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RC SR-71
(RC Airplanes SR-71 Blackbird)

Radio Control Airplanes SR-71 Blackbird
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    Primary Function:
    Weight Empty:
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Pratt & Whitney J-58
2 x 32,500 lbs.ea.
67,500 lbs.
12,219 U.S. gallons
172,000 lbs.
107 ft. 3 in.
55 ft. 7 in.
1,848 mph
2,193 mph
8,000 gph
5,400 feet
3,600 feet
173 mph
11,810 fpm
85,000 feet +
3,250 miles

Radio Control Airplanes SR-71 Blackbird
RC SR-71

The RC SR-71 from Banana Hobby, and other retailers has a 29 1/2 in. wingspan and is 47 1/2 in. long. It comes with motors turning 64 mm fan units and has retractable landing gear. All up weight is about 2 lb. 2 oz.

The fastest jet plane, ever to take flight, the SR-71 built by Lockheed, known as the Blackbird, had an outer skin that heated to temperatures in excess of 2,000 degrees F. The effect of this was the strengthening of aircraft components with age.

Radio Control Airplanes SR-71 Blackbird
RC SR-71

The 29 in. wingspan twin 64 mm EDF RC SR 71 from Huayu Hobby is 46 1/2 in. long and comes as either a RTF or ARF. Weight is about 2 1/2 lbs.

Huayu Hobby also has a RC SR-71 with a wingspan that is 38 in. and length that is 48 in. It needs from .46 to .53 two stroke or .65 to .80 four stroke engines turning pusher props for power.

Interestingly the fuselage shape and radar absorbing paint of the SR-71 would make it hard to detect on radar were it not for its exhaust. The aircraft was never hit by missiles due to its speed, not stealth capabilities.

There is a RC SR-71 from Parkjets designed by Jim Wagnor. It is made from Depron and is a profile model. Wingspan is 23 in. and length is 40 in. Power can come from a 2212-6 motor turning a pusher propeller.

To better withstand high temperatures, the outer skin of the aircraft was made of titanium. Conventional aircraft usually have aluminum skins.

Due to extreme operating temperatures, the airplane lacked sealed fuel cells. It would seep fluids when cold. It would be fueled on the ground just sufficiently to be able to take off, warm up the air frame, and then meet with a refueling air tanker to take on sufficient fuel for its mission.

RC SR-71
RC SR-71

The scratch built RC SR-71 by Chris Good has a length of 91 in. and a weight of 30 lbs. Power comes from two O.S. 91 VR-DF engines with tuned pipes.

The first flight of SR-71 was on Dec. 22, 1964. It became operational in March of 1968 and was retired in 1998. On July 27, 1976 it set the still standing speed record of 2,193.167 mph. On July 28, 1976 a SR-71 set the altitude record for sustained level flight of 85,069 feet.

RC SR-71
RC SR-71

The RC SR-71 from JetCom has a wingspan of 29 1/2 in. and a length of 57 in. For power you should use either a Wren 44 or EDF engine unit.

The SR-71 used a special alloy of titanium that could be worked at lower temperatures to reduce costs. Fuel was used for cooling the leading edge of the wings.

A corrugated titanium sheeting was used on the inner portions of the wings. It expands and contracts better than other materials used on conventional aircraft.

RC SR-71
RC SR-71

Lance Campbell (mmrca.org) began building his RC SR-71 in 2002. It first flew in 2011. His spectacular RC SR-71 has a 82 in. wingspan and is 156 in. long. It is powered by twin AMT turbine engines developing 20 lbf. thrust each. All up weight is around 45 lbs.

The shock wave from compression coming off of the nose of the SR-71 flowed into the engines, making them more efficient. Movable cones, called "spikes" in front of the engine air inlets directed incoming air at maximized angles to achieve the greatest efficiency. A jack screw controlled by a computer actuated the spikes. A spike could move as much as 26 inches in total.

The RC SR-71 from NitroPlanes comes as a fuselage kit. It has a wingspan of 749.3 mm and a length of 1206.5 mm. It needs your electronics, motors, and EDF units. Ready to fly weight is around 907 g.

To reduce the pressures to the engines at high speeds, bleed holes and bypass doors were incorporated. Chines, originally intended to lower the radar signature, were found to significantly increase lift. This aided in maneuverability and slowed landing speeds.

RC SR-71
RC SR-71

The RC SR-71 ARF from Flyboy Models has a wingspan of 38 in. and length of 47 in. You will need a .46 two stroke engine for power.

The unique engines of the SR-71 had a two stage design. Turbojet engines inside of ram jets enabled the aircraft to fly at slower speeds. The J58 engines could operate continuously on afterburner; the only military engines that were ever designed to do so.

RC SR-71
RC SR-71

The rc SR-71 from Wang Dong is a foamy that comes ready to fly, including retracts, twin 4500 kV motors and 70 mm EDF units. Wingspan is 30 in., length is 48 in. and weight is around 3 lbs.

Two 455 cid General Motors engines turning a single shaft were mounted on a cart and used to start the aircraft engines. The noise was deafening. This was eventually changed and the aircraft were later started with a conventional start cart adapted for the J58 engines.

We found a RC SR-71 on eBay with a 27 1/2 in. wingspan, 47 in. length, and weight of around 37 oz. It comes ready to fly including radio, twin motors with 64 mm fan units, controllers, and flight battery.

Pence Aviation has a RC SR-71. Its wingspan is 56 in. and length is 107 in. Construction is all fiberglass. Power comes from twin turbine engines.

Ben Dalstein sent us this email:
"I am very pleased with the RC SR-71 by Pence Aviation. I feel that it represents an excellent value. It can perform with the best of them, and looks great too. It is not difficult to put together for anyone who has turbine power rc experience. If you want your scale jet flying project to be of excellent quality, unbelievable value, and offer you a finished product that is truly a lot of fun to fly, then you can't go wrong with the Pence RC SR-71."

ASARS (Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System) were the high-resolution mapping systems used in all SR-71 aircraft.

The RC SR-71 from StreetJet has a 21 in. wingspan and a single pusher prop.

The RC SR-71 from Altecare has a 29 1/2 in. wingspan, is 51 in. long and powered by a single EDF unit. Although it is no longer produced by Altecare you can still find it on eBay and rc airplane websites.

The RC SR-71 by Toysonics has a 30 in. wingspan. It comes as an ARF or RTF.

A RC SR-71 from Yellow Aircraft is mentioned several times in RC Universe. The model appears to be a pusher prop. However, a check of the Yellow Aircraft site doesn't show it.

The original designation of the SR-71 was RS-71. That stood for reconnaissance/strike. However, the Air Force recommended changing the designation.

The RC SR-71 from Foshan Jun Feng Model Shop has a 29 1/2 in. wingspan and comes as a RTF.

Dario from Italy writes about his scratch built RC SR-71 pusher prop radio control airplane:
"My RC SR-71 is all balsa wood and is powered by a Super Tigre G45 2c engine. It is equipped with 7 servos: 1 for nose wheel steering, 1 for both rudders, 1 for throttle, 2 for elevators and 2 for ailerons. The propeller is an APC 10x8 pusher and the landing gear is fixed (at the moment). It will take the first flight next week because I need some other hour for fixing the plastic engine's covers (which simulate the real engines) on the wings. The dimensions of my RC SR-71 are: 1,200 mm length, 900 mm wingspan, and a weight of 2.5 Kg."

A total of 32 of the aircraft were manufactured. Accidents claimed 12 with no lives taken.

We welcome your comments if you have a RC SR-71, or know of one that you can recommend, please email us.