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SR-71 Facts: 29 Details That Might Surprise You


Average Skin Temperature

SR-71 Facts

Friction at high altitude and high speed heats up the airframe. Many parts of the SR-71 reached from 400-500 degrees Fahrenheit, but the airframe above the engines reached over 1,000 degrees. Overall, the average skin temperature of the SR-71 was over 600 degrees. The quartz glass in the cockpit was 1.25-inches thick, and was hot to the touch from the inside! Pilots, even with gloves on, couldn’t keep their hands by the glass for more than a few seconds without doing damage.