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Where do the guns go?
August 15, 2009 3:52 PM   Subscribe


 
Damn, that's a cool toy*.

*a toy that probably cost as much as my car
posted by lekvar at 4:00 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's pretty neat. It seems like if the operator isn't careful, that thing will quickly go out of visual range. (SR-71s don't have guns.)
posted by Burhanistan at 4:03 PM on August 15, 2009


The day that thing accidentally crashes will be the worst day of that guy's life. So awesome.
posted by middleclasstool at 4:05 PM on August 15, 2009


I love that he's wearing Capri pants.
posted by exogenous at 4:06 PM on August 15, 2009


The worst day of his life, and the best day of anybody lucky enough to be watching.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 4:07 PM on August 15, 2009


How much would I love to buzz my annoying neighbors with that badboy?!?!?

Incoming!!!
posted by Mojojojo at 4:10 PM on August 15, 2009


That's insane. AWESOME!
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on August 15, 2009


Absolut super.
posted by Anything at 4:13 PM on August 15, 2009


Wow that's impressive. Seems like you'd need some kind of permit to have a thing like that. It could pretty easily become a missile.
posted by meta87 at 4:15 PM on August 15, 2009


Where do the guns go?

Scott Summers shoots death beams through the ruby quartz windscreen.
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM on August 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


Geil.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:20 PM on August 15, 2009


YES
YES
YES
YES
YES

Man, the sound that thing makes. Send that overhead when the neighbor's dog just won't shut up.
posted by eriko at 4:20 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Prettier than the drones US uses in Iraq and Afghanistan
posted by Cranberry at 4:22 PM on August 15, 2009


Do you need a permit or something to fly a plane that big?
posted by DU at 4:26 PM on August 15, 2009


I've never seen a model plane that required a ground crew with a fire extinguisher before.
posted by tommasz at 4:31 PM on August 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Just imagine the fun you could have with one of those, some webcams and a fast (reliable) way of getting the images back to a TV on the ground...

The comments on YouTube seem to suggest it's only got one engine rather than one in each nacelle, which is a shame. An old blind engineer friend of mine built himself a jet engine that would have fitted in those nacelles nicely. He was half way through building a matched pair of them when he died. A video like this would have been like a dozen Red Bulls to him...
posted by twine42 at 4:34 PM on August 15, 2009


I believe this calls for the blink tag.

FUCKING AWESOME!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:38 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course, the appropriate response to this would be to construct a scale model Soyuz rocket and launch a minature Zenit satellite which would take photos of these guys houses before returning from orbit.
posted by Artw at 4:39 PM on August 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


This has always been my favourite RC aircraft. A friend who builds and flies these things said that the engines run over $5k each.
posted by markr at 4:42 PM on August 15, 2009


middleclasstool: Perhaps like this guy had.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 4:44 PM on August 15, 2009


Why is it, when I see something like this, all I want is to see it crash. I think it's due to the same part of my lizard brain that wants to knock over card houses and smash fine china.

Impressive landing, too.
posted by deliquescent at 4:52 PM on August 15, 2009


I know it's a miniature, technically, but I can't help but think there's room enough on top of that thing for at least one smallish child. Hm.
posted by rokusan at 4:54 PM on August 15, 2009


Y'know how dogs always put their heads out the window of a moving car? Kinda makes them feel like they're flying? That cockpit looks just big enough for a Yorkie.
posted by netbros at 5:07 PM on August 15, 2009


The SR-71 is the most badass thing ever invented by man.
posted by swift at 5:07 PM on August 15, 2009


Where do the guns go?

As far as civilian sources seem to go, it has never certainly been armed with anything more lethal than cameras. There was apparently some intent to equip them for delivery of nuclear bombs, but this was probably made obsolete by advances in missile technology.
posted by dhartung at 5:09 PM on August 15, 2009


I wanted to see a closeup of the cockpit to see if there was a GI Joe doll inside.

Am I the only one who has the impression that it only has one engine, center mounted?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:23 PM on August 15, 2009


No.
posted by Artw at 5:25 PM on August 15, 2009


Those RC sized jet engines have been proposed to be used to carry a person. Closeup of engine.
posted by exogenous at 5:31 PM on August 15, 2009


Looks like markr beat me to it. There is another good video of that B-52, where it doesn't crash. It only has 85,000 views, vs. 1,000,000. Poor guy will probably be known more for crashing it than building it.

In most places, you don't need a permit, but there are still restrictions from whoever controls the airspace. Plus, most people who fly such a large models will be members of a RC model association, who have additional rules (plus handy stuff like insurance).
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 5:32 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


As far as civilian sources seem to go, it has never certainly been armed with anything more lethal than cameras.

The SR-71 never carried anything remotely resembling a weapon. The YF-12 was certainly built to carry weapons and the predecessor to both, the CIA ordered A-12 might have, but they wouldn't have been able to carry megaton nuclear weapons -- they didn't have that much space for armament. The YF-12's planned armament was three AIM-47B Falcon missles, each in a separate bay (there were four, but the fourth held the fire control electronics. At 13" in diameter, 12.5' long, and 800lbs, there wasn't much room for large bombs.

