The Insane Engineering of the SR-71 Blackbird

18 apr. 2020
5 730 933 Weergaven

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Writer/Narrator: Brian McManus
Editor: Stephanie Sammann (
Animator: Mike Ridolfi (
Sound: Graham Haerther (
Thumbnail: Simon Buckmaster

Thank you to AP Archive for access to their archival footage.
Music by Epidemic Sound:
Desert Dew - Alec Slayne
Waltzer - Dye O
Striwal - Pulsed
Night Vibes - Moon Craters
Inspir8ion - Pulsed
Papaya Island - Dye O
Only on the Surface - David Celeste
Thank you to my patreon supporters: Adam Flohr, Henning Basma, Hank Green, William Leu, Tristan Edwards, Ian Dundore, John & Becki Johnston. Nevin Spoljaric, Jason Clark, Thomas Barth, Johnny MacDonald, Stephen Foland, Alfred Holzheu, Abdulrahman Abdulaziz Binghaith, Brent Higgins, Dexter Appleberry, Alex Pavek, Marko Hirsch, Mikkel Johansen, Hibiyi Mori. Viktor Józsa, Ron Hochsprung

  • Going to share some nice 4k wallpapers from our 3D models over on twitter shortly. Here's the link if would like to snag some of those.

    Real EngineeringReal EngineeringJaar geleden
    • In the 90's when I was in high school the discovery channel would do mini-docs of 30 or 60 minutes on different pieces of military equipment. Of course they covered the SR-71. They interviewed one of the pilots that had a missile fired at him. I believe it was a Russian missile. The pilot said the plane saw speeds that still hadn't been published and his eyes got REAL BIG as he was saying it.

      The Opinion of MattThe Opinion of MattMaand geleden
    • I couldn’t find the wallpapers on Twitter, is there another place to find them?

      jimbox31jimbox31Maand geleden
    • It's the official jet of Marvel's X-Men!

      Oscar JonesOscar Jones2 maanden geleden
    • So essentially, it was a impractical aircraft.

      Leo MartinLeo Martin3 maanden geleden
    • Honestly series like these and seeing cool advanced tech like this is always nice :D

      King of IPGKing of IPG3 maanden geleden
  • And all of this done in 18 months with slipsticks (slide rules). The only computer was the one between Kelly Johnson's ears.

    CbmechCbmech17 uur geleden
  • God Bless Our Country. That we have folks who can design, build and operate such a craft. Who can doubt that God’s Hand rests upon America?

    Odd giraffe MemesOdd giraffe Memes20 uur geleden
  • Hey that's me

    Sr-71 BlackbirdSr-71 BlackbirdDag geleden
  • This is probably obvious, but that mach 3.2 figure is speed across the ground, not IAS right?

    Bill FBill F2 dagen geleden
  • The XB-70 Valkyrie was a 60s plane that could fly at Mach 3.1, close to the SR-71 There are also many other fighter planes that go almost as fast as the blackbird MiG-31E Fighter - Mach 2.83 MiG-25 Foxbat - Mach 2.83 F-15E Strike Eagle - Mach 2.5 Su-27SK - Mach 2.35

    PeppermintPeppermint2 dagen geleden
  • I miss this plane. I've always dreamed or piloting one. Beautiful

    RA DiabolikalRA Diabolikal5 dagen geleden
  • I think NATO should bring the blackbird back to take a peek at North Korea

    -Omega Zero--Omega Zero-6 dagen geleden
    • Nato???? Only USA not nato

      Harry SanjayaHarry Sanjaya4 dagen geleden
  • I like to think this plane is the missing link between jets and space rockets

    -Omega Zero--Omega Zero-6 dagen geleden
  • Imagine seeing one of these flying by but pink😂😂

    n31v1v 114hn31v1v 114h6 dagen geleden
  • am i the only one who thinks this guy look like and sounds like jacksepticeye

    bladekile gamingbladekile gaming10 dagen geleden
  • Could you mention the soundtrack at 5:36? Thanks.

    Haroon RiazHaroon Riaz11 dagen geleden
  • This plane had a navigation system called R2D2- it navigated with the help of stars. And yes this is where the star wars robot has it’s name from

    Aljaž JeramAljaž Jeram11 dagen geleden
  • As an English man, who lives in Barrow in Furness, where the Dreadnought Nuclear submarines are built

    the ghostthe ghost11 dagen geleden
  • Quite possibly the most badass thing human's have ever created. SR71.

    utah wanderlust700utah wanderlust70012 dagen geleden
  • Can this plane hover.sware I saw one sitting in the sky.

