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Aircraft And Military Development & Applications
This jet was an American interceptor prototype with a top speed of mach 3.35. It looked almost like the SR-71 Blackbird and featured three Air-to-Air missiles. The reason for it looking a lot like the SR-71 was because the SR-71 was based on the YF-12, and also because both of them had the same designer, the extremely famous Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. Only 3 YF-12’s were built but the program still made it into the history books with its “highest speed”, “highest altitude” (both of these were later surpassed by the Blackbird) and “biggest interceptor” records.
Maximum speed: 3,661 km/h (2,275 mph) Range: 2,983 mi Maiden flight: 07 Aug 1963 Length: 101.67 ft Wingspan: 55.61 ft Passengers: 2
The Lockheed YF-12 was a prototype aircraft developed by the Lockheed Corporation in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The massive two-person plane was built to intercept enemy aircraft at Mach 3 speeds.
Testing of the YF-12 was completed over Area 51, the U.S. Air Force's top-secret test and training range, located in a remote part of southern Nevada. Many of the YF-12 flights were used to hide the identity of the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft, which was being tested at the same time for the CIA.
The YF-12 made its first flight in 1963, and had a reported top speed of Mach 3.2 (2,070 mph, or 3,330 km/h) at an altitude of 80,000 feet (24,400 m). The U.S. Air Force eventually cancelled the program, but the YF-12 made a number of research flights for the Air Force and NASA until 1978.
Crew: 2; pilot and fire control officer (FCO)
Length: 101 ft 8 in (30.97 m)
Wingspan: 55 ft 7 in (16.95 m)
Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
Wing area: 1,795 ft² (167 m²)
Aspect ratio: 1.7
Empty weight: 60,730 lb (27,604 kg)
Loaded weight: 124,000 lb (56,200 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 140,000 lb (63,504 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney J58/JTD11D-20A afterburning turbojet with compressor bleed bypass
Dry thrust: 20,500 lbf (91.2 kN) each
Thrust with afterburner: 31,500 lbf (140 kN) each
Maximum speed: Mach 3.35 (2,275 mph, 3,661 km/h) at 80,000 ft (24,400 m)
Range: 3,000 mi (4,800 km)
Service ceiling: 90,000 ft (27,400 m)
Rate of climb: 11820 ft/m (60 m/s)
Missiles: 3× Hughes AIM-47A air-to-air missiles located internally in fuselage bays
Number built: 3
Unit cost: US$15-18 million (projected)
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Nigel G Wilcox
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