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Ultimate Collectors Series - SR-71A / NASA 844
The NASA 844, more commonly known as the SR-71A, is a high altitude, supersonic aircraft that was designed by Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and was built by Lockheed Martin. It has held the record as the fastest, manned, air breathing plane in the world since 1976 and it traveled at speeds of up to Mach 3+ at 80,000 feet above the ground. Pilots were required to wear special pressurized spacesuits so that they could withstand the immense force exerted on their bodies. Titanium was used for 85% of the structure because of its high heat tolerance, with various polymer composite materials used for the rest of the plane. The outer windscreen of the cockpit was made of quartz that was fused ultrasonically to the titanium frame. The temperatures of the exterior of the aircraft could reach 600 °F (316 °C).
In 1990 NASA received two SR-71s for their high-speed research program. One was the SR-71A variant (serial #61-7980, which is the version I am representing with my model), and one was the SR-71B variant which was the trainer version that featured a second raised cockpit. The aircraft is 107.5 ft. (32.74 m) long, has a wingspan of 55.7 ft. (16.94 m), and stands 18.6 ft. (5.64 m) tall, and was piloted by a crew of two. NASA operated these two planes until 1999 when they flew the last recorded flight in the SR-71A #61-7980/NASA 844 on October 9, 1999, officially retiring the greatest plane ever built.
My model includes many play features and details that would make this a fantastic LEGO set. I have included two NASA pilots, four ground crewmen, as well as an AGM-330 Start Cart, a ground service car, an air stair to reach the cockpits, and of course the SR-71. The pilots included are modeled after real NASA pilots who flew the NASA 844. The first pilot is Rodger E. Smith, who was one of the first two pilots NASA first assigned to fly the SR-71. The second pilot is Marta Bohn-Meyer, who was the first female crewmember to fly on the SR-71 and she served as the navigator. I have included 4 ground crewmen because I believe they deserve some recognition as well. It was their job to make sure that the plane was ready to go before take-off, and it was their job to start the engines with the AGM-330 Start Cart and make sure the pilots were properly seated and straped in. The lives of the pilots were in their hands.
The build includes just under 2100 pieces, which I think could easily be brought down to under 2000. The model would be around 40 inches (106.6 cm) long, so it would look great next to the Saturn V Rocket recently released by LEGO. It is far from perfect but with a little bit of tweaking from the experts at Lego it would be pretty close. I hope that I have done this incredible plane justice and if you think I have then please hit that support button today! Also don't forget to follow and most importantly share this project with everyone you know! Thank you all in advance and brick on!
Don't forget to check out my other projects as well!
You can check them out here: https://ideas.lego.com/profile/LM71Blackbird/projects#search/s:most_recent