The SR-71 Blackbird

JP-7, The Fuel That Powered the Blackbirds

The Blackbird uses a vintage 1970 military specification called MIL-T 38219, or Jet Propellant 7. Normally known as JP-7.

Why did the SR-71 Have to Refuel Right After Take-off?

Why did the SR-71 Have to Refuel Right After Take-off?

The SR-71 would be a very short-ranged aircraft were it not for air refueling, limited to around 2,000 NM. Multiple air refuelings extended the range of the aircraft to the limits of crew endurance. 

JP7 Technical Specifications

Turbine Fuel, Low Volatility, JP-7, commonly known as JP-7, was referred to as Jet Propellant 7, to MIL-DTL-38219[2] is a specific jet fuel that was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF), for use in its supersonic military aircraft that required a jet fuel with a high flash point, and high thermal stability. 


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Melting point: −30 °C (−22 °F)


Boiling point (at 1 standard atmosphere (100 kPa)): 282–288 °C (540–550 °F)

Density (at 15 °C (59 °F)): 779–806 kg/m³


Vapor pressure (at 300 °F (149 °C)): 155 millimetres of mercury (3.00 psi) (20.7 kPa)


Flashpoint: 60 °C (140 °F)


Net heat of combustion: min. 43.5 megajoules per kilogram (5.48 kWh/lb)