In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby koimaster » August 1st 2017, 8:31am

The Watch Chosen By The CIA For Pilots Of The Fastest Plane Ever Made


Secret for decades, the A-12 spy plane program used the most cutting edge technology of its time – including Bulova's Accutron.



The Accutron is both a watch and a technology, and when the first Accutron tuning fork watches were first released to the public in 1960 they were seen as nothing short of revolutionary. Quartz watches were still a decade away, and while the Accutron wasn't the first electric watch – that honor goes to the Hamilton Electric 500, which debuted in 1957 to much fanfare – it was the first to achieve widespread success. Unfortunately for Hamilton their watch was rushed into production and exhibited significant initial teething problems, and when the Accutron came along, the Hamilton Electric 500 was doomed.

https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/bulov ... -ever-made

In Depth Bulova Accutron Astronaut.pdf
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Re: In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby Thunder1 » August 1st 2017, 9:06am

A very enjoyable read..
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Re: In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby bedlam » August 1st 2017, 5:34pm

Love the watch 8-)
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Re: In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby Mortuus » August 1st 2017, 8:37pm

I would've KILLED to have gotten a chance to fly the SR-71 Blackbird...rumor has always held that it could fly at mach FIVE+ and pull >15 g's, if they had to. Imagine; New York to Smell-A in 15 minutes... Hell, I never flew anything that would exceed .999 Mach until I flew the 'Super'-Hornet in the mid-to-late 90's, and that thing was a fucking dog, even when she did break the barrier... :|
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Re: In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby relaxer7 » August 2nd 2017, 5:33am

A great bit of history but you can keep the watch I'm afraid ;)
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Re: In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby koimaster » August 2nd 2017, 8:27am

Mortuus wrote:I would've KILLED to have gotten a chance to fly the SR-71 Blackbird...rumor has always held that it could fly at mach FIVE+ and pull >15 g's, if they had to. Imagine; New York to Smell-A in 15 minutes... Hell, I never flew anything that would exceed .999 Mach until I flew the 'Super'-Hornet in the mid-to-late 90's, and that thing was a fucking dog, even when she did break the barrier... :|



The SR-71 was the world's fastest and highest-flying operational manned aircraft throughout its career. On 28 July 1976, SR-71 serial number 61-7962, piloted by then Captain Robert Helt, broke the world record: an "absolute altitude record" of 85,069 feet (25,929 m). Several aircraft have exceeded this altitude in zoom climbs, but not in sustained flight.[8] That same day SR-71 serial number 61-7958 set an absolute speed record of 1,905.81 knots (2,193.2 mph; 3,529.6 km/h), approximately Mach 3.3. SR-71 pilot Brian Shul states in his book The Untouchables that he flew in excess of Mach 3.5 on 15 April 1986 over Libya to evade a missile.

The SR-71 also holds the "Speed Over a Recognized Course" record for flying from New York to London—distance 3,461.53 miles (5,570.79 km), 1,806.964 miles per hour (2,908.027 km/h), and an elapsed time of 1 hour 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds—set on 1 September 1974 while flown by U.S. Air Force pilot James V. Sullivan and Noel F. Widdifield, reconnaissance systems officer (RSO). This equates to an average velocity of about Mach 2.72, including deceleration for in-flight refueling. Peak speeds during this flight were likely closer to the declassified top speed of Mach 3.2+. For comparison, the best commercial Concorde flight time was 2 hours 52 minutes and the Boeing 747 averages 6 hours 15 minutes.

On 26 April 1971, 61-7968, flown by Majors Thomas B. Estes and Dewain C. Vick, flew over 15,000 miles (24,000 km) in 10 hours and 30 minutes. This flight was awarded the 1971 Mackay Trophy for the "most meritorious flight of the year" and the 1972 Harmon Trophy for "most outstanding international achievement in the art/science of aeronautics".


The "Last Flight" of a SR-71. In background SR-71 S/N 61-7972. Foreground Pilot Lt. Col. Raymond E. "Ed" Yeilding and RSO Lt. Col. Joseph T. "JT" Vida, 6 March 1990.


Pilot Lt. Col. Ed Yeilding and RSO Lt. Col. Joe Vida on 6 March 1990, the last SR-71 Senior Crown flight
When the SR-71 was retired in 1990, one Blackbird was flown from its birthplace at United States Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, to go on exhibit at what is now the Smithsonian Institution's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. On 6 March 1990, Lt. Col. Raymond E. Yeilding and Lt. Col. Joseph T. Vida piloted SR-71 S/N 61-7972 on its final Senior Crown flight and set four new speed records in the process:

Los Angeles, California, to Washington, D.C., distance 2,299.7 miles (3,701.0 km), average speed 2,144.8 miles per hour (3,451.7 km/h), and an elapsed time of 64 minutes 20 seconds.
West Coast to East Coast, distance 2,404 miles (3,869 km), average speed 2,124.5 miles per hour (3,419.1 km/h), and an elapsed time of 67 minutes 54 seconds.
Kansas City, Missouri, to Washington, D.C., distance 942 miles (1,516 km), average speed 2,176 miles per hour (3,502 km/h), and an elapsed time of 25 minutes 59 seconds.
St. Louis, Missouri, to Cincinnati, Ohio, distance 311.4 miles (501.1 km), average speed 2,189.9 miles per hour (3,524.3 km/h), and an elapsed time of 8 minutes 32 seconds.

