[LINK] Finally up to date on the Shuttle

Antony Barry tony@tony-barry.emu.id.au
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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