HaveBlue
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How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:45 am

I know a lot about the SR-71 and its siblings the A-12, YF-12 and M-21 and I've seen threads that addressed the fastest combat planes at sea level (Tornado, F-105, F-111 come to mind iirc). But though the Blackbird was designed for 80,000' or so and the thin air up there, what if it was opened up full open on the deck? I would guess the temps would be the limiting thing just like at altitude except that they would be reached quicker with the added air friction of denser air. Still, the way the engines just wanted to go faster the faster you went seems like it would be a contender for fastest on deck.

Also it would cool to have a video made, perspective wise, of what it would be like to be an observer lets say in a balloon at 80,000' and if a Blackbird did a Mach 3.2 flyby at a 1/4 mile or so what that would look like, speed wise. I've often wondered what it would be like to see an aircraft flyby at 2,100mph + but with no point of reference (rockets go that fast and faster but are always at a distance) its hard to imagine.

Anyhow look forward to your alls thougts.
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kc135topboom
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:08 pm

The SR-71, and her sisters were strickly high altitude jets. "On the deck" the SR-71 did have a speed restriction because she was not as manuverable. I do not know for sure, but would think she would be restricted to 400 knots (KIAS) or less. This would make her slower, on the deck, than the F-105, Tornado, or F-111. IIRC the fastest jet on the deck is still the FB-111A/F-111G.

But, I do remember being in the traffic pattern with the SR-71B (I was in my KC-135) at BAB, and she would always be about 1000' higher and 50 knots faster than we were at traffic pattern speeds of around 160 KIAS, or so.
 
rolypolyman
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:54 am

The SR-71 has a max airspeed limit of 450 kt (equivalent airspeed) and design limit speed of 500 kt. At sea level that will be roughly equivalent to ground speed.
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:54 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
IIRC the fastest jet on the deck is still the FB-111A/F-111G.

I cannot quote from a direct link but I was lead to believe that the WR was still for the F4 Phantom (don't know which version), something like between M1.3~M1.4 at sealevel.
[edit post]
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:28 pm

Quoting arniepie (Reply 3):
I cannot quote from a direct link but I was lead to believe that the WR was still for the F4 Phantom

You're probably thinking of the "Sageburner" runs in some of the super-early production F-4H1 models.

http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/gallery/images/f4/d4e-237096.html

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ptrjong
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:40 pm

Aren't fast aircraft also structrual strength limited at low alitude when not designed for it?

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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:52 pm

As well until the SR71 was up to speed at altitude, and the fuselage got hot and expanded, it leaked AVGas like crazy. So lower and slower would mean leakier   .
 
HaveBlue
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:04 pm

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 6):
it leaked AVGas like crazy.

Not to be picky, but it was JP-7.... very different from avgas. But I know what you meant.  
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:40 am

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 5):
Aren't fast aircraft also structrual strength limited at low alitude when not designed for it?

That's basically what the IAS-type airspeeds (KEAS for a supersonic aircraft) are for. They're effectively a measurement of the aerodynamic forces applied to the aircraft. And (roughly speaking), and aircraft doing 100kts (indicated) is subject to the same loads at any altitude, but their true airspeed will be different. So at sea level, while indicating 100kts, the aircraft will be during 100kts true. At 40000ft, with one quarter the air density, it'll be doing 200kts true (while still indicating 100kts), and undergoing the same level of stresses as at 0f/100kts.

The subsonic vs. supersonic distinction does throw a bit of a monkey wrench into that, and some true airspeed related effects (aerodynamic changes at supersonic speeds, thermal effects, flutter) need to be considered as well, but most of those are usually worse for the aircraft at the higher altitudes and true airspeeds.

And to get back to the SR-71 with a 500kts Vmo, at 80000ft (at a density of about 1/27th that of sea level), its true airspeed would be over five times its indicated airspeed (about 2600kts), or about Mach 4.5. The SR-71 is, however, limited to lower speeds, mainly due to thermal and engine inlet issues.
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:30 am

Quoting arniepie (Reply 3):
I cannot quote from a direct link but I was lead to believe that the WR was still for the F4 Phantom (don't know which version), something like between M1.3~M1.4 at sealevel.

