Re: Searching for the PDP-3 - DEC

This is a discussion on Re: Searching for the PDP-3 - DEC ; Actually, the A-11 was never built, although in a bit of Kelly Johnson-inspired disinformation intended to hide the stealth features, the public announcement by LBJ called it the A-11 and showed a picture of the YF-12A. See books by Goodall ...

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Thread: Re: Searching for the PDP-3

  1. Re: Searching for the PDP-3

    Actually, the A-11 was never built, although in a bit of Kelly
    Johnson-inspired disinformation intended to hide the stealth features,
    the public announcement by LBJ called it the A-11 and showed a picture
    of the YF-12A. See books by Goodall & Miller, Crickmore, Remak &
    Ventolo, etc. Or my book on RAINBOW and GUSTO, whenever I finish it.

    So, the A-12 was the single seater for the CIA and the R-12 (better
    known as the SR-71) was the two-seater for the USAF.

    Gordon Bell says that he doesn't recall where the PDP-3 actually ended
    up. I'm now e-mailing various computer museums to see who might know.

    Paul Repacholi wrote:
    >
    > If it was CIA, then it would have been the A-11 single seater, not the USAF
    > A-12 that followed.
    >
    > Please post anything you find out!


  2. Re: Searching for the PDP-3

    "Paul A. Suhler" writes:

    > So, the A-12 was the single seater for the CIA and the R-12 (better
    > known as the SR-71) was the two-seater for the USAF.


    Grief, this story changes every time you look at it!

    From What I know, the A-11 was a CIA funded single seater with metal
    vertical stabs and some other change I can't recall. The 12 was USAF
    funded, 2 seats, or at least the NASA doc on the F-12 showed the
    rear ****pit, in overflight recon and intercepter, YF-12A, forms.

    The R-12 moniker is a new one to me.

    The odd thing is, the A-11 was quite frequently mentioned all over the
    place along with the A-12 until some time in the 90s when the 11 seems
    to have had a pall of `not been' cast over it.

  3. Re: Searching for the PDP-3

    Paul Repacholi wrote:
    > "Paul A. Suhler" writes:
    >
    >> So, the A-12 was the single seater for the CIA and the R-12 (better
    >> known as the SR-71) was the two-seater for the USAF.

    >
    > Grief, this story changes every time you look at it!
    >
    > From What I know, the A-11 was a CIA funded single seater with metal
    > vertical stabs and some other change I can't recall. The 12 was USAF
    > funded, 2 seats, or at least the NASA doc on the F-12 showed the
    > rear ****pit, in overflight recon and intercepter, YF-12A, forms.
    >
    > The R-12 moniker is a new one to me.
    >
    > The odd thing is, the A-11 was quite frequently mentioned all over the
    > place along with the A-12 until some time in the 90s when the 11 seems
    > to have had a pall of `not been' cast over it.

    IIRc, there was another A12, a USN effort in the 80-90s, that was
    cancelled. That maybe a source of confusion and coincides with yoru
    dates Paul.

  4. Re: Searching for the PDP-3

    Paul Repacholi wrote:
    > "Paul A. Suhler" writes:
    >
    >
    >>So, the A-12 was the single seater for the CIA and the R-12 (better
    >>known as the SR-71) was the two-seater for the USAF.

    >
    >
    > Grief, this story changes every time you look at it!
    >
    > From What I know, the A-11 was a CIA funded single seater with metal
    > vertical stabs and some other change I can't recall. The 12 was USAF
    > funded, 2 seats, or at least the NASA doc on the F-12 showed the
    > rear ****pit, in overflight recon and intercepter, YF-12A, forms.
    >
    > The R-12 moniker is a new one to me.
    >
    > The odd thing is, the A-11 was quite frequently mentioned all over the
    > place along with the A-12 until some time in the 90s when the 11 seems
    > to have had a pall of `not been' cast over it.


    "A-12" is the correct identifier for the single seat recce Blackbird,
    apparently the 12th design iteration. A-11 comes from LBJ's dyslexating
    AMI (Advanced Manned Interceptor). The SR-71 designation was another LBJ
    dyslexiation - the orginal was R/S-71 (Reconnaissance/Strike) with the
    "71" to indicate it was following the R/S-70 which was the "new"
    nomenclature for the B-70 (ca 1961 or so).

