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Lockheed Archangels: the evolution of the A-12

Jemiba

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As christmas time is coming, I'm looking for angels ... ;) , Lockheed Archangels,
that evetually led to the A-12 and SR-71.
Mainly from Jay Millers "Skunk Works", I have the A-I, A-II, A-6, ...

[images removed - Overscan]
 

Antonio

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Lockheed's SR-71 "Blackbird" Family. James Goodall and Jay Miller by Aerofax.

You'll find here a pretty comprehensive story of Blackbird origins from CL-325

A-1: original hand-made 2 view sketch from Kelly Johnson
A-1 early and late: 3 views from both designs
A-2: model
A-3: early study sketch
A-4: preliminary sketch from Kelly Johnson and model
A-5: it seems that no information exists about this study
A-6: model
A-7: 3 view drawing
A-8 and A-9: it seems that no information exists related to this studies
A-10: model
A-11: drawing
A-12 early: model and drawing
A-12 canard: model
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I highly recommend the latest edition (2002) of the Aerofax by Goodall & Miller, where these are from. Very nice book, and not expensive.
 

SOC

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I read somewhere that one of those drawings attributed to the Archangel series was actually mislabebed, and in fact represents Lockheed's F-108 design. I'll see if I can dig up which drawing it was and where I saw that reference.
 

elmayerle

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Lockheed's F-108/LRIX entries were totally separate from their Archangel efforts though they did show some aerodynamic similarities. I'll have to see what I can dig up on them and get back to you.
 

elmayerle

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Lockheed's F-108/LRIX entries were under the CL-288 and CL-320 study numbers. Since the U-2 derived from CL-282, I rather suspect they were somewhat earlier than the Archangel studies; especially when you consider that the "Suntan" studies were CL-400.
 

flateric

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"This release contains approximately 1,500 pages of material, consisting of about 350 documents, maps, diagrams, and photographs dealing with the A-12 reconnaissance aircraft is occasioned by CIA's acquisition on loan from the Air Force of the eighth A-12 in the production series of 15. Known as Article 128, the aircraft will be on display at the Agency's Headquarters compound in Langley, Virginia. The release also coincides with the publication of CIA's unclassified official history of the A-12, Archangel: CIA's A-12 Supersonic Reconnaissance Aircraft by the Agency's Chief Historian, David Robarge. The newly declassified material will provide researchers on aviation and intelligence with significant additional detail about the design and development of the A-12 -- still the fastest and highest flying piloted operational jet aircraft ever built -- and its use as an intelligence collection platform in East Asia."

http://www.foia.cia.gov/a12oxcart.asp
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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From the declassified A-12 stuff

http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs_full.asp?doc_no=0001465806&title=%28est+pub+date%29+draft+of+inboard+profile&abstract=&no_pages=0002&pub_date=1%2f1%2f1968&release_date=8%2f14%2f2007&keywords=oxcart&case_no=sc%2d2007%2d00001&copyright=0&release_dec=rifpub&classification=u&showpage=0001
 

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Sundog

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still the fastest and highest flying piloted operational jet aircraft ever built

That we know of. ;)

Thanks for the link. BTW, is the book about the A-12 program out, or did they declassify this info to work on the book. I'm a bit confused by that. I've looked for it through Google and Amazon and haven't found any info.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Dunno, but this page only just went live (AFAIK) so the book might not be out there yet.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Several files reference an A-11A powered by two J-93 engines, slightly smaller. No drawings though.
 

Sundog

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I just found this document which is CJ's history of the program. It's very interesting and informative. I had no idea the afterburners of the Kingfish were plastic! It's really interesting for the details of the problems they had in development, such as manufacturing FOD getting sucked in the engines from stuff left in the inlets. I also notice that they've blanked out the name of a location throughout the document. I wonder where it could be and what it's actual name is? ;)

Edit: If anyone finds out what Project Blackshield was, please post it. I'm guessing it has something to do with operational use of the A-12....NM, I guess those were the missions over North Vietnam.
 

flateric

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This is, of course, well-known place named [....] in the waist areas of [....]
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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more
 

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flateric

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What else could we expect from the CIA chief historian when the case is about aircrafts? )
 

flateric

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Shit happens...even with CIA censors...
 

