SH: Oh my god.
RM: It is an amazing machine. You start to climb up through Mach 1, and it's a big punch with a lot of air resistance. What we'd typically do is climb up, put the nose down just before Mach 1, and then lift back up and punch through it all the way to Mach 3.
SH: And this whole time, the pilot just wasn't on the gas and stick: you were actually changing the shape of the engine itself in order to get more thrust out of the engine.
THERE'S A LOT OF STUFF IN THE JOB THAT ISN'T IN THE SHINY BROCHURE.
RM: That's right. Because the faster you went, the more ram thrust you got, which burns less fuel. So you did have to go faster to burn less fuel. Like I said, you had to unlearn everything you knew about other aircraft.
Tribute Video: http://youtu.be/z3N_iQ1fSxc
Hands down the coolest plane I have ever seen fly at an airshow….and my all time favorite plane…