The Science of Santa's Sled

The Lockheed Skunk Works SR-71 Blackbird, AKA "The Sled" is 107 feet 5 inches long, and can fly at three times the speed of sound. Mach 3.0 at 80,000 ft. After a lengthy supersonic flight, the fuselage remains too hot to be touched by ground crew for about 30 minutes, and is 6.0 inches longer than it was at time of takeoff. How hot is the Blackbird when it lands, assuming its coefficient of linear expansion is 24 x 10-6 K-1 and its temperature at takeoff is 23 °C? On landing, the canopy temperature has been measured at over 300 °C (572 °F) At this point in aviation history, the "Sled" was the fastest aircraft ever built(If you don't count Aurora....shhhh)

Santa's Sled; if we consider the distance covered in 31 hours of Christmas on a westerly heading crossing all time zones, Santa would need to surpass 650 miles per second, or Mach 3000.00 with over 300,000 tonnes of payload (Three times the weight of the USS Nimitz). At that given airspeed, and load, the lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. Theoretically, the lead reindeers by result of the superheated atmospheric friction and pressure, would instantaneously self combust, then exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake.The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, will be subjected to over 17,500 lateral Gs, and 4,315,015 positive Gs.

An FAA representative has now indicated a potential investigation in regards to Santa exceeding allowable speeds below 10,000ft. A special operations waiver may be revoked dependant on investigatory findings.


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