getting away from you’. ummmm, houston, we have a problem..
James May gets to go for a boot in the Lockheed U2 spyplane. A fantastic documentary by the BBC – it’s worth taking the time to watch(!) The sound quality isn’t great on the first clip (the other two are good). Check it out..
Part of what I like most about over-the-top supercars like the One-77 is that they represent one of the purest forms of human achievement. I find it amazing that projects like this even get to happen. It doesn’t really make business sense at all – it’s more about emotion and passion for the craft of automobile engineering and design. It’s engineering, design and performance synchronized as a form of art.
Progression continues on the site of the next generation design studio for FYi. The site is over 30 acres.. which makes the clearing and landscaping industrial in scale. So far we have harvested over 20 truck loads of huge cottonwood trees, and there are still many more to go.
Will be posting updates as we go. It’s a huge project, and it will be fun to look back on the progression as it develops.
It should be looking -really- good by this time next year!