Global Aircraft -- YF-12 Blackbird
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YF-12 Blackbird Specifications
Primary Function: Interceptor
Contractor: Lockheed
Crew: Two
Unit Cost: N/A
  Two Pratt & Whitney J58s of 32,000 lb. thrust each with afterburner
Length: 101 ft.
Wingspan: 55 ft. 7 in.
Height: 18 ft. 6 in.
Empty: N/A
Maximum Takeoff: 127,000 lb. (loaded)
Speed: Mach 3+
Ceiling: above 80,000 ft
Range: 2,000+ miles
  Three Hughes AIM-47A missiles

YF-12 Blackbird Achievements
  • The YF-12 Blackbird was a precursor to the SR-71 Blackbird.
  • The YF-12 set a speed record of 2,070.101 mph and an alitiude record of 80,257.86 feet on May 1, 1965.

YF-12 Blackbird Features

  The YF-12 Blackbird was fabricated of over 93% (structural weight) of titanium alloys to allow it to withstand skin temperatures of over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It had the ability to carry three AIM-47A long range AAMs and could fly at mach 3 for substained periods.

YF-12 Blackbird Background

  The YF-12 was developed as a high-altitude Mach 3 interceptor for defense against supersonic bombers. It was designed in secrecy by a team headed by Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, director of Lockheed's Advanced Development Projects office--better known as the "Skunk Works." The existence of the aircraft was not officially revealed until February 29, 1964. The YF-12A was the forerunner of the highly sophisticated SR-71 high-altitude strategic reconnaissance aircraft. Unlike the SR-71, the YF-12A never became operational, but during the test program, which ended in 1966, it set a speed record of 2,070.101 mph and an alitiude record of 80,257.86 feet. Both records were set on May 1, 1965. To enable the YF-12A to withstand skin temperatures of more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit (generated by air friction), 93 percent of its structural weight is made up of titanium alloys. The aircraft also is coated with a special black paint that helps radiate heat from its skin. All aircraft components were developed especially for the environment of sustained Mach 3+ cruise.

Summary Copyright © Charles M (JetWhiz)

YF-12 Blackbird Photos
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