Secret Alaska Project Speedmasters

Secret Alaska Project Speedmasters

Postby koimaster » June 27th 2018, 8:25am

When Titanium Took Flight

First, a detour. In the frigid core of the Cold War, when engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, was tasked to build the ultimate reconnaissance aircraft, he understood that he had to design a supersonic craft that could fly faster and higher than ever before, while casting the lowest possible signature on enemy radar screens.

Kelly knew from the get go that the first challenge he would face, is the sheer amount of heat such an aircraft would have to withstand in supersonic flight. A traditional aluminum bodied aircraft would turn to jello the minute it hit anything past Mach 2.6. Kelly needed his aircraft to go well past Mach 3.

This wasn’t necessarily a problem. Kelly knew that his solution was, titanium: The lightness of the material would allow the plane to fly higher than any before it and its high melting point (more than 1,650°C), meant that it could withstand the expected temperatures past Mach 3. ... ace-watch/

The Secret Alaska Project Speedmasters.pdf
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