The official record is held by an F104 at 988mph set in 1977

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-11514-start-30.html

But one of the posters makes a very valid point, there may be faster jets that just didn't go for the record. The general consensus is that the F-111 is the fastest ever on the deck for sustained speed, an opinion shared by an F4 pilot in the above post. This may be a reflection of real life speed versus a short duration speed run in favourable conditions. IIRC Gust response in Bumps per second is the limiting factor for sustained speed and the F111 and Tornado are king here. The aerodynamics of the Blackbird might make it very susceptible to gust response.
An aircraft not mentioned yet is the F14. Rumours from excercises over the years are that the F14 is the only plane to have ever caught an F-111 at low level. The D model would certainly have all the attributes to lend credence to this.
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:59 pm

How cool would that be to see?! And especially since they are 'cousins' of a shared origin and the only swingwingers we have besides the much larger B-1.
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:58 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 9):
Rumours from excercises over the years are that the F14 is the only plane to have ever caught an F-111 at low level.

I believe that happened at a Red Flag in the early to mid-1980s. IIRC, it was an F-111A that was caught by a F-14A that came in from above for a "gun kill". USN F-14s have tried to catch TAC F-111Fs, and SAC FB-111As, and could not do it.
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:33 pm

Turbulence, shock-wave, and other aerodynamic side-effects at such a speeds and close distance will probably make it dangerous for a hot air balloon  
To better illustrate, notice how fast moving cars can send an aerodynamic shock-wave when they pass? If you are sitting in a stationary car, you can sense your car move when another one passes by close and fast enough.
Imagine that same phenomenon in the situation you described...
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:52 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
I believe that happened at a Red Flag in the early to mid-1980s. IIRC, it was an F-111A that was caught by a F-14A that came in from above for a "gun kill". USN F-14s have tried to catch TAC F-111Fs, and SAC FB-111As, and could not do it.

Good info KC, I wasn't aware of that one.
The interception I was vaguely recollecting was allegedly with an RAAF F111 in late 90's early 2000's with a B/D F14 but despite a bit of research over the last few hours I haven't been able to come up with anything resembling solid info. I'm sure I came across it on a miltary forum on the History Channel website but they've dumped all their old threads so I can't find it. There was a bit of an F14 fanclub/mafia used to post there around f14 retirement time and one of the guys seemed to have a veritable encyclopediac access to operational info. But then it's a general access forum so who knows how reliable he was  

I suppose the whole thing is that this discussion lends credence to the old fighter pilot moto 'speed is life'. We all know that that the SR-71 was proven uninterceptable over hostile territory (The Swedes bagged the odd one but they were intercepting logged flight paths and still failed most of the time) but I've also heard that for its entire operational life the RAF never had a fighter capable of reliably intecepting the Concorde. For a service that operated both the Lightning and Phantom, both record setting interceptors, this speaks volumes about the importance of speed to an interdictor, a fact seemingly lost on contemporary strategists. With the imminent retirement of the Tornado and F111 have we seen the last of meaningful armed supersonic low level penetration?

(I say meaningful as I'm discounting 2 JDAMS on an F22 as a bombing force and everything else seems to be subsonic when loaded A-G) Is the F-15E supersonic with say 6no. 500lb bombs, thats the only one I can think of with a chance of M1+, Su 35 maybe?
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:42 am

quote= HaveBlue reply=0
Quote:
Also it would cool to have a video made, perspective wise, of what it would be like to be an observer lets say in a balloon at 80,000' and if a Blackbird did a Mach 3.2 flyby at a 1/4 mile or so what that would look like, speed wise. I've often wondered what it would be like to see an aircraft flyby at 2,100mph


I don't know about 2,100 mph, but.................

Quite a few years ago, we were motoring out to California and were on a 2 lane road in northern New Mexico, very flat terrain; I saw some small animal near the road and stopped, got out of the car to try to get a picture, and had my camera set up on a tripod; while concentrating on the ( I think it was a ferret ) , suddenly the loudest noise I have ever heard, looked up, and a F-111 with wings fully "tucked" flew right over my head at.........? I really believe he was right at Mach 1, as there was absolutely no sound till he was past, but then there was a WHOLE LOT OF SOUND !