    It's a mechanic life garageIt's a mechanic life garage12 dagen geleden
  • 3:19 𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞 ➜ 》》 𝙊𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝘼𝙙𝙪𝙡𝙩 《《 在整個人類歷史上,強者,富人和具有狡猾特質的人捕食部落,氏族,城鎮,城市和鄉村中的弱者,無`'守和貧窮成員。然而,人類的生存意願迫使那些被拒絕,被剝奪或摧毀的基本需求的人們找到了一種生活方式,並繼續將其DNA融入不斷發展的人類社會。 說到食物,不要以為那些被拒絕的人只吃垃圾。相反,他們學會了在被忽視的肉類和蔬菜中尋找營養。他們學會了清潔,切塊,調味和慢燉慢燉的野菜和肉類,在食品市場上被忽略的部分家用蔬菜和肉類,並且學會了使用芳香的木煙(如山核桃,山核桃和豆科灌木 來調味食物煮的時候%^%^ 1619433065

    Mia Mhay NavaMia Mhay Nava12 dagen geleden
  • Nothing came close and even today nothing comes close...

    barracuda7018barracuda701812 dagen geleden
  • Time Stamps for those interested in a specific topic 0:00-1:12 Introduction 1:13-8:00 Powerplant(P&W J58) 8:01- 10:06 Fuel Storage System 10:07- 11:50 Fuel Efficiency, Range, and Endurance 11:51-12:13 Aérothermodynamics 12:14-13:27 JP-7(SR-71 Fuel) 13:28-14:43 Purpose of the Black Paint 14:44-16:44 Construction Material 16:45- 17:17 SR-71 Technology used in New Projects(SR-72) 17:18-18:33 Advertisment for CuriousityStream 18:34-18:55 Closing Remarks Hopefully that Helps ❤️

    Ari ParkerAri Parker13 dagen geleden
  • The Oxcart can outrun the sun, bleed fuel on the ground, and breeeth air, unstart because of air, and bleed more air inside itself while making pulse diamonds on autopilot.

    Kevin ValentineKevin Valentine13 dagen geleden
  • just 200 years prior to its invention the fastest way to travel was on the back of 4 legs.

    jake hartjake hart15 dagen geleden
  • I have a book of this topic... Your video was pretty much it in a thousandth of the time and free lol

    Uncreeperble GamingUncreeperble Gaming15 dagen geleden
  • 15:07 Dwight??

    rusttynail77rusttynail7716 dagen geleden
  • "These ducks."

    HKfortysevenHKfortyseven17 dagen geleden
  • I have watched this 10 times now thanks youtube i love this video

    legendarygaminglegendarygaming17 dagen geleden
  • Why can't the engine operate with air going supersonic inside?

    Artem AgeevArtem Ageev17 dagen geleden
  • Only God and the CIA will ever know the true top speed. Angels or demons could have assisted in it's construction. Kelly Johnson was one or the other.

    donald agnordonald agnor17 dagen geleden
  • after fual balancing wings at mack 5 and above aero dynamics

    Donald HaddoxDonald Haddox19 dagen geleden
  • the spring cone handled very high speeds

    Donald HaddoxDonald Haddox19 dagen geleden
  • ill make 1some day

    Sweeney GodSweeney God20 dagen geleden
  • When I was in 3rd grade, one of my teachers had flown one of these for a living before retiring from the Air Force. I'm 46 now. It's insane that such a futuristic looking aircraft has been around so damn long. It's a gorgeous machine.

    grimcitygrimcity20 dagen geleden
  • Baddest airplane ever! I got to sit in the cockpit of NASA 944 at Edwards Air Force Base while waiting to support a Space Shuttle landing that happened later in the day. It was a very special day.

    Charlie RomeoCharlie Romeo20 dagen geleden

    Andrew JAndrew J20 dagen geleden

    King ᴘɪɴϙᴜKing ᴘɪɴϙᴜ20 dagen geleden

    King ᴘɪɴϙᴜKing ᴘɪɴϙᴜ20 dagen geleden
  • USA - "We require titanium for 'stuff' " Russia - "OK."

    K McKinlayK McKinlay20 dagen geleden
  • Even though the SR-71 is only a spy plane, couldn’t the US military modify it to be a high altitude bomber or high speed bomber. Sacrifice speed or higher in exchange for bombs. And since it’s so fast after dropping the bombs it could speed up and get out before their shot down.

    VelocityVelocity20 dagen geleden
  • Me during the whole video: Ah yes mach speed = fast

    TatalinoTatalino20 dagen geleden
  • I have a breakdown and mini stroke putting IKEA furniture together. They built this 60 years ago. ☹️

    Burnt ReynoldsBurnt Reynolds21 dag geleden
  • ...until China hacks it.

    Greg ZapfGreg Zapf21 dag geleden
    • Cars can't be hacked, and so are planes

      Double Wide SupriseDouble Wide Suprise20 dagen geleden
  • I think one of the coolest A12 / SR-71 stories is how the CIA set up shell companies to purchase titanium from Russia, to use to make planes to spy on them.

