The mighty J58 engine, the SR-71’s secret powerhouse

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An evening pause: For the geeks out there, this video is a very nice and detailed explanation of the engineering that makes this jet engine so powerful.

Hat tip Tom Biggar.



  • Joe

    I wonder if the Russians ever had a powerhouse recon aircraft like the sr71, after all they copied the space shuttle!

  • pzatchok

    I am sort of honored to have been one of the last few to have actually watched one fly and been able to service it on the ground,

    Personally my favorite plane of all time.

  • pzatchok

    They couldn’t even make missiles capable of its speed and altitude.

    Sadly some of its last missions were little more than acting as a fast carrier pidgin.

  • Cotour

    Watching the video explanation of how complex the engines were in order accomplish their job I am not surprised when I watched a documentary about its operation one of the pilots who flew it I believe said it took three years of training to qualify to fly it? Am I remembering that correctly?

    He said that there was little to no time to enjoy the scenery at 80,000 feet and at speed because if you did not pay complete attention to the plane and all of its complexities it could begin to set a series of operational problems.

  • E Wolf

    As a non-engineer, I was fascinated by this video. I was also reminded of this description of the Turbo Encabulator. Both videos made an equal amount of sense to me:

  • I posted this as an evening pause back in November 2014. Quite funny, and revealing in a way.

  • Phill O

    A refueling speed of 0.9 Mach seems it would be not for your average pilot. I wonder what plane they use to refuel it with/from.


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