Continuation of OT from the Kuznetsov thread.
The SR-17 is not fake, but are its specifications and claimed speed records fake. According to the ultimate source of truth,
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)
This sounds credible but stinks. The reason it stinks is because the absolute flight ceiling for aircraft is imposed by boundary layer dynamics of the
wings and not any other specification. One of the effects of high altitude is the drop in pressure and density, which result in the thickening of the
boundary layer around an airfoil and its separation
When the boundary layer separates, its displacement thickness increases sharply, which modifies the outside potential flow and pressure field. In the case of airfoils, the pressure field modification results in an increase in pressure drag, and if severe enough will also result in loss of lift and stall, all of which are undesirable.
The thicker boundary layer already distorts the potential flow at high altitude even before boundary layer separation and acts to increase effective
drag vs. lift.
So the U-2 and M-55 have wings designed to minimize this effect. The SR-71 is quite different and looks like a lifting body approach based on a delta wing. But the scale
of the lifting body is not consistent with suppression of boundary layer separation. Delta wings are subject to catastrophic boundary layer separation:
The above is for a 50 degree delta wing, but even 60+ degree wings stall at angle of attack of 20 degrees. And those jet engines on the SR-71 are not
helping to reduce drag over its delta wing. The effect of boundary layer separation is like increasing the angle of attack.
It is not obvious that the SR-71 design allows it to exceed the U-2 and M-55 flight ceiling around 22 km. So the claim about a 26 km altitude flight