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Thread: SR71 conversion

  1. #1 SR71 conversion 
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    could we take some leftover SR71s or build some new ones, integrate liquid fuel rockets onto the body running on RP-1 (kerosene rocket fuel) and liquid oxygen, add a heat shield, then redesign the J58 hybrid turbojets to run on RP-1. After a few fuel tank additions, cockpit and instrument modifications,space-prepping and thruster additions, then you have your spaceplane. We coul utilize computers to make the landing safer than they were on the original SR71, and on later models add areas for weapons. I think any weaponizes/non transport spaceplane would need to be at least as big as the SR71 to have any sort of acceptable in-atmosphere performance.

    It would offer strike capabilities within an hour anywhere in the world.
    What do you people think?


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  3. #2  
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    Designed in the late 50s, they were rmoved from service because they're a maintenance nightmare.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    Designed in the late 50s, they were rmoved from service because they're a maintenance nightmare.
    Could you expand on that? This topic has piqued my interest.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    That and satellites removed much of their necessity to conduct reconnaissance. If clouds are blocking than a jet isn't going to do any better unless it drops below them and makes itself very vulnerable to SA-200 and other modern SAMs.

    If the capacity were needed it would probably be better to develop a UAV to do the job.

    Scram-jet technology and its dramatic speed and high altitude possibilities might bring something like this back.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    the idea wasn't recon, i wanted to attatch rockets etc. then weoponize it. I thought it woul be easier to develop than developing a spaceplane from scratch. Like I said, you could park it in orbit or on some exhorbiantly priced space carrier (another thread), and when trouble strikes, you can strike its heart right away.

    Not much use in todays conflict-no point in diving down from space for a patrol mission, but it would be a great first strike.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    That and satellites removed much of their necessity to conduct reconnaissance. If clouds are blocking than a jet isn't going to do any better unless it drops below them and makes itself very vulnerable to SA-200 and other modern SAMs.

    If the capacity were needed it would probably be better to develop a UAV to do the job.

    Scram-jet technology and its dramatic speed and high altitude possibilities might bring something like this back.
    UAV was developed from SR 71 technology, nomenclature D 21, may very well be still in service unless superior vehicle has been deployed, "Aurora", etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_D-21
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  8. #7  
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    Would a plane of this general type (probably not the specific type) ever have the potential to deliver troops? Like could you immediately send a small group of Special Forces to say an area in Africa if some UN troops were to come under attack and find themselves in need of quick support?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  9. #8  
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  10. #9  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Im pretty sure it only had room for 3000 lbs of equitment, but thats thirty troops. Sure there might have been akward spaces for the equitment, but you could take some room of the main fuel tanks and put it in that awkward area. The leftover area is your troop area. hardpoints on top of the wing wouldn't get in the way of the heat sheild.
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  11. #10 Re: SR71 conversion 
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    could we take some leftover SR71s or build some new ones, integrate liquid fuel rockets onto the body running on RP-1 (kerosene rocket fuel) and liquid oxygen, add a heat shield, then redesign the J58 hybrid turbojets to run on RP-1. After a few fuel tank additions, cockpit and instrument modifications,space-prepping and thruster additions, then you have your spaceplane. We coul utilize computers to make the landing safer than they were on the original SR71, and on later models add areas for weapons. I think any weaponizes/non transport spaceplane would need to be at least as big as the SR71 to have any sort of acceptable in-atmosphere performance.

    It would offer strike capabilities within an hour anywhere in the world.
    What do you people think?
    Neither the SR-71 nor any other craft thhat has come later has the combination of Isp and mass fraction for a single-stage-to-orbit mission. Air breathers, like the SR-71 have enormously greater Isp than rockets, because they don't carry the oxidizer with them. Converting the SR-71 to rocket propulsion is a losing proposition all around.
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  12. #11  
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    And it has a cockpit, not room for passengers :P
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  13. #12  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    I'm looking at a cutaway diagram of the SR71 right now and there is a surveilance equitment are directly behind the cockpit that could fit only 4 people, which is not worth the money. What about the B-70 Valkyrie? Sorry for this little outburst of ridiculousness.

    Edit: Dr R, I was planning to just add the rockets and keep the engines so you can have the higher specific impulse in the atmosphere up to 80000 ft then when the service ceiling is reached you could transition to the rockets. I was als thinking to add some space shuttle orbiter like engine"bulbs" or whatever those things are that hold the smaller engines at the rear, just elongated.
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  14. #13  
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    We dont move people that fast because the people we would be moving wouldn't know what to do that fast. If say, hypothetically. we had a high levle target that we wanted to get a team to quickly, we would use the time it takes to get there to brief and update the mission.

    If we have solid real world intel. the mission is practiced several times on dry runs in mock up facilities. nothing happens as fast as it does in the movies.
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  15. #14  
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    Really depends on the operation. SF does snatch and grabs on very short notice pretty regularly. But you're quite right..there's huge risk involved and they get soldiers/marine/seaman/police killed or innocent civilians killed (think Ruby Ridge).
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  16. #15  
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    Well, not to split hairs but I was talking about the kind of operation where an ARF team would be dispatched cold from a base stateside to some place in Africa for a specific unforeseen mission. That's where the space transport SR-71 would find a use.

    A snatch and grab doesn't really fit into the context.
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  17. #16  
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    Dream on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  18. #17  
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    SR 71 mission was intricately planned, more like "moon shot" than anything else, complete with suit. No room for grunts. In the old days people could think big when it came to rockets, though.

    Check out this BLAST from the PAST, dotcomrades:

    http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/ithacus.htm
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  19. #18  
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    very interesting
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