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The Pentagon Is Using the SR-71's Legendary Engine for ... Something

Pratt & Whitney started working on the Metacomet two years ago, according to Aviation Week & Space Technology. The company’s Gatorworks division is dusting off its work on the J58, which allowed the SR-71 to reach a record-breaking Mach 3.2, with the hopes of using it to help create a new engine capable of propelling a new vehicle even faster. ( More...

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travistx 21
I used to really enjoy Popular Mechanics. More recently, though, it seems to be nothing more than low information clickbait.
Ric Wernicke 7
Like many magazines that were a great read monthly, it is now run by a crew of New York metro's who don't own a house or car, slurp latte's with a pinky extended, and look down their nose at the "carbon footprint" of anyone who dares to fly anywhere. It is a shame. I have not found any properly curated source of similar information online.
bentwing60 2
Hagerty drivers club newsletter is good for some old, muscle car, any kind of old car reading and it's free.
Tim Dyck 2
I used to wait patiently for Pop Mechanics and Pop Science to hit the shelves. Now I could care less. My interest in science and engineering’s hasn’t become less just those magazines are not what they used to be.
mbazell 14
I think we should re-activate the SR-71 just to annoy China, USSR and Iran.
Dean Billing 10
I invite the author(s) of this article to read the SR-71 Pilot's Manual or Wikipedia. Everything they wrote about the J58 operating in an SR-71 is wrong. No turbojet engine can operate on supersonic airflow. Every supersonic aircraft has a conversion inlet that translates supersonic airflow to subsonic airflow before it enters the compressor section of the engine.
Kevin Wild 2
Pop Mech is a BLOCKED link to a paid service. Please don't use links to paid articles. Thanks!
Tim Dyck 3
The link worked fine for me.
lynx318 0
Link from this page works fine, link in article to more on J58 goes to a subscribe page instead of an article. This might be what he means.
Tim Dyck 1
I just clicked it and it worked.
Perry Rotzell 1
It's a good job those engines will be employed in some fashion. Coincidentally, I'm reading Paul Crickmore's 4th edition treatise on the Blackbird series of aircraft. He notes, that by 1991, P&W and the USAF had stockpiled enough J-58s to facilitate flying the aircraft "well into the 21st Century". Of course, with the SR-71's grotesquely early retirement just 2 years later, those valuable and expensive engines have been sitting in storage collecting dust! Bravo to P&W for using these taxpayer purchased assets!
lynx318 1
Maybe developing a horizontal, reusable carry vehicle for suborbital rocket launches.
Kevin Wild 1
Link to SR71 article goes to BLOCKED article on Pop Mech. Please don't link to paid articles. Thanks.
Fred Ogden 1
The ability to go faster equates to higher cruising altitude. At Mach 5, the engine could ingest enough O2 from atmosphere to stay lit at a higher altitude, where the air density is even lower. That helps to reduce drag. Rather than the SR-71's 80,000 ft cruise, a Mach 5 vehicle might cruise at something like 90,000 - 95,000 ft.
Jim Ward 1
Oh ,The engines are being installed for stealth speed boats.
A friend of mine works for Pratt Skunk Works and gave me the scoop. Don’t tell anyone. Thanks.
lynx318 1
Gary Stemen -1
Mach 3/4 is scarey considering the heat generated by friction at mach 2+ on the SR71....
bentwing60 9
Ummm, Concorde regularly operated at mach 2, the SR71 at mach 3.2 tops, as stated in the header.Operating limitations are not meant to be "scarey", they are meant to be adhered to as design limitations.
David Kay -1
Bad mouthing Popular Mechanics instead of discussing the J58? You guys need to get a life.
Kevin Wild 5
It's called feedback, enjoy your paid articles!
Jim Ward -1
Oh ,The engines are being installed for stealth speed boats.
A friend of mine works for Pratt Skunk Works and gave me the scoop. Don’t tell anyone. Thanks.


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