Monday, July 20, 2009

Trivia for Monday the 20th

Military Science
This plane holds several records, including New York to London in 1 hour 54 minutes and Los Angeles to Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, D.C., in 1 hour 4 minutes 20 seconds. Built for reconnaissance, it relied on speed instead of weapons for safety. Operational from 1964 to 1990, this spy plane could fly three times the speed of sound. Name the plane.

BONUS: If the distance is roughly 2600 miles, what was the average speed from LA to Dulles?

DOUBLE BONUS: If the speed of sound is 770 mph, what Mach Number did the plane average?


  1. SR-71 Blackbird?

    2424.8704663212435233160621761658 mph? Srsly?

    3.149182423793822757553327501514 times the speed of sound? Really?

    Ok, my 11-year-old son knew the name of the plane (and says that they took it out of service). We did the calculations, and that seemed huge to me, but he said it was correct, so we verified it after the fact. That's hellafast!

  2. Seriously.

    The Blackbird was rated at Mach 3+ but the official top speed was never made public. The ramjet engine could probably have gotten it to M3.5 - M3.8.

    Yes, your son is correct. They took it out of service even though all of the planes are fully capable of flying even after 40+ years. Satellites offer a more stable platform and better optics. Some in the Air Force still advocate it for special missions and for all we know, it may still be used.

    Raise one to the Skunk Works.