Losing an airplane to space.......?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Strang, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    I had heard years ago that we lost at least one SR-71 to space accidentally.

    Does anyone know if there is any truth to this?

    Personally I don't see how the plane could have ever escape the earth's gravity.
     
  2. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I could be wrong, but I don't think there's any way an SR-71 could achieve escape velocity. Even the space shuttle is incapable of achieving very high orbits, much less escape velocity.
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    The SR-71 did fly very high, but no where near high enough, nor did it have the thrust to make orbit, let alone escape velocity. Let me put it this way, the 3rd stage of the Saturn V rocket was mostly used to achieve this once they had already GOTTEN to orbit!That sucker had more fuel than an 50 SR-71s fully loaded
     
  4. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    No way the SR-71 could do that with its standard powerplant. It goes fast, yes, and has tremendous capabilities not equalled by any civilian aircraft - but orbit? Space? No way.

    The only way I can see this statement being true is if the '71 went up too far and had an accident (depressurization, loss of engines or lift, something like that). One could call that 'lost to space'...
     
  5. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Not only can the SR-71 not reach escape velocity, it cannot even reach orbital velocity. It is not even the fastest nor highest flying aircraft. That honor goes to the X-15 which flew at Mach 5 and reached an altitude of 108 km (67 miles). By comparison, the SR-71 only reaches Mach 3 and 85 km altitude. Of course, the SR-71 is a jet while the X-15 was a rocket plane.
     
  6. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    Very interesting, thanks for the info Julie.
    BTW, I'm selling my SR-71 on ebay if anyone is interested... [​IMG]
     
  7. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    Will you take $10 a month for the next million years?
     
  8. Liam S

    Liam S Stunt Coordinator

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  9. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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  10. Fredrik E

    Fredrik E Stunt Coordinator

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    "By comparison, the SR-71 only reaches Mach 3 and 85 km altitude"

    I don't think that height is correct. 30 km (18 miles) is more correct.
     
  11. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Oh hell, all I can do is plead severe lack of sleep.
    I converted 85000 ft to 85000 m to 85 km. :b
    Good thing there are folks here who keep me honest. [​IMG]
     
  12. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like an Urban Legend. If the SR-71 tops out at 2,000 mph breathing air, how could it get up to 17,000 mph to reach orbital velocity?
     
  13. Scott Hayes

    Scott Hayes Second Unit

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    I thought that if you went in an arc rather that straight up you do not need to reach 17,0000mph for orbital velocity?

    Isnt that the reason NASA is trying to come up with a space plane? Maybe I am wrong but I thought I read that in Popular Science a few years ago.
     
  14. Scott_G

    Scott_G Second Unit

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    Hang on let me check my hanger ..........
    Nope wasn't mine [​IMG]
    I don't think you could do it with the X-15 either.
    If it was that easy we would be using that technology to get people to the space station.
     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Talk about urban legends. ...

    As has been noted here, there is no way an SR-71 could achieve orbit. And, by the way, once an object is in Earth orbit, it has not escaped the bonds of the planet's gravity; the gravity itself is what holds an object in orbit; the Moon is under the powerful influence of the primary planet's gravitational pull.

    The legendary X-15 did indeed reach the edge of space during its record-breaking 67-mile-high flight. There was even talk of making the X-15 into a bonafide spacecraft, but the major concern was how to develop workable heat-shielding. Alas, the X-15 project was cancelled before this concept could be fully developed.

    But several X-15 pilots won "astronaut wings" because of their 50-mile+-high flights--including a gentleman by name of Neil A. Armstrong.
     
  16. Chris Maynard

    Chris Maynard Supporting Actor

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    The SR-71 is advertised to the public as a Mach 3+ aircraft.
    If any of you believe that it cannot go faster I have some great speakers to sell you and I will through in prime real estate in Florida with them.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Chris: The SR-71 has indeed gone faster than Mach-3. It in fact holds the airspeed record. Quite frankly, I think it is the most beautiful airplane ever designed. And I hate like hell that we haven't bested it yet. It's as if the human race wants to give up on pushing the envelope.
     
  19. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Yeah the SR-71 is pretty amazing: a Mach 3+ all-titanium aircraft designed 40 years ago. Although the conspiracy theorists claim we have the "Aurora" aircraft as its replacement..... [​IMG]
    Then again I have an old Czech M98/22 8mm Mauser, made in 1923, that fires Mach 2.5+ bullets at 6 cents a round..... :p)
     
  20. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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