Jump to content

Sled building time


bar side

Recommended Posts

I remember reading books as a kid in the late 70s that hinted about the instance of a legendary black jet that went faster than any other.  Then one day in the early 80s I went to a Mildenhall Airfete and there she was, sitting on static display but looking like she was going very fast.  Then over the next few years she took to the air at these shows, coming in hot from an Atlantic crossing record attempt, and that legendary take off with a string of diamonds from the afterburners.  I got over to the pilots on the static line up for an autograph.

 

nOOS3Ww.jpg
 

The Sled, the Habu or just the Blackbird.  I thought a model of one of these was going to be out of my place range, the Revell talked about a new kit & the Italeri kits dropped their price on eBay.  So I got one

 

USSZkXg.jpg
 

it’s a bit old & a bit battered (some might say rather like the builder).  The kit had a few bits missing but the previous owner had thrown in some extra part that look to have come from either another Italeri or a Testors kit.  So I have 4 engine & outer wing sections, spare glazing & two noses!

 

You forget just the size of a Blackbird.  
 

DirzrLr.jpg
 

So what is the plan?  Well I like the late model very low viz Blackbirds.  Det 4 at Mildenhall is a given, so a diorama of the Blackbird pre flight. I have been doing some building to make the shed too. So one of these

 

49775867828_c369113be8_o.jpg
 

But canopies open & getting ready to go.  I have had a questions thread & have been putting some build updates on another thread but have been persuaded to start a WIP.

 

Thanks to @e8n2, @Antti_K, @71chally, @JeffreyK, @LorenSharp and @Alan P for their help & advice so far.  Thanks for looking in

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got to see a Blackbird in 1990 at the Pratt & Whitney air show, ( actually I still have a copy of the program) but the best part was that they had an engine on display as a separate exhibit, just the engine was bigger than a family car. 
 

Actually the best part of the air show was an air display by two F14s absolutely stunning and because the show was predominantly got P&W employees ( I was working for a subsidiary of P&W at the time and was lucky enough to be in America on training at the time) they did  a few manoeuvres yay they wouldn’t normally be allowed, absolutely stunning. 

Edited by Marklo
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many years ago, I saw a Blackbird flight demonstration at Travis AFB…  she did two flybys, the first slow and the second fast. At the end of the second flyby, the pilot pointed the nose up on the air and the Blackbird simply disappeared! Very, very impressive!!!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds a great show @Marklo The pre Ramstein days of flying along the crowd line and arriving behind you before turning up the golf e where something to see.  Clearly not safe by todays standards but we didn’t know any better back then.  This was the 84 display line up.  Concorde arrived with visitors on the second day but left before the Blackbird display.  I think that was the first time I saw her give a display.  Plenty of good company on there too.

 

7DXOzB9.jpg

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow what an airshow lineup for that era, reminds us how much we've lost in terms of spectacle.

 

Mind you, there wasn't a lot of Eastern Bloc back then 😂

 

I had a great visit to the Hall back in 1988, got a very close-up tour of an SR-71 which had recently returned from a mission (ducking around beneath it as the fuel dropped down!) The thing was still warm from the flight. Good times, lost times 😔

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Alan P said:

Wow what a lineup for that era, reminds us how much we've lost in terms of spectacle.

 

Mind you, there wasn't a lot of Eastern Bloc back then 😂

No, there was not!  And for some reason no Lightning flying in 84.  Funnily enough it was the Dutch F27 doing low level one engine passes trailing smoke that sticks in my mind.  And the Vulcan of course

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Back in the Saddle said:

That was how a perfect air show should look… great variety and some very interesting items on display.

 

Will follow this build with interest! 👍

Yes not many chances to see the Thunderbirds fly in the UK and I suspect a Blackbird and a Concorde was a unique pairing.  Lots that you could change - Shackelton & Lancaster together, TR-1 flying, the aforementioned EE Lightning display & vertical take off, but that was certainly up there with the best. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Alan P said:

Wow what an airshow lineup for that era, reminds us how much we've lost in terms of spectacle.

