Braniff747
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SR-71 V. A-12

Fri May 11, 2001 8:16 pm

What's the difference? Is there any beyond one being used by the USAF and the other by the CIA?

Thanks.
 
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RE: SR-71 V. A-12

Fri May 11, 2001 8:26 pm

The A-12 was the forerunner of the SR-71.There were many differences,mostly internal,but the major difference was that the A-12 was a single-seater whereas the SR-71 was a two-seater.
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Spacepope
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RE: SR-71 V. A-12

Sat May 12, 2001 12:18 am

The A-12 also differed substantially by having a centrally located retractable ventral fin, retractable canards, conical nose cone, and twin missiles in a tandem internal bay. These I believe were forerunners of the Phoenix missiles that now equipp the F-14.

T.J.
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RE: SR-71 V. A-12

Sat May 12, 2001 12:55 am

The plane Spacepope is describing,is the YF-12 fighter derivative of the A-12.This plane was in many respects closer to the SR-71 than the A-12.
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Spacepope
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RE: SR-71 V. A-12

Sat May 12, 2001 4:15 am

Oop sorry that's right. was the first thing that popped in my mind though. Wasn't there supposed to be an A-6 sucessor named the A-12 as well? These designations can get pretty confusing pretty quickly.

T.J.
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cv640
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RE: SR-71 V. A-12

Sat May 12, 2001 5:17 am

Someone once told me those air to air missles were supposed to have nuclear warheads and explode in the middle of a bomber formation. I guess when massed bomber attacks became a thing of the past there wasn't a need to develop it any further.
 
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Spacepope

Sat May 12, 2001 5:49 am

Yes,there was an A/C called the A-12,but in this case the A stands for Attack.It belongs to a tri-service system of A/C designations that replaced older systems in 1962,the AD Skyraider became the A-1,A4D Skyhawk became the A-4,A2F became A-6,etc.
The Lockheed A-12 was not a military designation,being a Lockheed/CIA designation meaning Article #12.I believe the U-2 also started life as an A designation,but I'm not sure.
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RayChuang
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RE: SR-71 V. A-12

Mon May 14, 2001 11:04 pm

Actually, besides the fact that the SR-71A had a systems operator in addition to the pilot, the SR-71A also had electronic intelligence/signals intelligence (ELINT/SIGINT) equipment that the original CIA A-12's lacked.

The CIA A-12's--which were flown operationally from 1964 to 1969--was limited to cameras for intelligence gathering. And they were extremely fast, too--rumors place the CIA A-12's top speed around Mach 3.5 at 85,000 feet, compared to around Mach 3.2 for the heavier SR-71A.
 
Aero42
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U-2

Mon May 28, 2001 3:26 pm

The U in U-2 stood for utility. In case anyone found out about it, I guess they were hoping that might fool them.
 
jwenting
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RE: SR-71 V. A-12

Mon May 28, 2001 6:42 pm

Another small fact: noone knows what SR stands for. It was originally meant to be RS (reconnaiscance/strike) but apparently someone made a mistake and the wrong designation was filed.
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cobra27
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RE: SR-71 V. A-12

Mon May 28, 2001 8:02 pm

Can somebody post some pics here of a-12
 
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RE: SR-71 V. A-12

Mon May 28, 2001 11:42 pm

SR should really have been RS and stand for Strategic Reconnaissance.The number 71 is from the B for Bomber sequence.It was President Lyndon B. Johnson who mixed up the designations when he unveiled the project to the public in the mid -60's.
Having read through the previous replies to this topic,I realize I've used the designation A-12 whereas it should read A-11!This plane evolved into the F-12 fighter.
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