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September 4, 2010

SR-71 Blackbird Cockpit

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Caption: "As it screams through the air at three times the speed of sound, this jet needs to keep the air flowing through the engines down around 500 mph. The solution: a retractable cone plus a series of doors and bypasses. Pilots monitor this system on a sub-panel of indicators (lower left) while making sure they hit specific speeds at precise altitudes during ascent and descent. This Cold War-era spy jet, retired in 1998, also collected intelligence on itself, with a sort of proto-black box that captured 200-plus data points every three seconds. 'If a pilot screwed up, we could download the tapes and say, 'OK, buddy, here’s what you did wrong,' says Rich Graham, a flight instructor and retired SR-71 pilot."

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[via Wired and Nuclear Toast]

September 4, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

At first glance I thought "Lots of dials!" Then I realised most were controls rather than readouts: the ME262 had about the same number of readouts, or more, circa 1943 (operational 1945...) -
http://www.456fis.org/MESSERSCHMITT/Me262cockpit_color%5B1%5D.jpg

Posted by: John A | Sep 6, 2010 1:02:03 AM

Not much different from the number of variables an anesthesiologist deals with every day, is it?

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Sep 4, 2010 6:31:27 PM

What you don't see is the destruction (of the plane) button, instant or delayed.

Posted by: Joe Peach | Sep 4, 2010 12:30:48 PM

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