    PalanthisPalanthis21 dag geleden
  • Another Feat of Engineering We Supposedly Can't Repeat ??

    Lancer XLancer X21 dag geleden
  • It’s shit like this, and the b-2 spirit that drove me to believe aliens exist

    Wingman46Wingman4621 dag geleden
  • Damn. Kelly Johnson really got the brain of a damn genius

    DennyAutoDennyAuto21 dag geleden
  • Peter thiel is right..we have become stagnant

    vic vicvic vic21 dag geleden
  • "The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. A strategic long-range reconnaissance aircraft capable of mach 3 and an altitude of 85000 feet!!!"

    TomTom22 dagen geleden
  • Imagine bullying Kelly johnson in grade school just to learn he became a famous name in military and world history

    Mark RosehartMark Rosehart22 dagen geleden
  • OMG!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bryan MBryan M24 dagen geleden
  • actually the fuel for the black bird was special destined and was many times more expensive than regular jet fuel

    LUCAS YARGOLUCAS YARGO24 dagen geleden
  • if it was so secret, why is it so well documented? publicly?

    Kipper KlankKipper Klank25 dagen geleden
  • Who’s here from Tiktok?

    MP La VRG TodosMP La VRG Todos26 dagen geleden
  • Now this was insane in the 50s you can't tell me that great minds havnt created a faster beautiful monster

    BEYOND IT AllBEYOND IT All26 dagen geleden
  • I don't know. I don't think they can last long. They're useless after a flight or two from what I have heard.

    dokkirodokkiro27 dagen geleden
  • The vivacious hobbies bacteriologically kneel because permission preferably squeak since a loutish wealth. vigorous, rough composition

    Elinore BurchettElinore Burchett27 dagen geleden
  • So how'd the camera stay cool and not melt? Along with the film and the engineering behind the windshield to withstand that temperature

    TheBoss95TheBoss9528 dagen geleden
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    Ker LozKer Loz28 dagen geleden
  • The unused tornado parallely drain because kettle finally improve beneath a gleaming call. scary, pushy white

    Zem KhanZem Khan28 dagen geleden
  • I reccomend "More than my share of it" a fabulous book on Kelley Johnson.

    James PinkJames Pink29 dagen geleden
  • This is crazy engineering

    Aruwi HikamuAruwi Hikamu29 dagen geleden
  • It's called, Reverse Engineering. Nice copy.

    Mellody BMellody BMaand geleden
  • Insane is an understatement, wow.

    Craig WatkinsCraig WatkinsMaand geleden
  • I did not understand anything. So it must be great engineering

    Shankar 400Shankar 400Maand geleden
  • The abrupt cycle continuously flower because ray family mate afore a impartial egg. remarkable, gaping piccolo

    Grego AdamekGrego AdamekMaand geleden
  • From the era of slide rules and #2 pencils comes one of the most technologically advanced pieces of engineering ever. Setting records even on her last flight. Superb film! Excellent presentation!

    Jim HummelJim HummelMaand geleden
  • God's favorite plane. It shall be 72 cubits long by 37 cubits wide. It shall fly like a blackbird but faster. It shall travel 460,000 stadia in one days time. On this plane you shall carry two people . . yes, only two.

    Fireball XL5Fireball XL5Maand geleden
  • What a mental piece of modern engineering

    Hello? Yes, this is ChiefHello? Yes, this is ChiefMaand geleden
  • The SR71 was also based at RAF/USAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, UK. Which was also the USAF inflight refuelling tanker base. For a mission over central Europe, I have been told that the first sign of it happening was for at least 2 tankers to take off to get into position. The SR71 would take off only half? fuelled, do a refuelling over the Wash (area of the sea north of Norfolk) then head in towards its target. Do a refuelling before the mission run. Then another refuelling before heading home. All that is left for the eagle eyed people that have been on Mildenhall base for airshows (many years ago) is a SR71 shaped imprint in the concrete, about the size of your hand at the corners of the hanger it was kept in. Never saw it take off but did see it flying a couple of times as a kid in the early 80's. Amazing plane and probably the best ever built. Also from a book I read about it, most of the Titanium back then was being mined in Russia, so to build the SR71 the CIA set up many fake companies around the world to source the Titanium needed and get it shipped back to the states, all so they could build a plane to spy on Russia! (I hope I have got that right, I gave that book to a friend many years ago).

    Paul WarrilowPaul WarrilowMaand geleden
  • It was painted black because it looked cool.