These four speed records were accepted by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the recognized body for aviation records in the United States. Additionally, Air & Space/Smithsonian reported that the Air Force clocked the SR-71 at one point in its flight reaching 2,242.48 miles per hour (3,608.92 km/h). After the Los Angeles–Washington flight, on 6 March 1990, Senator John Glenn addressed the United States Senate, chastening the Department of Defense for not using the SR-71 to its full potential:


Lockheed was a client of mine in the late 70s. I had a chance to speak with an engineer about the Blackbird and discovered she stretched about 15 feet in flight and most pilots did not stay in the program long as it was hard on the human body. Over the years I have also heard she could fly over 3000mph but I doubt anyone would ever confirm that.
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Re: In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby biglove » August 2nd 2017, 11:25am

Have a PDF copy of "Sled Driver." Author/SR-71 pilot says it will do 3100MPH+.

I really hope it could do the rumored Mach 5.

A Super Hornet was a dog? Damn, that's the life.
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Re: In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby Mortuus » August 4th 2017, 6:55pm

koimaster wrote:Lockheed was a client of mine in the late 70s. I had a chance to speak with an engineer about the Blackbird and discovered she stretched about 15 feet in flight and most pilots did not stay in the program long as it was hard on the human body. Over the years I have also heard she could fly over 3000mph but I doubt anyone would ever confirm that.

All very cool info, Alain; many thanks for posting it. I had heard the same thing, both about the plane stretching under the highest speeds, and the tendency for the SR-71 to be hard on the bodies of her pilots. I've never seen one, but I'm told their flight suits and pressure suits were "amazing engineering accomplishments," though no one would ever tell me why. I can imagine that a Mach 3.5+ would do some pretty scary things to the body's soft tissues, yet there was always a mile-long queue of pilots wanting to fly the venerable old girl when the call came out for volunteers.

Of course, rumors still abound that she's still up there flying, but this time in absolute secrecy, out of Groom Lake, and thereabouts. I like to think she's still up there, doing her job, but odds are decidedly against that bit of aviation romanticism. Nonetheless, when the winds are just right and coming from the east, we can hear the occasional sonic boom, and I look up and wonder...
:shock:
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Re: In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby Mortuus » August 4th 2017, 7:20pm

biglove wrote:A Super Hornet was a dog? Damn, that's the life.

Well, I guess I'm a bit hard on the old girl...the Hornet can go fast, and I did get to break the 'sound barrier,' but its fly-by-wire and other onboard systems tended to -- and this is very hard to explain, so please bear with me a bit -- almost separate the pilot from the plane. Yes, you felt resistance in the rudder pedals and the stick, but it was artificial, and I often wondered just how 'realistic' it was. In flying the old A-7E SLUFF, we knew we were feeling the real thing, and none of us had to wonder about it. I've often wondered how the Tomcat guys must've felt, going from a very touch-sensitive aircraft to a servo-electrical beast like the F/A-18E; I imagine they felt a lot like I did. Still, she was, after a fashion, quite responsive and maneuverable, but I could never get over that sense that there was the tiniest, indiscernible lag between my action and the plane's response. The tech-reps said it was my imagination, while the "Hornet babies" (those smart-assed little fucks who were the first to fly only the Hornet as they began their USN careers) laughed at us "old school duffers" and our 'subsonic clown cars.' (I still get pissed when I think of that...)

Anyhow, here's a Super Hornet, doing her thing at the moment she broke the barrier...you've probably seen this iconic photo already, but it never gets old...

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Woof...
:???:
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Re: In-Depth Bulova's Accutron Astronaut

Postby biglove » August 4th 2017, 8:47pm

Mortuus wrote:
biglove wrote:A Super Hornet was a dog? Damn, that's the life.

Well, I guess I'm a bit hard on the old girl...the Hornet can go fast, and I did get to break the 'sound barrier,' but its fly-by-wire and other onboard systems tended to -- and this is very hard to explain, so please bear with me a bit -- almost separate the pilot from the plane. Yes, you felt resistance in the rudder pedals and the stick, but it was artificial, and I often wondered just how 'realistic' it was. In flying the old A-7E SLUFF, we knew we were feeling the real thing, and none of us had to wonder about it. I've often wondered how the Tomcat guys must've felt, going from a very touch-sensitive aircraft to a servo-electrical beast like the F/A-18E; I imagine they felt a lot like I did. Still, she was, after a fashion, quite responsive and maneuverable, but I could never get over that sense that there was the tiniest, indiscernible lag between my action and the plane's response. The tech-reps said it was my imagination, while the "Hornet babies" (those smart-assed little fucks who were the first to fly only the Hornet as they began their USN careers) laughed at us "old school duffers" and our 'subsonic clown cars.' (I still get pissed when I think of that...)

Anyhow, here's a Super Hornet, doing her thing at the moment she broke the barrier...you've probably seen this iconic photo already, but it never gets old...

Image

Woof...
:???:


I do LOVE when you share about your flying career, Mort.

Btw, I can send the PDF of the Sled book to any who PM me their email.
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