When we arrived at my son's house in Ridgecrest, Ca. I told him about it. ( He is an EE at the Naval Weapons Ctr. China Lake ) He told me that they have a supersonic test "corridor" just south of the main test area, and that it was the only place in the U.S. that the military can make a supersonic pass without going off-shore.

Anyway, after being that close to a near-supersonic flyover, I can tell you it is DEFINITELY a thrill !


I'm sure KC135TopBoom will remember the dates about this, but "way back", when the USAF was flying the B-58 "Hustler", I was living in Middletown, Ohio, and for several months the AF made supersonic flights regularly with the B-58; It was an every day occurrence for a while, and if I'm not mistaken, the "ruckus" it caused had a lot to do with the government doing away with all supersonic flights over the U.S. Does anyone else remember this ?
Even earlier than this, when the F-104 Starfighter was still being tested at Wright-Patterson in Dayton, they were making sonic booms almost every day, right over Dayton and Fairborn. On one occasion, they had some kind of a "demo" for some top "brass", and there were several guys with stars on their uniforms, sitting on bleachers that had been set up to "observe" an F-104 do a "on the deck" near-mach 1 fly-by; the pilot apparently "goofed" and was at above mach 1 as he executed his pass; the resulting "BOOM" cause GREAT consternation among the "dignitaries", and it was reported that the pilot was "taken to task" ! ( Would love to see a video of that "incident" ! )

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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:19 pm

Quoting Geezer (Reply 14):
When we arrived at my son's house in Ridgecrest, Ca. I told him about it. ( He is an EE at the Naval Weapons Ctr. China Lake ) He told me that they have a supersonic test "corridor" just south of the main test area, and that it was the only place in the U.S. that the military can make a supersonic pass without going off-shore.

Is that still true anymore? When we're digging dinosaurs up in central MT, we get twice daily sonic booms from the MTANG F-15s that come out of Great Falls. They can be quite loud if they're close enough.
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:13 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 13):
With the imminent retirement of the Tornado and F111 have we seen the last of meaningful armed supersonic low level penetration?

The F-15E can go supersonic on the deck with some weapons loads, but not reall heavy ones.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 14):
I'm sure KC135TopBoom will remember the dates about this, but "way back", when the USAF was flying the B-58 "Hustler", I was living in Middletown, Ohio, and for several months the AF made supersonic flights regularly with the B-58; It was an every day occurrence for a while, and if I'm not mistaken, the "ruckus" it caused had a lot to do with the government doing away with all supersonic flights over the U.S. Does anyone else remember this ?
Even earlier than this, when the F-104 Starfighter was still being tested at Wright-Patterson in Dayton, they were making sonic booms almost every day, right over Dayton and Fairborn.

In the mid 1960s the DOD stopped most supersonic trainig over the CONUS, but not all.

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 15):
Quoting Geezer (Reply 14):
When we arrived at my son's house in Ridgecrest, Ca. I told him about it. ( He is an EE at the Naval Weapons Ctr. China Lake ) He told me that they have a supersonic test "corridor" just south of the main test area, and that it was the only place in the U.S. that the military can make a supersonic pass without going off-shore.

Is that still true anymore? When we're digging dinosaurs up in central MC Airlines (United Kingdom)">MT, we get twice daily sonic booms from the MTANG F-15s that come out of Great Falls. They can be quite loud if they're close enough.

There are a few that are over unpopulated on very low populated areas for use by the USAF, USN, and USMC. The Red Flag area is one of those where jets are allowed to go supersonic. But most of the supersonic training is done not far off the coast lines.
 
474218
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:49 pm

The SR-71's (and related airframes) speed at low altitude was limited by several item's. The most relevant being that the spikes did not function below 30,000 feet. With the spike in the full forward position operation was limited to Mach 1.6.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:08 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
The SR-71's (and related airframes) speed at low altitude was limited by several item's. The most relevant being that the spikes did not function below 30,000 feet. With the spike in the full forward position operation was limited to Mach 1.6.

