[LINK] Finally up to date on the Shuttle
Fri, 14 Feb 2003 17:53:53 +1100
On Friday, February 14, 2003, at 01:56 PM, Frank O'Connor wrote:
> unsatisfactory tile solution. Even the SR71 BlackBird - which only
> does about Mach 4 or 5 from memory - heats up big-time at speed.
It was pained black to help radiate heat. The plane got several inches
longer due to expansion when it was flying. The leading edges of the
wings got to over 500 degrees. The fuel was used as part of the cooling
system but even so got to 350 degrees and needed to be custom made.
Just about everything was made of special materials able to resist high
temperatures. Each of it's two engines could put out more power than
the Queen Mary's four turbines combined and sucked in 100,000 cubic
feet of air each second. On take off it went from 0 to 200mph in 20
seconds. You couldn't fly it lower than 10,000 feet because of the
damage it could cause. There was one flight where one flew at 2,092mph
at 85,068 feet. New York to London in one hour and fifty five minutes.
Blackbirds flew for 25 years. Nothing then or since has approached
their capability within the atmosphere. Unlike the U2 none were ever
shot down. They were also expensive.
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