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The SR-71 is amazing in many ways. It can't start it's own engines, they are started one at a time by a huge generator that drives under each wing. Adding to what you said about the skin of the plane, what I heard is that the skin isn't sealed until it's flying... that the SR takes off with a minimal fuel load, because it literally leaks fuel, and then gets refueled immediately. It's no wonder people speculate there was other-worldly inspiration.

Most military aircraft at the time and for a while after could not start themselves. I think everything on the deck when I served on a carrier in the late 80s except maybe s-3s required huffers and electric carts to get going.

The startup of an F-22 using it's jet fuel starter is pretty wild: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUO-D2-OfDQ

Thank you for your service!, and for sharing.. I didn't know that.

Most aircraft, really. That's why jet engine "air start" services are provided at most airfields and airports.

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