I wouldn't say that's the 'most relevant' simply because most of the above posters are saying that it wasn't even capable of going supersonic on the deck at all, being restricted to 450 knots operationally and 500 knots definitively. So spike or no spike it wasn't going supersonic, if there information is correct.

Also that is interesting about the spikes not being able to be moved until above 30,000'. Never heard that. What would be the reasoning? And since they could be used manually, what would prevent the pilot overriding any restriction the auto inlets might have and doing what he wanted with them?
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:46 pm

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 18):
Also that is interesting about the spikes not being able to be moved until above 30,000'. Never heard that.


My room mate in the USAF was the "spike expert" he use to do the spike calibrations. But all I know about them is what In have read:

Wings Magazine Vol. 8 page 42. A-12 test flight: Once airborne with landing gear retracted, bypass doors close automatically. At Mach 1.4 bypass doors modulate automatically to maintain proper pressure ratio...at 30,000 feet inlet spike unlocks and begins rearward translation at 1.6 Mach and is fully retracted at Mach 3.2.
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:41 am

Quoting spudh (Reply 9):
An aircraft not mentioned yet is the F14. Rumours from excercises over the years are that the F14 is the only plane to have ever caught an F-111 at low level. The D model would certainly have all the attributes to lend credence to this.
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
I believe that happened at a Red Flag in the early to mid-1980s. IIRC, it was an F-111A that was caught by a F-14A that came in from above for a "gun kill". USN F-14s have tried to catch TAC F-111Fs, and SAC FB-111As, and could not do it.

Word over on pprune is that a MIG-23 flown for test and evaluation also ran down an F111 at low level. Can't vouch for the authenticity of that story, though.
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:21 am

Quoting B595 (Reply 20):
Word over on pprune is that a MIG-23 flown for test and evaluation also ran down an F111 at low level. Can't vouch for the authenticity of that story, though.

Well, yes, and no. It was an ex-Egyption AF Mig-23MS (USAF designation was the F-113A) that spotted a F-111 as it flew, on the Red Flag range, under him and scored a simulated missile kill with a simulated AA-2A (reversed engineered AIM-9B Sidewinder).

On the deck, the Mig-23MS has a max speed of M 1.1 (slower with wing mounted stores, like missiles), in comparison to the F-111A (considered the slowest operational version of the F-111 series) of M 1.25 (slower if it is carrying wing mounted stores)
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:36 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
In the mid 1960s the DOD stopped most supersonic trainig over the CONUS, but not all.

Back when I was in UPT (1984) we still did a "Zoom and Boom" ride as part of the syllabus in the T-38 - make an afterburner climb to 30-something thousand feet, level off and let it go supersonic (M1.05 or so) for a short time, then slow down and head home.
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:08 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 13):
With the imminent retirement of the Tornado and F111 have we seen the last of meaningful armed supersonic low level penetration?
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):

The F-15E can go supersonic on the deck with some weapons loads, but not reall heavy ones.

You guys are forgetting the Su-24  
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:49 am

I have heard that the Saab Draken should be one of the fastest on the deck. At least it was the fastest ever in the Royal Danish Air Force.

With external fuel tanks gone and carrying one anti shipping missile it was said to be able to do Mach 1.3 on the deck.

The Danish Drakens (Saab designation A35XD - Attack-35-eXport-Denmark) were rather special, somewhat beefed up structure and being optimized for ground- (mostly sea-) attack making shipping in the Baltic Sea potentially rather dangerous during the later two decades of the Cold War. They would attack ships "below radar" at supersonic speed. But range was very limited, much shorter than the somewhat slower F-16s which replaced them.

All other Drakens (in Sweden, Finland and later Austria) were optimized as interceptor or recce planes.
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:09 am

Quoting spudh (Reply 13):
but I've also heard that for its entire operational life the RAF never had a fighter capable of reliably intecepting the Concorde.

Lightning managed it once, don't know of anything else doing it. Of course some SAMs are very much faster and longer ranged, so I'm sure those would knock it out.

