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Old 01-20-2011, 12:14 AM   #1  
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Default SR-71 Speed

Brian Shul has a great story about requesting GS from ATC in his Sled Driver book. Basically, there's a strong tail wind and requests for GS start from a Cessna, one-upmanship begins with a corporate, then a military fighter, then finally Shul's backseater requests GS for "Aspen 20". Long pause from the controller, uuuuum Aspen 20, I show 1700 knots GS. There were no other GS requests that day.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:24 AM   #2  
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Brian Shul has a great story about requesting GS from ATC in his Sled Driver book. Basically, there's a strong tail wind and requests for GS start from a Cessna, one-upmanship begins with a corporate, then a military fighter, then finally Shul's backseater requests GS for "Aspen 20". Long pause from the controller, uuuuum Aspen 20, I show 1700 knots GS. There were no other GS requests that day.

Hmmmm....... ATC wasn't allowed to do that. No Cessna would even hear an SR71 on UHF. The SR-71 did not use VHF. Even its UHF was a discrete frequency for the SR. The transmit button for ATC wasn't armed unless they were actually talking to an SR. The altitudes were coded, and changed regularly. Oh, and what tailwind is at 80,000 feet? They didn't spend a lot of time below 60,000.

I call BS on that one (whether its in the book, or not).
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:37 PM   #3  
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Hmmmm....... ATC wasn't allowed to do that. No Cessna would even hear an SR71 on UHF. The SR-71 did not use VHF. Even its UHF was a discrete frequency for the SR. The transmit button for ATC wasn't armed unless they were actually talking to an SR. The altitudes were coded, and changed regularly. Oh, and what tailwind is at 80,000 feet? They didn't spend a lot of time below 60,000.

I call BS on that one (whether its in the book, or not).
Definitely in the book, but your points are obviously valid. Pilots wouldn't embellish a story would they?
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:46 PM   #4  
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Definitely in the book, but your points are obviously valid. Pilots wouldn't embellish a story would they?
10% rule applies
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:52 PM   #5  
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Hmmmm....... ATC wasn't allowed to do that. No Cessna would even hear an SR71 on UHF. The SR-71 did not use VHF. Even its UHF was a discrete frequency for the SR. The transmit button for ATC wasn't armed unless they were actually talking to an SR. The altitudes were coded, and changed regularly. Oh, and what tailwind is at 80,000 feet? They didn't spend a lot of time below 60,000.

I call BS on that one (whether its in the book, or not).
Interesting. Didn't know that about the Blackbird.

But Tony, you're a total buzzkill on this one.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:13 PM   #6  
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Tony are you speaking from first hand knowledge? Very few military a/c are limited to only UHF.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:17 AM   #7  
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Tony are you speaking from first hand knowledge? Very few military a/c are limited to only UHF.
RB-57F had VHF, UHF and HF. Some had an additional UHF radio.

Who talked to ATC ? We filed radar vectors to VFR on top above 60,000 ft, went about our business, and contacted ATC when it was time to come down.

We did monitor Guard Freq.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:29 AM   #8  
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Tony are you speaking from first hand knowledge? Very few military a/c are limited to only UHF.

Yes, from the ATC side of the mike. We certainly dealt with more than one type that only had UHF (or UHF/HF) back "in the day".

Never talked to an SR71 on anything but the discreet UHF frequency assigned to each ATC center specifically for this use.

Of course, Guard is monitored. In UHF, VHF, or both.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:47 AM   #9  
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10% rule applies
I thought it was rule of three's
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:45 AM   #10  
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Default At the risk of Lawyers.............

Here's the text from the book verbatim. Thanks Major Shul for signing both "Sled Driver" (9-Jun-92) and the "Untouchables" for me. They are wonderful books. (6-9-92??? crud, I'm old, but at least I remember the important stuff)

"We were monitoring various radio transmissions from other aircraft as we entered LA Center's airspace. Though they didn't control us, they did monitor our movement across their scope. I heard a Cessna ask for a readout of it's ground speed. 90 knots, Center replied. Moments later a twin beech required the same. 120 Knots, center answered. We weren't the only one proud of our speed that day as almost instantly an F-18 smugly transmitted. Ah, Center Dusty 52 requests groundspeed readout.. There was a slight pause, 525 knots on the ground, Dusty. Another slight pause. As I was thinking to myself how ripe a situation this was I heard the familiar click of a radio transmission coming from my back seater. It was at that moment I realized Walt and I had become a real crew, for we were both thinking in unison. "Center, Aspen 20, you got a ground speed read out for us? There was a longer than normal pause...... Aspen, I show one thousand seven hundred forty two knots. No further inquiries were heard on that freq."
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