**** DONE: 1/72 Revell SR-71 Blackbird 17978, Playboy Bunny

Discussion in '#6 The Cold War Projects' started by dirkpitt289, May 12, 2010.

  1. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    User Name: Dirkpitt289
    Name: Dirk Pitt
    Category: Beginner
    Kit: Revell
    Scale:1/72
    Accessories: To be determined

    To Keep The Peace They Flew Alone...Unarmed

    "Reconnaissance in a Class of One"

    History

    When I think of the Cold War I can't help but think of high flying spy planes.

    In 1957, plans were drawn up for a high flying reconnaissance spy plane, The CIA was the backer behind the project. They wanted something that could reach anywhere in the world in a matter of hours and have the photos lying on someone's desk by lunch.

    The results was the SR-71 Blackbird or Habu. It was capable of an altitude of 90,000 ft. and Mach 3.2+ speed, faster than a rifle bullet. In 1968, the first SR-71s went into service at Kadena, AFB in Okinawa, Japan. The SR-71s also operated out of two other bases bases: Beale Air Force Base, California and Mindenthall, UK. Most of the missions were flown out of Kadena.

    The plane was tough to land. Of the 32 Blackbirds built, 11 crashed on landing. On the other hand, it was safe to fly. Over 1,000 attempts were made to shoot them down, but not a single plane was lost to enemy action or mechanical problems. In 1968, a presidential order required that all molds and tools used to build the SR-71 be destroyed so that the plane could never be built by anyone again. This also meant that spare parts could not be made, so if there were any major problems, planes in storage would have to be cannibalized. In 1990, the SR-71 fleet was decommissioned at Beale AFB. Five years later, three of the planes were returned to service, but it cost $140 million a year to keep them flying. The Air Force felt the money could be better used, so the plane was taken out of service

    The Model

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    SR-71 Fun Fact

    Did you know The SR-71 Blackbird is the fastest aircraft in the world to take off under its own power.

    Originally I wanted to do aircraft tail number 17972 "Charlie's Problem" which had a picture of a pregnant Lucy on the tail. Alas I can't locate the custom decals anywhere and I haven't progressed to the point where I can make my own.

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    So I will be going with one of the kit options, 17978, Playboy Bunny. Who doesn't like a playboy bunny? :oops:

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    Work will begin after I complete the Typhoon for the D-Day GB which should be by the weeks end.

    Thanks for taking the time to look at my project.
     
  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  3. tonyb

    tonyb Member

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    Definitely a Cold war classic imho.Great choice!8)
    Cheers,
    Tony.
     
  4. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Good one Dirk!
     
  5. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    nice one Dirk
     
  6. Night Fighter Nut

    Night Fighter Nut Well-Known Member

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    Here is a facinating factoid for you I got from an SR-71 pilot. The SR-71 only was given enough fuel on the ground to get it in the air. It was then topped off in flight. The reason for this was that the panels had gaps in them while on the gound and fuel would leak through these gaps. Once in the air and brought to speed though, the panels would expand and fit tightly together and then it would refuel. Also, the plane was originally not expected to last very long because they had no way to fabricate a tough enough outer skin to withstand the heat built up from traveling so fast. However they unexpectedly found that the planes skin got better after each flight. Apparently the heating and cooling of the plane every time it flew treated and improved the metal of the skin. :)
     
  7. Night Fighter Nut

    Night Fighter Nut Well-Known Member

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    #7 Night Fighter Nut, May 12, 2010
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
    I don't think there are very many of them around anymore except in a couple of museums.
     
  8. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Something that I picked up about the SR-72 while in collage Air Force ROTC
    One of the instructors had been around them at some point and said that when they were traveling at speed the friction between the skin and the air would heat up the airframe to a point where the overall length would increase over a foot! I remember him saying that it did leak like a sieve when it was on the ground. Incredible airplane!!
     
  9. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    #9 dirkpitt289, May 12, 2010
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
    You guys are correct. A KC-135 tanker would take off about a half hour prior to the SR-71. While on the tarmac she would indeed leak like a sive. The first job was to hookup with the tanker and top off the fuel tanks. Once in the air and at speed the the skin and fuel tanks would self seal and away she would go. Off into the Wild Blue Yonder.

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  10. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting stuff!
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great choice Dirk. I remember seeing one taxi and take off, at night, when I was 'doing something' at Mildenhall when in the Forces, back in the 70's. Also had a look at the one in the museum at Duxford last year - it's still leaking!
     
  12. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Great choice Dirk. I remember one of the SR-71s doing the dash across the Atlantic to break the record which I believe still stands, as for leaking like a sieve, I was one told by one of the Airframe Fitters that the EE Lightning had a similar problem of leaking, as he put it 'like a colander'.

    :hotsun: :hotsun:
     
  13. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Nice choice. Should go together quickly as the kit looks half built!
     
  14. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Thanks guys

    I kinda hope so. I could use a nice quick build but I'm not so sure it will be. The one common thing I hear from people that do this kit is lots and lots and lots of filling and sanding.
     
  15. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great choice Dirk!

    Not only the Blackbird stretched in flight, but Concorde too, also about a foot. Apparently the floor of the centre passenger aisle is made up of overlapping plates so you don't notice inside!
     
  16. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Then you should have plenty of fun..... Let the building begin!:D
     
  17. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    It has. Photos will be up later today or tomorrow.
     
  18. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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  19. bemay

    bemay Member

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    good choice dirk !
     
  20. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Here I go again! My latest project is now underway.

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    Blackbird Specifications

    Primary Function: Strategic Reconnaissance
    Contractor: Lockheed-Martin Skunkworks
    Crew: Two
    Unit Cost: $34 Million per Airframe
    Powerplant: Two Pratt and Whitney J-58 axial-flow turbojets with afterburners, each producing 32,500 pounds of thrust
    Speed: over Mach 3.2 / 2,000 mph (3,200 kph)
    Ceiling: over 85,000 feet (26,000 m)
    Range: over 2000 miles (3200 km) unrefueled
    Armament: NONE
    Number of SR-71's built:50 Blackbird airframes of various designations

    SR-71 Fun Fact

    The Blackbird is painted with a black paint that consists of a pigmentation containing minute iron balls. These dissipate electro-magnetically-generated energy and effectively lower the chances of the plane being picked up by radar. The special black finish also wards off heat caused by high speeds and actually radiates significantly more friction-generated heat than it absorbs at cruising speeds of Mach 3

    The Model
    Going through the parts some things stand out.

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    David Clark S1030 Suit

    A fully enclosed suit with a double zippered rear entry, it had enclosed feet at the bottom of the legs, full-length sleeves with metallic rings and a locking mechanism that acted as a connecting point for the gloves. The head opening had another metallic ring with a locking mechanism that served as a connecting point for the helmet. The second component was the helmet, the third were the gloves and the final component was the torso harness, which was part of the egress and survival systems that was worn over the suit itself. Standard flight boots were worn with the ensemble, the only difference being that the boots were a full 2 – 2.5 sizes larger to accommodate the feet of the suit when inflated.

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    SR-71 Ejection Seats

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    This photo doesn't do justice to the panels. The cockpit was painted ghost gray, the instruments and panels were painted black and then dry-brushed with aluminum.
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