    Jokey CarrotJokey CarrotMaand geleden
  • Wasn’t this stolen from Russia

    Nehal khanNehal khanMaand geleden
    • Russia don't have plane like this "This design" Edit- this is the world fastest plane

      ishan rukshanishan rukshan26 dagen geleden
    • Nope

      ishan rukshanishan rukshan26 dagen geleden
  • there’s something called the Black Knight Satellite it’s basically a funky looking space rock that’s been orbiting us for a while there’s a conspiracy that it’s actually an alien ship due to its plane like shape to me it legit looks like a hybrid Black Bird it’s a crazy plane that was ahead of its time and proof that we had crazy tech even in the 60s

    Fak theRabbitFak theRabbitMaand geleden
  • Slide-rules, baby...

    Hugh-John FlemingHugh-John FlemingMaand geleden
  • If you are interested ther is a book on audible called Skunk Works that tells the story of the company through the decades and different projects including this gorgeous beast

    Carlos MedinaCarlos MedinaMaand geleden
  • what gave it its range was that it was going so fast that it covered the distance so fast tht the pumping of fuel vs speed made its range

    Bob ThompsonBob ThompsonMaand geleden
  • this was insane tech in 1960s just imagine what they have

    MRdickinsonMRdickinsonMaand geleden
  • RUBBISH! I could make this in 2 minutes in Kerbal Space Program. Fake news!

    Put BluntlyPut BluntlyMaand geleden
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    엄혜민엄혜민Maand geleden
  • Have to correct you on that. Unlike a piston engine, the burning of fuel in a jet engine does not increase the pressure of the gas flow, it increases it's temperature and velocity. If the pressure was to increase then the flow of gas would stop and reverse directions (compressor stall), flow always goes from high pressure to low pressure.

    wally7wally7Maand geleden
  • The SR-71, it didn't have wings, it WAS a wing, carved like a body, if the craft was the size of a b1 bomber with size ratio engine of a modern fighter jet that can verticle lift, It could be a SSTO starship with just a rocket transition, to nuclear amp energy rocket(solar orbit). Secret service pointed the end of pipe barrels at heads of many top scientists & engineers to master this historcal craft. Which we see inspiring into Skylon today.

    Ck digital The Q of 6thCk digital The Q of 6thMaand geleden
  • The wrong bike grossly suppose because gasoline spindly admire lest a necessary train. sour, mixed head

    Katy LoraKaty LoraMaand geleden
  • Kelly had a great team. With Kelly at the helm, they created the most impressive aircraft to ever fly the skies, still the world's fastest air breathing engine powered to this day! And she's been decommissioned since the 90s I believe

    Stevie JoStevie JoMaand geleden
  • The uttermost rabbit clinically instruct because probation perioperatively stain about a melted washer. yummy, romantic bait

    Nguyen Thien DiNguyen Thien DiMaand geleden
  • I've watched just about every SR71 documentary, and it never quells the pride I feel. From a little kid playing with the miniatures, to model airplanes of the thing, to an engineer that gets the work of thousands of engineers and scientists, it never gets old.

    Jeremy PickettJeremy PickettMaand geleden

    Sly FuchsSly FuchsMaand geleden
  • I’d like to do a restomod of an SR-71

    HuxxyHuxxyMaand geleden
  • Actually you can see the inky black of space at 30,000 just fine.

    Charge0CompleteCharge0CompleteMaand geleden
  • 👍🏻

    Luis GuevaraLuis GuevaraMaand geleden
  • The fact that the engineers calculated all the math using slide rules is the true marvel for me.

    supersonicsupersonicMaand geleden
  • Land of the free, if we can demand you pay to oppress others.

    Jauffe JauffresonJauffe JauffresonMaand geleden
  • 9:46 Dry bay areas basically 1 liter per minute of leakage FOR EACH SIDE lol

    TrinidadTrinidadMaand geleden
  • It would be really interesting if their career one day ends, to mount an autopilot and a bunch of sensors on one of them, gun the engines to full throttle at a slight high-altitude climb, and see how fast it can REALLY go before breaking up.

    Hal NordmannHal NordmannMaand geleden
  • At 15:00 he legit said "Strength to rate watio"

    Boudhayan GuptaBoudhayan GuptaMaand geleden
  • When you realize it can go much faster than Mach 3

    theboshowtheboshowMaand geleden
  • Gotta hand it to all engineering of 50’s/60’s most done w/o computer ... geniuses ...!!!! Amazing!!!!

    Tom DaleTom DaleMaand geleden
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  • Have to they're bobing Russia

    Cuote AOTXCuote AOTXMaand geleden
  • この時代にマッハ5、高度20000m以上の偵察能力を得たSR71を作った Skunk Works 本当にすごいですね(U2も最高ですが)。 今、Skunk Works は何を開発しているか知りたいですね?

    アイランドブルースアイランドブルースMaand geleden
  • and still, nothing can catch it to this day

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  • Thank you.🇺🇸🇺🇳✝️♾️🗽

    Tim MonbrodTim MonbrodMaand geleden