Of YF-12, Valkyrie, and Boeing SST

Archibald

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All in the title. I used @archipeppe splendid artwork related to these three flying wonders of the 60's. And put them side by side
- This could never been done OTL because a) Boeing SST was only a model (like Kamelot) trapped in a Seattle hangar
- The 3*YF-12s and 2*Valkyries all hanged out at Edwards / Dryden between 1963 (YF-12) and 1969 (last XB-70 flight) but (damn it) they were never photographed side by side, not even on the ground and even less in flight. There is a picture of a X-15 along a Valkyrie, but the YF-12s are nowhere to be seen. Shame !
- I wanted to scheck these beasts respective sizes and shapes - all three were awesome flying machines pushing the state-of-the-art: Mach 2.7, Mach 3.1 and Mach 3.35, respectively. Titanium, steel, more titanium !

What a time to be at Edwards AFB !

So, behold: the three side by side: at the same size, and not respecting their sizes.

Enjoy !

P.S Maybe I should add a X-15 ? but it would be tiny... very tiny. And Dynasoar would be even smaller !
 

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Archibald

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If you think the Valkyrie was a monster, consider the following fact: at 185 feet long, it was merely two-third the length of the 2707-300... 298 feet; longer than an An-225. And thrice the speed !

A 298 feet long titanium fuselage. Boeing got in touch with Lockheed about titanium manufacturing - and where to buy it (hint: the freakkin' Soviet Union had the purest in the world).
While Lockheed procured its Soviet titanium via the CIA and a host of offshore companies, Boeing directly went to the source and met a soviet delegation in a Paris restaurant. They were building a civilian aircraft, after all.

Concorde (and its Tu-144 "clone") were the size of a Valkyrie at 200 feet long; but the SST would have dwarfed both. That's what it takes to line up 250 passengers on a single deck and a narrow fuselage. No other solution !

The Valkyrie at 246 MTOW tons remains one of the heaviest supersonic aircraft ever - only the Tu-160 bet it at a whopping 277 mt. But the Valk' flew at Mach 3.1 ! Concorde, Tu-144 and the Rockwell B-1 mass 185 tonnes, average.
The SST would have been 700 000 pounds: 317 tonnes ! Also close from Mach 3 (2.7 exactly).

The YF-12 was merely 56 tonnes MTOW - a hummingbird by comparison. Next heaviest fighter is the Tu-128.

Between them, the Tu-22M Backfire is the heaviest supersonic twin jet ever at 126 tonnes MTOW. It takes engines as powerful as the Tu-160 to get it off the ground (and they are probably related, both being Kuznetsov products).

You guess, to push more than 300 tonnes near Mach 3 with only four engines rather than the Valkyrie six, the SST engine produced colossal amounts of thrust.
The GE4 was a scaled-up, improved J93, already not a J85 in thrust by any mean - 13 metric tonnes, and there were six of them.

According to that link, the stock GE4 was 70 000 pounds thrust with the AB.

At 50 000 pounds dry, it was nearly as powerful as a Tu-160 engine... 55 000 pounds with the AB.

And they were planning 75 000 pounds thrust variants either as "leaky turbojet" or without any afterburner. And NASA at some point discussed hydrogen variant of that thing, thus with 2.5 more energy in the fuel.

The GE4 could have lifted a cathedral off the ground.
 

Dew

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- The 3*YF-12s and 2*Valkyries all hanged out at Edwards / Dryden between 1963 (YF-12) and 1969 (last XB-70 flight) but (damn it) they were never photographed side by side, not even on the ground and even less in flight. There is a picture of a X-15 along a Valkyrie, but the YF-12s are nowhere to be seen. Shame !

Carswell AFB '66 & Edwards open houses ?

xb-70-carswell[1].jpg 126b34c754bbdcef0e176f4553d4fe8847c6d1c6[1].jpg 5edhbg7h7gv41[1].jpg
 
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archipeppe

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- The 3*YF-12s and 2*Valkyries all hanged out at Edwards / Dryden between 1963 (YF-12) and 1969 (last XB-70 flight) but (damn it) they were never photographed side by side, not even on the ground and even less in flight. There is a picture of a X-15 along a Valkyrie, but the YF-12s are nowhere to be seen. Shame !

Carswell AFB '66 & Edwards open houses ?

View attachment 664282View attachment 664286View attachment 664287
Way coooool!
 

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