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  #1  
Old 08-27-2013, 01:52 AM
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Default STUDY SUMMARY- "Feasibility of A-12 (SR-71) for Air Launched Reconnaissance System"

Here's a study I picked up relating to modifying the SR-71 Blackbird to launch a Polaris missile-based orbital spysat on "once around" reconnaissance missions...

While technically feasible (which is pretty interesting in itself) I can see a lot of downsides instantly with the idea... a lot of them similar to the idea of launching ICBM's or SLBM's with precision guided conventional warheads instead of nukes-- of course the enemy or any adversary at which this thing might be launched would have NO WAY OF KNOWING that the missile carried a conventional precision-guided warhead versus a nuclear weapon, and thus would be quite likely to respond as if they were being attacked with a nuclear weapon inbound, and respond in kind... not good!

There's also the downside that the bomber-launched ICBM's, like the Skybolt missiles in the 60's... it has the drawbacks of both a bomber and a missile (bomber is a launch platform that is particularly vulnerable to attack on the ground and in the air, mechanical difficulties add to reliability concerns, and the missile has the disadvantage of not being able to be recalled, unlike a bomber dropping gravity bombs). Of course not being a weapon delivery system, this is partially negated, but still... if you're going to need a rocket and have to put the payload into orbit (even one only 80 miles high) then why not just launch it from the CONUS or a suitable base elsewhere, from the ground, and forego the difficulties of air launch altogether?? Or, if you're going to have a hypersonic aircraft, why not use it to perform the mission and forego the use of the high-altitude, short-mission duration missile-lofted cameras altogether?? Basically the drawbacks of BOTH the manned hypersonic aircraft AND an orbital satellite platform, with few real benefits... PLUS the risk of it LOOKING to enemy radars or missile detection systems to be an SLBM launch, or even if they understand the spysat mission, there would always be the suspicion it might be a first-strike weapon, if the missile were weaponized with a nuclear warhead in place of the once-around spysat...

At any rate, it's an interesting study... gives one something neat to do that nobody else on the range will have, if you have a spare Estes SR-71 kit laying around-- modify it with a BT-50 size Polaris missile slung underneath it!!

Here's the summary... pics will be coming shortly...

Later! OL JR
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:54 AM
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More to come... OL JR
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:55 AM
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A few more... OL JR
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:57 AM
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and some more... OL JR
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:59 AM
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A few more... A few more, including a drawing of the NOT recommended "top mount" version with the Polaris missile being carried on the BACK of the SR-71 rather than slung underneath-- basically it required rails to allow the missile to "slide" out/off the back of the aircraft for launch, which caused a huge aft CG shift as this occurred, making the plane susceptible to any disturbance causing a severe and violent "pitch up" just as the missile was sliding clear to the rear of the aircraft... not a good situation to be in...

Later! OL JR
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:00 AM
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And the last...

I love the letter from Kelly Johnson above... VERY cool.... (he designed the SR-71/A-12).

The "petals" on the back of the missile were part of the modifications necessary to air-launch the Polaris from the SR-71... basically they provided "shuttlecock stability" (just like the "Birdie" rocket-powered badminton birdie shuttlecock does, only with a ballistic missile on the front) for the separation and launch phase of the missile. Once the missile was free and clear of the SR-71, the missile motor would fire up, (five seconds after separation from the aircraft at Mach 3.2) and the tail fairing, including the "shuttlecock" drag fins, would be jettisoned as the missile then flew under liquid injection thrust vector control, as in the regular Polaris missile...

Hope you enjoy! OL JR
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:56 PM
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So NOBODY cared about trying to launch a POLARIS MISSILE from under an SR-71?? Wow... didn't see that coming!

Oh well... Later! OL JR
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:16 AM
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I think it's cool someone had the imagination to look into such a program. I find it amazing some of the things this great country accomplished and considered doing, or looked into doing. The SR71 is just one fine example. This country sure has changed. I find you infomation very informative and very interesting. Thank-you for sharing!
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonzero2
I think it's cool someone had the imagination to look into such a program. I find it amazing some of the things this great country accomplished and considered doing, or looked into doing. The SR71 is just one fine example. This country sure has changed. I find you infomation very informative and very interesting. Thank-you for sharing!


You're welcome...

Yes, they certainly were more open to "what is POSSIBLE" in the past than they are now... Reminds me of that line from "Apollo 13"-- "I don't care what anything was DESIGNED to do, I care about what it CAN do!"... We certainly seem to have lost that sort of motivation or ingenuity nowdays...

I think these sorts of proposals are pretty interesting... similar to the B-58 launched modified Minuteman missiles I posted earlier... I have another one on B-1 bombers launching rockets as well I need to post when I get a chance... stay tuned!

Later! OL JR
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2013, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke strawwalker

I think these sorts of proposals are pretty interesting... similar to the B-58 launched modified Minuteman missiles I posted earlier... I have another one on B-1 bombers launching rockets as well I need to post when I get a chance... stay tuned!

Later! OL JR


B-1 bombers launching rockets,... that has to be pretty recent,... I'm tuned in!
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