Interesting SR-71 Facts

From 2011 April issue of AOPA Pilot magazine:

  1. What was the code name for the secret program that evolved into the SR-71 Blackbird?
    • The project known as “Arch Angel” created the A-1 through A-12 aircraft that preceded the Blackbird.
  2. Why do SR-71s have white main-gear tires?
    • The tires are coated with aluminum oxide to reflect heat so that the tires don’ t explode in the wheel wells during high-speed flight.
  3. The SR-71 windshields are made from four-inch think pieces of this exotic material to withstand in-flight temperatures of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Quartz
  4. More than 90 percent of the SR-71 is made from titanium, an exotic material that, ironically, could only be procured under false pretenses from this country that was frequently overflown by the spy planes.
    • Russia

More info and some great photos at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_SR-71_Blackbird.

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