 

Mind you, there wasn't a lot of Eastern Bloc back then 😂

 

I had a great visit to the Hall back in 1988, got a very close-up tour of an SR-71 which had recently returned from a mission (walking around beneath it as the fuel dropped down!) The thing was still warm from the flight. Good times, lost times 😔

Whenever we took an SR to an airshow (I went with a U-2 once, but we had an SR with us) they always tell the local maintenance and fire dept people that if the aircraft is NOT leaking fuel, then we have a problem.  Sometimes they would also throw lit matches into a puddle of fuel to show that JP-8 would just put the fire out.  It is actually a chemical reaction that is used to light the fuel for engine start.

Later,

Dave

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, e8n2 said:

Sometimes they would also throw lit matches into a puddle of fuel to show that JP-8 would just put the fire out.  It is actually a chemical reaction that is used to light the fuel for engine start.

Yes, isn't that the TEB accelerant they use, makes that lovely green-yellow flame at lightup? Like I say, good times.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the Italeri SR71 in 1/72 when I was a kid and made a copy drawing of the box artwork (it was the same in 1/48 and 1/72).

 

Ah, childhood memories. The Blackbird was kind of a myth for me 12 year old I was then, somewhere between the Foxbat and the MiG 31 Firefox (the latter a work of fiction, of course).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Chief Cohiba said:

I had the Italeri SR71 in 1/72 when I was a kid and made a copy drawing of the box artwork (it was the same in 1/48 and 1/72).

 

Ah, childhood memories. The Blackbird was kind of a myth for me 12 year old I was then, somewhere between the Foxbat and the MiG 31 Firefox (the latter a work of fiction, of course).

I did a 1/72 Blackbird kit as a kid - no ideal what make.  I also remember reading a mid 70s tale of a Blackbird putting out a call as it was low on fuel over the Middle East.  Special permission was needed to get a tanker up from Mildenhall & through French airspace. The reason turned out to be cat & mouse games with a Mig-25 that resulted in excessive fuel use.  All sounded rather exotic to a young me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It didn’t take long to figure that the seats could be better.  So resin replacements are here.  Kit seat on the right.

 

lawbXKJ.jpg
 

Told you I had more parts than a standard kit

 

AQQ3eli.jpg

 

A full double set of engines, bits of body, 2 noses and more

 

First top body bits together and test fitting the cockpit & seats

 

q6ZotGZ.jpg

 

Scribing started.  I know the real thing doesn’t have massive panel lines, so a light scribe & sand down the raised lines.  The canopy will be posed open something like this

 

K2TKttq.jpg

 

I am a bit beyond this stage now, but I will keep the updates coming until I catch up

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I recall correctly, the first Blackbird to visit the Farnborough Air Show way back when, actually took off in California, refueled 2 or 3 times en-route, and then had to turn around over Sweden, as it was traveling so fast it overshot the airshow...

 

Given that it set a new world speed record for that, I wonder how fast it was actually traveling, it between the various slow-downs...?

 

Ed

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, TheRealMrEd said:

If I recall correctly, the first Blackbird to visit the Farnborough Air Show way back when, actually took off in California, refueled 2 or 3 times en-route, and then had to turn around over Sweden, as it was traveling so fast it overshot the airshow...

 

Given that it set a new world speed record for that, I wonder how fast it was actually traveling, it between the various slow-downs...?

 

Ed

That will be this one then

 

https://www.historynet.com/sr-71-blackbird-sets-london-to-l-a-speed-record.htm

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Alan P said:

Yes, isn't that the TEB accelerant they use, makes that lovely green-yellow flame at lightup? Like I say, good times.

Tri Eythel Bromide IIRC.  Not sure on all of the spellings, but yeah, that is what got ignition going.  They had a built-in starter system in the barns at Beale, but they were broke most of the time I was there, so it was mostly the Buicks to get the engines up to speed for ignition.  Very distinctive sound when the Buicks started up.

Later,

Dave

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, bar side said:

I did a 1/72 Blackbird kit as a kid - no ideal what make.  I also remember reading a mid 70s tale of a Blackbird putting out a call as it was low on fuel over the Middle East.  Special permission was needed to get a tanker up from Mildenhall & through French airspace. The reason turned out to be cat & mouse games with a Mig-25 that resulted in excessive fuel use.  All sounded rather exotic to a young me!

Don't know this book, though it reminds me a bit of James Barrington's "Foxbat", which I think starts with retirement or reactivation of a SR71 (can't remember), but obviously is more about the eponymous plane (another little me's favourite).

