I remember hearing about this back in the USENET days. It’s a fun story and he’s obviously told it many times.
(the audio is meh, turn up the volume)
I think it’s funny that Shul says people ask “was it fun to fly The Jet?” That has to be one of those rare questions that is, actually, a stupid question.
Some numbers (I think I have this right):
- 2000knots is about 3300 feet/second
- A .308 bullet’s typical muzzle speed coming out of a bolt-action rifle is about 2600 feet/second.
The SR-71’s engine was a madhouse thing. Think about this: they designed it before CAD was available. Figuring out the fluid dynamics in that thing had to be done with coffee and brains.
It’s amazing what can be done when you have a bottomless money supply.