The SR-71 needs no introduction, but here is a detailed description of both the plane and why I was inspired to build a LEGO model of it:
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is a reconnaissance aircraft that shattered many records, and even though it is well over 50 years old, is still officially the fastest aircraft in the world travelling at a speed of 2193.13 mph (or 3529.5km)
Some interesting facts on the SR-71 Blackbird:
- Had a typical cruising speed of 3.2 times the speed of sound, but was capable of over 3.5 times the speed of sound
- Cost $33 million USD per aircraft back in the 1970’s (which would be around $300 million USD today)
- During flight, the airframe (made primarily from titanium), could reach temperatures of over 510 degrees celsius (or 950 F) from air friction at such high speeds, so it was painted black to help radiate the heat. Most aircrafts are painted white to deflect heat from the Sun’s radiation, but at such high temperatures, black radiates more heat than it retains, hence where it got its name ‘Blackbird’.
- The SR-71 broke the record for the world’s highest sustained altitude in horizontal flight at 25,929m (over 85,000 feet)
- First flight was on Dec 22, 1964, and last flight was on Oct 9, 1999
- Powered by two Pratt & Whitney J58 turbojet Engines
- Was originally designed with 1 seat (called the A-12) in 1962, but a two seat version evolved into the larger SR-71 specifically designed for reconnaissance missions
- Had a flight range of 5,400 km (3355 miles)
- The SR-71 was made for the United States Air Force but also used by NASA in the 1990’s as a testbed for high-speed and high-altitude aeronautical testing
- Was built by Skunk Works (Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs) to replace and fly faster and higher than the older U-2 spy plane
- It was originally supposed to be called the RS-71 but when announced by US President Johnson, he turned the letters around and called it the “SR-71” instead, which seems like a very minor thing, but Skunk Works had to then change around 29,000 blueprints / documents to accomodate this change.
As a huge fan of space flight and all things NASA, the SR-71 Blackbird has always gotten my attention, and so I thought it might be time to make a LEGO model of it. Not too mention it is one of the best looking aircrafts ever made in my opinion.
I have tried to keep the dimensions as close to the real thing as possible, which has been no easy feat using LEGO, but I have really enjoyed the challenge.
Extract to the game’s “Community” folder and ensure you see contents like this and not not another folder.