• Review: Glowingheat SR-71 Blackbird

    Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

    Publisher: Glowingheat

    Review Author:
    Ray Andersen

    Suggested Price:
    $35.00

    Buy Here

    Intro

    The SR-71 is an advanced two crew, two engine, delta winged, high altitude, long-range, supersonic strategic reconnaissance military aircraft produced by Lockheed, Skunk Works division, since the mid 1960's. It was originally developed as a "black project" from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft and the idea was that the aircraft should be capable of flying outside the reach of surface-to-air missiles and also be capable of outracing them.

    A total of 32 aircraft was built and they served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. In all those years none were lost to enemy actions and since 1976 the SR-71 has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft. The nickname is Blackbird but is also known as Habu.

    General Information & Aircraft Specs

    • Produced by Lockheed, Skunk Works Division
    • Designer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson
    • First flight December 22nd 1964
    • Introduction 1966
    • Role Strategic reconnaissance aircraft
    • Status Retired 1998
    • Built 32
    • Developed from Lockheed A-12
    • Primary users
      • United States Air Force
      • NASA
    • Crew 1 pilot + 1 reconnaissance system officer
    • Length 107 ft 5 in (32.74 m)
    • Wingspan 55 ft 7 in (16.94 m)
    • Height 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
    • Wing area 1,800 ft2 (170 m2)
    • Empty weight 67,500 lb (30,600 kg)
    • Loaded weight 152,000 lb (69,000 kg)
    • MTOW 172,000 lb (78,000 kg)
    • Power plant Two P&W J58-1
    • Maximum speed Mach 3.3 (2,200+ mph / 3,540+ km/h / 1,910+ knots at 80,000 ft (24,000m)
    • Range 2,900 nm (5,400 km)
    • Ferry Range 3,200 nm (5,925 km)
    • Service ceiling 85,000 ft (25,900 m)
    • Rate of climb 11,820 ft/m (60 m/s)
    • Wing load 84 lb/ft2 (410 kg/m2)
    • Thrust/weight 0.44

    Purchase, Download and Installation

    I purchased this add-on aircraft directly at FS Pilot Shop and the purchase and download went without any issues. The internet connection to the download server was excellent so the file was downloaded in no time even though the Blackbird file is about 100 MB.

           

    Installing the aircraft was very easy, just activate the included installation wizard and the complete installation is done automatically - you don't even have to write in a registration code or similar since this add-on does not feature that.


    7 Comments
    1. Ragtopjohnny's Avatar
      Ragtopjohnny -
      It's a good review, but please, in the future, don't leave menu bars up or green info texts across the top of the screen. It ruins beautiful screen shots.
    1. ohreally's Avatar
      ohreally -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ragtopjohnny View Post
      It's a good review, but please, in the future, don't leave menu bars up or green info texts across the top of the screen. It ruins beautiful screen shots.
      Thanks for your hard work on this review, Glowingheat. Personally, I thought the screen shoots were excellent, and doubt that any of us would even have noticed any menu bars, etc, if someone hadn't been looking for shortcomings. Well done >_<
    1. pvarn's Avatar
      pvarn -
      Although there is a difference in operation and appearance between the SR's INS vs modern GPS, in practice, the results of using them is the same- high resolution navigation maps.
      -Pv-
    1. pvarn's Avatar
      pvarn -
      The spin problem was likely a result of stalling. The uncontrollable pitch trying to exit the stall was likely caused by leaving the ALT hold on and HDG or NAV hold on. You cannot exit a stall spin while trying to hold an altitude and bearing. You have to let the plane dive to gain speed and straighten out to stop the loss from turning continuously.
      -Pv-
    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Quote Originally Posted by pvarn View Post
      The spin problem was likely a result of stalling. The uncontrollable pitch trying to exit the stall was likely caused by leaving the ALT hold on and HDG or NAV hold on. You cannot exit a stall spin while trying to hold an altitude and bearing. You have to let the plane dive to gain speed and straighten out to stop the loss from turning continuously.
      -Pv-

      Hi all - thanks for your feedback.

      It is correct that the spin was due to a stall, however when that happened I was flying on manual = autopilot OFF.

      In my real life flight experience I am educated within aerobatics, so spins I am quite familiar with.... what seemed strange to me was that I could actually gain altitude during a spin which I have never seen in real life. Other than that I really liked the aircraft a lot - I like flying military jets and "black" project aircrafts so this one was certainly a must try for me.

      Actually I have also tried out two other SR-71s (the original Virtavia and ProfiSoft) but I think the Glowingheat is the very best.

      Ray
    1. pvarn's Avatar
      pvarn -
      You can gain altitude momentarily in a stall when the attitude of the aircraft pitches up as a result of the lift gained by a previous dive. However, I would speculate there may be a fault in the modeling. A delta wing aircraft will not behave this way. Once lift has fallen below what is required to sustain the aircraft, the plane will sink like it's falling down an elevator shaft even though it is level or pointed upward. This is how my freeware SR-71 behaves.

      Note: the SR-71 does not fly like an airliner, setting a mach speed for climb or cruise. Rather, it flies very specific airspeeds. In the climb, you use one of two climb speeds: 400 EAS or 450 EAS depending on the mission. At cruise, you use the airspeed which keeps the instruments on specification based on the altitude and weather. There is no mach speed setting in the SR-71 that just "works."

      -Pv-
    1. lmeirose's Avatar
      lmeirose -
      Hello All:

      I just wanted to let you all know about a fix if you run into the nose vapor effect displaying the following:



      I opened and viewed the SR-71's effects (.fx) files via Notepad. As it turns out, the effect "fx_Glowingheat_SR71_vapor3.fx" that controls the nose vapor is attributed to the effects texture "fx_Aa-Con.bmp", which doesn't exist in the FSX "Effects" "texture" folder. The other two vapor effects are attributed to the "fx_1.bmp" (which is one of FSX's default effects textures for smoke/vapor trails, right?), and they appear to work fine; so here's what I did to fix the problem:

      - I copied the "fx_1.bmp" effects texture to create a second copy of it

      - Next, I renamed the "fx_1.bmp - Copy" effects texture as "fx_Aa-Con.bmp"

      Problem solved!!
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