Register here

Author Topic: "Big Tail" SR-71 - details of the movable appendage?  (Read 2994 times)

Offline AeroFranz

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Top Contributor
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 2102
"Big Tail" SR-71 - details of the movable appendage?
« on: June 09, 2014, 01:21:29 pm »
I could not find mention of this in other parts of the forum...
One SR-71 (SR-71A #61-7959, now resting at Eglin) was modified with an extended tail, a sting like a SU-27 if you will (although technically the SR-71 precedes it).
I believe this particular bird was sometimes referred to as "Big Tail".
This particular structure housed additional equipment, was movable up and down some eight degrees, and could be used for trim. On takeoff and landings it would be rotated to avoid interference with the landing chute.
Anyone's got some detail of how it was hinged, or more information in general than what is obtainable with Google searches? Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 01:43:14 pm by AeroFranz »
All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics.   TSR.2 got the first three right - Sir Sydney Camm

Offline flateric

  • Deputy Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 8612
Re: "Big Tail" SR-71 - details of the movable appendage?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 03:14:39 pm »
You surely should try to contact Jim Goodall on that stuff...
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline AeroFranz

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Top Contributor
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 2102
Re: "Big Tail" SR-71 - details of the movable appendage?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 06:54:53 pm »
Indeed, my curiosity was prompted by reading his squadron signal volume "SR-71 Blackbird"  :)
Lots of pictures but none showed details of how the tail was actuated.
All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics.   TSR.2 got the first three right - Sir Sydney Camm

Offline flateric

  • Deputy Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 8612
Re: "Big Tail" SR-71 - details of the movable appendage?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 09:39:25 pm »
btw, look-alike beaver tail mechanism on B-2 is considered "touchy" subject
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline DSE

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 444
Re: "Big Tail" SR-71 - details of the movable appendage?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2014, 01:42:20 am »
http://www.sr-71.org/photogallery/blackbird/17959/

SR-71A #61-7959, also known as "Big Tail," is on display at the Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin AFB, FL. The aircraft came off the assembly line like any other SR-71A when it was rolled out on 16 August 1965, but was chosen as the platform for a new set of sensor equipment to be carried in a nine-foot extension from the rear of the aircraft in 1975. The tests demonstrated that there was little performance loss, but that the new sensor equipment proved little advantage. The program to retrofit the new "big tail" to the remaining SR-71s was cut and the aircraft last flew on 29 October 1976.

Offline flateric

  • Deputy Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 8612
Re: "Big Tail" SR-71 - details of the movable appendage?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 12:48:17 am »
Jim Goodall has just posted a whole bunch of stuff on Big Tail at Facebook open group HABU! SR-71
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline AeroFranz

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Top Contributor
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 2102
Re: "Big Tail" SR-71 - details of the movable appendage?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 08:01:17 am »
Thanks, will check that out  ;)
All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics.   TSR.2 got the first three right - Sir Sydney Camm