When reading about the sleds history, there was a similar incident, though, when a mayor accident happened in baltic territory, involving four Viggens and some Foxbats along with our hero. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_SR-71_Blackbird#European_flights Now that would involve some Cold War Greatness.

But let's not hijack this thread... 😉

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the SR-71 at the 1974 Farnborough air show after its record-breaking New York to London flight.

20211116154508-a65762cd-xl.jpg

 

20211116154512-8e0b46e7-xl.jpg

 

20211116154517-307d9ce3-xl.jpg

 


The following photos were taken at Mildenhall on 11 September and show the aircraft being prepared for an attempt on a record east to west flight.  The flight was aborted because of some problem and the record London to LA flight was made on 13 September.

20211116154521-35b4fc90-xl.jpg

 

20211116154525-57eafb0e-xl.jpg

 

20211116154528-19a81261-xl.jpg

 

20211116154532-971521dd-xl.jpg

 

A lot of equipment is needed to get the SR-71 in the air and I have no idea of what is happening.  What is in those pipes -hot air, cold air?


20211116154535-b36b1721-xl.jpg

 

This last photo is of the 330 starter.


Curiously, I have no photos of the actual engine start nor any memory of it.  I can only think that we were taken away to the edge of the runway for photos of the take-off and so missed that part of the procedure.

Mike

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couple of my favourite Blackbird tales.  First the speed check

 

https://partsolutions.com/supersonic-speed-check-tales-from-the-sr-71-blackbird/

 

And the the tale of some Air Cadets in Thetford Forest.  Somewhere I do like to go for concerts and just for a bike ride or walk on a nice summers day


https://theaviationgeekclub.com/story-behind-famed-sr-71-blackbird-super-low-knife-edge-pass/amp/

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now the nose - I have two to ‘pick’ from (sorry, bad pun….)

 

ccMoQeV.jpg

 

I am going to leave the right hand one with the lense glazing in.  The left one is getting plated over and built up a bit underneath to make a synthetic aperture radar nose.  This will be fitted to the airframe, while I have a daft thought to build a little internal structure on the lense nose and make a stand to hold it inside the shed.  Then maybe scratch a camera for it to sit beside it.  Would never happen operationally I am sure, especially not out on detachment.

So first fill the hole

 

YUl2GET.jpg

 

And that is about as far as the nose has got so far.  Need to build it up with plasticard & filler then reshape the underside

 

Started priming up the cockpit & instrument panels too

 

bUnbqtf.jpg

 

Going to pick out the IPs a bit but there is a limit to how much will really be seen in there.  Although I will put a light in there to give a little in cockpit glow.

 

Now I mentioned lights.  I like lights in a build.  It all started with my Harrier

 

ZNo3qr9.jpg
 

There are not a lot of lights on a Blackbird.  Obvious really - is a secret spy plane.  You don’t want it looking like Santas Sleigh (or is that Santas Sled…). But I can have anti collision beacons and a nose wheel taxi lights as well as the cockpit glow light.  Trying out flashing leds to replicate the strobe effect of the anti collision lights

 

P2HSniX.mp4
 

With some colouration and resizing of those extended lights it could work.  This is how they actually look

 

100_7602.jpg
 

The plan is also to be able to tuck a 9v battery inside the tail

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The decals with the kit are a bit shot.  Plus they cover a limited number of airframes.  Two are retained test airframes (955 & 956) and 974 or Ichi Ban and seems to have mainly operated from Kadena before crashing after a compressor failure in 1989.
 

NgkvRTr.jpg


The only option is the white codes and white US Air Force signage.  I fancy an almost entirely black jet with the red code.  Caracal do the decals I am after and although they are currently out of stock I am assure they will be back soon by @CaracalModels

 

The rescribe isn’t a small job but it is coming along

 

DqV1a1u.jpg

 

And the main top & bottom sections are together

 

O0qSngc.jpg

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Alan P said:

Wait...are you saying that Harrier is...a model 😵

 

Expectations for the Habu just went off the scale ☺️ (sorry)

Pressure much!  I was hoping to do a low light shoot with the Blackbird lights on, plus the shed and maybe the portable light unit, so something along the lines of the Harrier I hope.  That was shot on my phone as all mine are

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...