It could have carried three B-61s, though, which for most people, is more than enough to ruin your whole day.
posted by eriko at 5:36 PM on August 15, 2009


Oh wow. That is SO cool.
posted by jlkr at 5:39 PM on August 15, 2009


Needs more fuel leaking on the tarmac.
posted by odinsdream at 5:53 PM on August 15, 2009 [12 favorites]


That B-52 crash even had a scale smoke plume.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:28 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


twin42, I think you're looking for something like the POV RC Plane thing.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 6:39 PM on August 15, 2009


So sweet!

When I was about 9 I was constantly daydreaming about turbine-powered RC aircraft and dogfighting against other people. Then I realized exactly how expensive and complicated these things were.
posted by porpoise at 6:41 PM on August 15, 2009


I'm a bit of a fan of the D-21/M-21, with Mach 3 capable parasite drone.
posted by Artw at 7:09 PM on August 15, 2009


The Cold War was worth it just so that thing could fly.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:37 PM on August 15, 2009


The SR-71 is the most badass thing ever invented by man.

It is astonishing to consider that it has been just shy of half a century since it first flew, and disappointing that we have not used the backwards-engineered UFO technology for anything even half as cool since. Well the Lamborghini Countach, maybe, but that is all.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:12 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


The SR-71 is the most badass thing ever invented by man.

That we know of. The SR-71 was operated in secret for years before any John Q. Public knew about it.

But, yes. I still agree with you. Totally. Bad. Ass.

thanks for the post. also bad ass.

posted by blastrid at 8:37 PM on August 15, 2009


Too cool for school. Thanks, lazaruslong.
posted by paulsc at 10:28 PM on August 15, 2009


Needs more fuel leaking on the tarmac.

That always fascinated me, that it leaks like a sieve because the seals don't seal until it gets all nice and stretched out. I seem to remember it grows about 11 inches in the air? Also that they developed a crazy top secret paint where black actually cooled it off. Favorite bird ever.
posted by hypersloth at 11:00 PM on August 15, 2009


Those RC sized jet engines have been proposed to be used to carry a person. Closeup of engine.

Actually, it's been done.
posted by delmoi at 12:33 AM on August 16, 2009


The SR-71 is the most badass thing ever invented by man.

It is astonishing to consider that it has been just shy of half a century since it first flew


First flew... by my grandpa! And boy will he love this! *emails*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:37 AM on August 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Where do the guns go?

In the abortive YF-12A.
posted by moonbiter at 1:04 AM on August 16, 2009


Much smaller that I would have imagined.
posted by mattoxic at 4:02 AM on August 16, 2009


That B-52 video is a pretty famous one in the RC community, more for "what not to do" than anything else. Word from discussion forums is that the poor guy misjudged the aspect of the aircraft in the bank due to the grey-sky masking the true attitude of the aircraft in the bank. He lost too much airspeed and was too low to recover. Sad because that thing was pretty sweet.

But this is an SR-71, which is even sweeter, so let's hope it lasts for more than two flights.
posted by tgrundke at 5:43 AM on August 16, 2009


of course they're germans.

seriously, this thing needs an on-board camera and video googles like this draganfly has.
posted by krautland at 7:44 AM on August 16, 2009


Do models of this complexity have any sort of telemetry systems? It seems insane that you'd be expected to judge the attitude simply by eyeballing it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:12 AM on August 16, 2009


Want.
posted by MarshallPoe at 9:21 AM on August 16, 2009


seriously, this thing needs an on-board camera and video googles like this draganfly has.
--krautland

Considering that the original was a spy plane with very sophisticated camera equipment, it really should have a camera, for authenticity.



I like the way that his associate held the fire extinguisher with finger on the trigger as he was firing the engines up. I wonder how often she's had to use that thing.
posted by eye of newt at 10:50 AM on August 16, 2009


I had no idea Spinal Tap had an air force.
posted by COBRA! at 11:41 AM on August 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Some of the higher end RC radios (running in the $2,500 - $4,000 range) give you the ability to add in some more telemetry equipment, but the vast majority of people just eyeball these suckers.

I can vouch from experience that it only takes a mere second for you to lose perspective, and then you need to hope you have sufficient altitude and reflexes to compensate if the next move on your stick is in the wrong direction. Depending on the color of your plane, flying on cloudy days can be even more difficult.

I know of some guys who fly very high speed RC jets that have some very sophisticated telemetry equipment along with some 'safe' devices onboard. If the plane loses signal, or you flip the 'safe' switch, the engine will cut fuel and deploy a parachute in an effort to at least salvage something. These are some pretty hairbrained schemes to save some expensive equipment from catastrophic failure and the worst part is that nobody knows if it'll work...until it has to. Yikes.

RC planes are a fascinating hobby and very fun - but you need to have the income and testicular fortitude, especially with these four and five figure models.
posted by tgrundke at 2:13 PM on August 16, 2009




I had this non RC cobra raven when i was younger.
posted by joelf at 9:04 PM on August 16, 2009


tgrundke: For such a large model, I'm surprise he didn't have a wireless video/POV setup. Stick a small fan or pilot tube somewhere with a digital readout in view of the camera, and you have your telemetry system. With an auto pilot system (decent ones can be had for under $5000, IIRC), you could even relax about loosing visual or radio contact as the plane could land itself if needed.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 10:11 PM on August 16, 2009


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