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flateric

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Sundog said:
Edit: If anyone finds out what Project Blackshield was, please post it. I'm guessing it has something to do with operational use of the A-12....NM, I guess those were the missions over North Vietnam.

http://www.wvi.com/~sr71webmaster/kadena.html
http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/imint/pueblo-imagery-1.htm

In short, search of undetected SAM sites in North Viet Nam (initial goal), plus assesing the seizure of the USS Pueblo by North Korean gunboats.

"On 17 May 1967, the first Blackbird support components were airlifted to the island. The mission was called "Black Shield"and was formally sanctioned by President Johnson. The first A12 Article #131 arrived at Kadena on May 22 after a 6 hour, 6 minute flight from Groom Lake, Nevada. A second A12 Article #127 arrived on May 24th and the third aircraft, Article #129 arrived on May 27th after a delay due to INS problems at Wake Island. The Oxcart Detachment unit, with 260 personnel and under the command of Colonel Hugh Slater was declared operationally ready on 29 May 1967. The Black Shield team received authorization for it's first Operational Mission the following day. "
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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They are in "THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY AND OVERHEAD RECONNAISSANCE; THE U-2 AND OXCART".

http://tinyurl.com/youzxl

Careful with viewing for print - it loads all 390 pages, and nearly crashed my machine.
 

Orionblamblam

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overscan said:
They are in "THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY AND OVERHEAD RECONNAISSANCE; THE U-2 AND OXCART".

http://tinyurl.com/youzxl

Careful with viewing for print - it loads all 390 pages, and nearly crashed my machine.

THANKS! Finally, on page 271... actual, verifiable dimensions for Kingfish!
 

flateric

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Seems that we soon should expect Fish and Kingfish in 1/72 from PTM...
 

Orionblamblam

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flateric said:
Seems that we soon should expect Fish and Kingfish in 1/72 from PTM...

You're more right than you might think. I've wanted to do both, but dimensions for Kingfish have been hard to come by, and I didn't want to guess or accept Internet dimensions.

Coupled with Miller's book and drawings, quite a number of the A-series could be done as well, although there'd have to be a lot of guesswork and speculation given that some of them never seemed to go beyond back-of-the-envelope sketches.


PS: I'me currently slowly assembling a 1/72 B-58 model. Make of that what you will...
 

flateric

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https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/a-12/index.html
thanks to Peter Pesavento who monitoring this stuff much often than me
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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More:
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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"Pages from Kelly's sketchbook".I think the fighter sketch just happened to be on the same page,hence the confusion.
 

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Mark Nankivil

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Just came across this link:

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/a-12/index.html

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

TinWing

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It's nice to look back on a success story, a "black" program that was managed with efficiency and a total lack of corruption, despite the absence of any real oversight. You have to marvel at the sheer honesty of Kelly Johnson - all of the funds that passed through his private bank account, for purposes of financial secrecy, actually made their way into the project.

For an intelligence agency, the CIA did a terrific job of managing an aerospace project.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Nice link - but already posted...

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1107.15.html
 

sferrin

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TinWing said:
It's nice to look back on a success story, a "black" program that was managed with efficiency and a total lack of corruption, despite the absence of any real oversight. You have to marvel at the sheer honesty of Kelly Johnson - all of the funds that passed through his private bank account, for purposes of financial secrecy, actually made their way into the project.

For an intelligence agency, the CIA did a terrific job of managing an aerospace project.

To think he actually gave Suntan money BACK. Can't imagine that happening today. More likely you'd have the company sueing the government for some perceived wrong or what have you.
 

flateric

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Mystery is solved - Tony Landis says that AMI/F-108 scetch is made by Johnson after he saw some project documentation at NAR while he was helping with some XB-70 glitches.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Its quite common - in the Hawker P.1103 papers by Ralph Hooper is a drawing of Vicker's rival project which he saw on a visit.
 

sferrin

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flateric said:
made by Johnson after he saw some project documentation at NAR while he was helping with some XB-70 glitches.

That in itself would be an interesting story.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Overscan,

That picture of Kelly Johnson's first sketch (which he called the U-3) do oddly have a number of characteristics in common with the YF-23...

-Trapezoidal wings
-V-tail
-Similar engine and duct locations


KJ Lesnick
 

flateric

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good point, KJ
 
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