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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friday 6 11 21 I met with a fellow Opeler for a trip to Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson AZ.
Here we have a Saturn Sky/Opel GT,.. a Buick Regal/Opel Insignia, ..& an original OPEL GT.

The Museum has nearly 300 aircraft from several countries displayed over 80 acres, and in 5 hangars.

Of special interest to me are the U2 and SR71 'Blackbird' spy-planes.
This U2 is outside at the nearby Davis-Monthan AFB..The SR71 is in Hangar 1 at the Pima Museum

Jim maintained both of these planes during his years in the USAF and gave me fascinating details
of the complexities and performance of these and other aircraft ..
 

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Opeler
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Wow! Nice pics. I love the SR-71. It was originally called the RS-71, but when Pres. Johnson unveiled it to the press, he messed up and said SR instead of RS. Nobody wanted to correct him, so it was changed to he SR-71. A good book about this is "Skunk Works".
 

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Very cool. The Evergreen Air & Space museum in McMinville OR has an SR71 (and the Spruce Goose) but no U2. The SR71 was much smaller than I imagined. I’ll have to visit the Pima museum on my next trip to Phoenix. Thanks for the pics!
 

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Friday 6 11 21 I met with a fellow Opeler for a trip to Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson AZ.
Here we have a Saturn Sky/Opel GT,.. a Buick Regal/Opel Insignia, ..& an original OPEL GT.

The Museum has nearly 300 aircraft from several countries displayed over 80 acres, and in 5 hangars.

Of special interest to me are the U2 and SR71 'Blackbird' spy-planes.
This U2 is outside at the nearby Davis-Monthan AFB..The SR71 is in Hangar 1 at the Pima Museum

Jim maintained both of these planes during his years in the USAF and gave me fascinating details
of the complexities and performance of these and other aircraft ..
Thanks for the pictures, Roy. I have been there twice but not in a long time. Last time I was there the SR-71 was just sitting by itself, outside in open air and under a metal roof. I also like their collection of Korean war era Sabre jets and MIGs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Joe, That was one of many things Jim covered in detail, some of which I remember.
The Blackbird was made of Titanium with some lower Asbestos panels . Much of that is held together with thousands of sealed rivets.
When heated in high speed flight things tighten up, but they are leaky at normal earthbound temperatures .
So they took off with light fuel loads and were filled in flight.
IIRC those tanks were allowed to leak '1 drop per minute per rivet' on the ground !
.... I will ask Jim to help answer Questions, I am sure he knows all of them that we could ask.
Here are some more facts and figures,

DSCN8169 - Copy.JPG DSCN8177.JPG DSCN8181.JPG
 

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Wow. 1 drop per minute per rivet. And it’s jet fuel. I find it odd that a bladder wasn’t used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had to ask about the bladder. The Titanium and Asbestos expand and contract at different rates. A bladder , if it could be installed
would add to the stress. But the fuel 'tank' is not a hollow cavity, it contains ribs and struts etc so a bladder couldn't work.

Jet fuel is not as volatile as gasoline. I'm told that the special grade of fuel used by the SR-71 is actually difficult to ignite.

In the mid 80s a piston engined light plane was carelessly filled with jet fuel (?) instead of the high test gas it required.
That plane lost power within 5 miles from the airport and crashed into the roof of the biggest shopping center in Concord CA.
I saw the tail sticking out of the roof the next day. There was a fire in the center with several fatalities and many severe burns.
 

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Well, I see who the red headed step child is in photo one. Shame.

Thanks Roy for the pics. Always a pleasure to hear from you.
 

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Wow. 1 drop per minute per rivet. And it’s jet fuel. I find it odd that a bladder wasn’t used.
Jet is not as flammable as gasoline. It is a similar to kerosene in flammability with a lot of additives. There is no octane, as jet and turbine engines don't have timing and pistons like cars do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When are you going to convert the Regal to an Insignia, Roy?
The Insignia was sold in Europe for a year or more before it was mildly Americanized and re-badged as a Regal for sale here.
All I intended to do was replace the grille and the rear trunk blitz and nameplates. That was planned before a cross country
drive which included 2017 Opel events in Nashville and Springfield... I didn't do the 'conversion' then, and probably never will.
......So for the Walter Mitty in me my Buick can be an Opel any time I want......
 

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I just returned from a trip to FT Worth and saw this "discussion". While to U-2 and SR-71 are interesting, my personal taste likes the F-107 (in the shot of the left side of the SR) and the RS-70 (aka XB-70). The F-107 was the competitor to the F-105 and was "NOT ALLOWED" to set a new world speed record while the F-105 would not go supersonic at all with the external weapon pod installed (the primary mission requirement) for some time after contract award. The 107 also DEMONSTRATED weapon delivery at supersonic speeds (IIRC M1.5) while the F-105 never did. Although "derived from the F-100" with a lower mounted inlet, the aircraft was developed with the high mounted version as FOD (foreign object damage) was thought to be a potential problem with the inlet close to the ground. As for the RS-70 (as mentioned above, the SR was a mistake by Pres. Johnson - unless there really was a need for a Submarine Recon a/c), contrary to the "only manned aircraft to routinely fly at speeds over mach 3 ..." the XB-70 did as did the RS version! When I joined the Adv Design department of North American Aircraft in 1967 (fresh out of college) my mentor was George Owl. George holds the patent for the folding wingtips of the aircraft and "trapping" the shock wave for improved supersonic aerodynamic efficiency. Virtually unknown outside the industry, George was aalso the primary designer of the Shuttle and many other vehicles. It was a true honor to work for him.

JMHO! -- Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Welcome Back Doug ! With your design experience and Jim's maintenance history the Phoenix gang of Opel people
should give Gil some first hand stories and insight when he comes to AZ in November (?) to tour the Air Museum.

Jim has offered to tour the museum with any out of town visitors, he works M - F, so weekends only at this time.

Scuderia Southwest has moved again, they are now meeting over on Pima Rd. For me a little further East but not as far South,
for you it will be closer. I haven't been to this new location yet but may in July. The GT stays home when it's 80 at sunrise.

 
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