The thing with Concorde was that it flew very fast for sustained long periods of time, longer than a lot of other "interceptor" type planes would do (ie, run for hours at M2.02), and it could change course and render itself out of range, or very difficult to chase down.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 14):
and a F-111 with wings fully "tucked" flew right over my head at.........?

There is nothing else like that.   Now I'm pretty "blah" when it comes to most planes, but F-111 is one of the few that interests me. Shame they are all gone.  
Quoting spudh (Reply 13):
With the imminent retirement of the Tornado and F111 have we seen the last of meaningful armed supersonic low level penetration?

I think so. Drone aircraft seem to be the better option.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 14):
I've often wondered what it would be like to see an aircraft flyby at 2,100mph

Mr Gaddafi could probably tell you.   He's almost certainly seen it - or at least heard them. He was on television giving an interview to journalists when the distinctive audible signature of the SR-71 caused his group to scatter. The crew flying that mission also got to see it on TV.  
 
474218
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:22 am

Quoting cpd (Reply 25):
Mr Gaddafi could probably tell you. He's almost certainly seen it - or at least heard them. He was on television giving an interview to journalists when the distinctive audible signature of the SR-71 caused his group to scatter. The crew flying that mission also got to see it on TV.


By the time Qaddafi heard it, it was miles away and at 80,000 feet, seeing it was not in the cards.
 
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cpd
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:23 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 26):
By the time Qaddafi heard it, it was miles away and at 80,000 feet, seeing it was not in the cards.

Yeah I know.   Didn't think I needed to be specific. Surely you'd see a condensation trail from it though, given the right conditions, even if for a short time. (And I realise that would be a big problem).

[Edited 2011-02-28 20:37:47]
 
HaveBlue
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:04 am

Quoting cpd (Reply 25):
The thing with Concorde was that it flew very fast for sustained long periods of time, longer than a lot of other "interceptor" type planes would do (ie, run for hours at M2.02), and it could change course and render itself out of range, or very difficult to chase down

While that is impressive, the much larger XB-70 could do Mach 3+ for the same length of time and the Blackbirds could do Mack 3.2 for over an hour.
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B595
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:25 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
Well, yes, and no. It was an ex-Egyption AF Mig-23MS (USAF designation was the F-113A) that spotted a F-111 as it flew, on the Red Flag range, under him and scored a simulated missile kill with a simulated AA-2A (reversed engineered AIM-9B Sidewinder).

On the deck, the Mig-23MS has a max speed of M 1.1 (slower with wing mounted stores, like missiles), in comparison to the F-111A (considered the slowest operational version of the F-111 series) of M 1.25 (slower if it is carrying wing mounted stores)


The claim here (link) is that the look-down missile engagement happened only at the end of a low-level overtake:

"I know a couple of fellows who did quite a bit more than 700 knots at low level in the MiG-23 during US exploitations of the type.

The VNe was 860 knots, and one of them is adamant that he witnessed a squadron mate exceed 900.

On this particular occasion, the pilot accidentally overtook two FB-111As enroute to their target in the Nellis ranges, popping up for a GCI vector a number of miles in front of them having initially started in a stern-conversion intercept!"


In fairness, doesn't sound like the F-111 crews knew they were being chased. But, then again, two others claim that the MiG-23 could reach 900 kts on page 5 here (link)(posts 89,90)

So, perhaps the published limit of M 1.1 is a bit conservative?

Interesting stories whatever the case...
 
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RE: How Fast Could A Blackbird Go On The Deck?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:51 pm

Quoting cpd (Reply 27):
Surely you'd see a condensation trail from it

It varies with atmospheric conditions, but there is an altitude band in which contrails will form. Normal SR-71 operations were above that band, and I would think the F-22 guys always know where the top of it is.

Tephigram- "An aerological map on which temperatures and potential temperatures (pot temp) are marked along the X- and Y-axes, respectively. Tephigrams are used to ascertain the stability of the atmosphere. Information about the MINTRA level i.e., the minimum flight level above which contrails will form) and the DRYTRA level (i.e., the maximum flight level above which condensation trails will not form) are also obtained from the tephigram." (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Aviation)
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