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CIA history of the A-12

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CIA history of the A-12

Old 10th Jul 2020, 16:19
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CIA history of the A-12

Interesting with some good photos.

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-f...ion-2Feb12.pdf

it helps when I add the attachment.

Last edited by West Coast; 10th Jul 2020 at 17:30. Reason: Add attachment
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 16:27
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
Interesting with some good photos.
Secret Photos?

CG
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 16:33
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Stealth ... The Early Years.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 16:36
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Clearly, a Need to Know project
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 16:37
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Is this what you are talking about?

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-f...ion-2Feb12.pdf
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 16:52
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I love the fact that the titanium ore used to make the A12 and SR71 was clandestinely purchased from the Soviet Union.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 17:32
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Originally Posted by Dan Winterland View Post
I love the fact that the titanium ore used to make the A12 and SR71 was clandestinely purchased from the Soviet Union.
Yes, some of the lesser known facts such as that are quite interesting. Also found it interesting that the water chlorination in Burbank came into play when dealing with titanium manufacturing.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 17:33
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Is this what you are talking about?

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-f...ion-2Feb12.pdf
Yes sir, that’s the one.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 20:50
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Back in the late 70s my dad was responsible for U-2 and SR-71 flights looking at the Warsaw Pact nations. Shortly after Y2K I bought a book for him for Christmas about U-2 and SR-71 operations in Europe. His eyes got huge when he saw it. "These pictures are classified." A different era for sure.

Last edited by LTCTerry; 10th Jul 2020 at 20:51. Reason: Fixed a typo
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 21:11
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Thanks West Coast, have saved that for a leisurely perusal; the Kelly Johnson and Ben Rich biographies are also well worth a read.

I'd never heard of Tagboard and the D-21 until I saw the example on display with an A-12 and SR-71 at the Palmdale Blackbird Air Park 20 years ago...
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 04:02
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From https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...0090007797.pdf
Titanium alloys presented numerous challenges because of adverse chemical reactions between the metal and various materials and compounds commonly used in aircraft construction and maintenance. To prevent corrosion and stress-corrosion cracking at high temperatures, it was imperative that titanium parts be prevented from contacting such materials as cadmium, mercury, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, astatine, and iodine. Certain common hand tools were cadmium-plated and some marking materials (pens and pencils) contained chemicals that caused corrosion. Contaminating elements also could be found in the composition of solvents, adhesive tapes, paints, packing materials, plastics, fire extinguishing agents, cleaning agents, and other materials commonly used in aircraft maintenance. Technicians and maintenance personnel were required to be vigilant, and use only compatible materials from approved lists.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 08:01
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Small video came online about it just yesterday,
people might find interesting...

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Old 11th Jul 2020, 09:41
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Never ceases to amaze me how they spent all that money researching and developing these fantastic aircraft, only to mothball them a few years later. And then they languished in a hangar, virtually untouched for the next 20-odd years. Surely the US could've got more use out of them? I understand it was political and due to internal rivalries, but even so, what a monumental waste of technology and taxpayer money. No wonder they kept them secret for so long.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 10:48
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Originally Posted by Stu666 View Post
Never ceases to amaze me how they spent all that money researching and developing these fantastic aircraft, only to mothball them a few years later. And then they languished in a hangar, virtually untouched for the next 20-odd years. Surely the US could've got more use out of them? I understand it was political and due to internal rivalries, but even so, what a monumental waste of technology and taxpayer money. No wonder they kept them secret for so long.
A shame. Agree that they should have been put into USAF service.

An often overlooked part is the dedicated KC-135 refuelers for the special fuel. A truly massive enterprise to support SR-71 and A-12 operations.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 13:55
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Brian Shul: Sled Driver, Flying the worlds fastest jet.

excellent read, available as a pdf on t’internet.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 15:04
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Originally Posted by Stu666 View Post
Never ceases to amaze me how they spent all that money researching and developing these fantastic aircraft, only to mothball them a few years later. And then they languished in a hangar, virtually untouched for the next 20-odd years. Surely the US could've got more use out of them? I understand it was political and due to internal rivalries, but even so, what a monumental waste of technology and taxpayer money. No wonder they kept them secret for so long.
Unfortunately not something unique to just the A-12. The USN had a research sub nearly sink in 2002. They spent 3 years and many millions to fix, upgrade and then conduct sea trials on it only to retire it to a museum in 2006.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Dolphin_(AGSS-555)
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 15:19
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Salute!

How come I haven't seen a ref to

Home Page - Roadrunners Internationale Declassified U-2 A-12 Projects Aquatone OXCART Area 51

Lottsa first person war stories and good pictures and........

Gums sends...
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 15:31
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Originally Posted by Duchess_Driver View Post
Brian Shul: Sled Driver, Flying the worlds fastest jet.

excellent read, available as a pdf on t’internet.
Also he has a online video of one of his talks on you tube , very interesting lasts about a 1hr
'From butterflies to Blackbirds"
I know from previous posts on here not all the SR71 community are his biggest fans, but he's came thru a lot in his life to be a blackbird pilot. Despite being told many times he would never fly, never mind fly such a technical aircraft as the SR71!
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 15:48
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Salute!

Good point FALL I know Brian personally 'cause I was one of his instructors at a USAF charm school and also a fellow Green Demon member - first operational A-10 and also A-7D unit.

He grew a bit more "flavorful" since I worked with him in the late 70's, but his crash survival "lessons" are valid and should be promulgated. He has gone thru more surgery than any human being you know, and he gave me his first book "26 Operations".

I was very surprised he got the SR-71 assignment, but his story or two from then are good ones.

The You Tube video is a good one, but I have lost the link I had during last "clean up". Should not be hard to find once on a You Tube video.
=========================
As with many here, I was surprised the government stored the A-12's and not have USAF "borrow" them.

Nevertheless, the SR did great work for a coupla decades while the satellite folks were still refining their equipment. Remember! We ( USAF and the Company) did not have the cosmic digital cameras and then the increasing resolution and digital downloads and then......... Original satellite stuff was actual film and ejected canisters that came down near Hawaii and captured mid-air by C-119 planes.

Gums sends...

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Old 11th Jul 2020, 16:25
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I seem to remember when they were building the 747 Boeing wanted to use titanium in the undercarriage but there were serious issues about how to machine it. They set up, and got permission for, a very long dinner in Paris with people from Tupelov, who had been machining the stuff for years. In return for "guidance" on titanium Boeing gave "guidance" on the tricks of hanging engines off the front of the wing. Apparently both sides were satisfied bu tthe Russians walked off with the table cloth which was covered with sketches .......
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