    Taking a WAG, the F-12 designator was a shortening of F-112 - but again,
    this is a WAG on my part and shouldn't be taken as gospel.

    - Erik

  5. Lockheed A-12 (was: Searching for the PDP-3)

    Erik Magnuson wrote:
    > "A-12" is the correct identifier for the single seat recce Blackbird,
    > apparently the 12th design iteration. A-11 comes from LBJ's dyslexating
    > AMI (Advanced Manned Interceptor). The SR-71 designation was another LBJ
    > dyslexiation - the orginal was R/S-71 (Reconnaissance/Strike) with the
    > "71" to indicate it was following the R/S-70 which was the "new"
    > nomenclature for the B-70 (ca 1961 or so).
    >
    > Taking a WAG, the F-12 designator was a shortening of F-112 - but again,
    > this is a WAG on my part and shouldn't be taken as gospel.
    >
    > - Erik


    The story about LBJ's getting the letters backwards isn't right.
    I've gotten the script and the transcript from the LBJ Presidential
    Library and LBJ read "SR" correctly. However, the transcribers got
    it backwards and then everyone mistook the transcript for the script.

    I've just gotten e-mail for the researcher at the library. A tape has
    just come to light in which McNamara and LBJ are talking about two hours
    before the press conference. McNamara called it the "R-12" and said the
    DCI had just approved the script and McNamara would bring it the the
    White House. The researcher is trying to track down the details of
    exactly when and how Curtis LeMay stuck in his oar and changed it to
    SR-71. Handwritten notes on the script even use the term "SR-12."

    Confused yet?

    There are about twelve different Blackbird designs, of which four
    were built (A-12, M-21, YF-12A, R-12/SR-71). The A-12 begat the
    AF-12/AF-112, which begat the YF-12A. All the "12" numbers come because
    it was the twelfth major design of a series that began with Archangel I.

    The Agency's Project OXCART wasn't declassified until 1983 and then only
    bits came out. Up until then the term A-12 hadn't been used publicly.
    I've got a memo from a couple of months prior to the first flight and it
    refers to it as the A-12. There's a video of the first flight with the
    pilot, Lou Schalk, commenting on the film and saying "Here comes the 12.
    Two engines and a fuselage."

    Paul S.

  6. Re: Lockheed A-12 (was: Searching for the PDP-3)

    Paul Suhler writes:
    > the White House. The researcher is trying to track down the details
    > of exactly when and how Curtis LeMay stuck in his oar and changed it
    > to SR-71. Handwritten notes on the script even use the term "SR-12."


    I think the story is in Ben Rich's book about the Lockheed Skunk
    Works. I'll dig out my copy and check when I get a chance.

  7. Re: Lockheed A-12

    Paul Suhler writes:

    > The Agency's Project OXCART wasn't declassified until 1983 and then
    > only bits came out. Up until then the term A-12 hadn't been used
    > publicly. I've got a memo from a couple of months prior to the first
    > flight and it refers to it as the A-12. There's a video of the
    > first flight with the pilot, Lou Schalk, commenting on the film and
    > saying "Here comes the 12. Two engines and a fuselage."


    I'll have to search the dead tree stacks, but I'm sure several NASA
    docs refered to at least the F-12, ans well as the YF-12A.

    Thanks for info.

  8. Re: Lockheed A-12

    Paul Repacholi wrote:
    > I'll have to search the dead tree stacks, but I'm sure several NASA
    > docs refered to at least the F-12, ans well as the YF-12A.
    >
    > Thanks for info.


    I think I've seen those reports, which may have been published in an
    AIAA conference. NASA operated (IIRC) two of the three YF-12As, plus
    the #2 SR-71. The latter was called the "YF-12C" because (I've been
    told) the Air Force didn't want to admit that their super secret spy
    plane was being used by NASA. It was painted with the next serial
    number in sequence after the third YF. What wasn't known for years was
    that same number had been assigned to the CIA's #11 A-12.

    The bottom line is that the F-12 was the YF-12A.

    Here's a site with photos and histories of all of the Blackbirds:
    http://www.habu.org/

    Paul

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