For one thing, its kind of an offhand comment. Like saying my SUV has more room in the back than a car. Might be true, but is he really quantifying it or just throwing out a comparison. Maybe its like, compared to a B-52, it has the cross-section of an F-104. SR-71 pilots were probably better versed in the capabilities of their craft than a typical pilot, but is that something he can quantify? With that said, I would look for another source to corroborate and quantify for a database that measure RCS to 0.1m.
Well, for a start, just because Command shows two digits for RCS doesn't, at all, mean that they "measure RCS to 0.1m". First off, I'm pretty sure that the Command dev team does no RCS measurement at all, let alone to 2 or 3 significant digits.
Secondly, it's not as offhand a statement as you make out. The pilot is specifically going over the SR-71 capabilities, and he's in the middle of discussing the efforts to reduce RCS that are built into the aircraft. He discusses the presence of composite material and rudders tipped in.
Lastly, there's a world of difference between Command's current SR-71 RCS of 11.5 square meters, and anything close to an F-104. I believe the pilot uses the phrase "We got it down to where it's about the size of a 104. Now, the F-104 is not very long, but to take this 107 foot aircraft and reduce it down to that small a radar cross section.. So it's the first aircraft that had stealth capability." That doesn't sound like an off-hand remark to me.
Now, I'm not saying that pilot testimony is necessarily authoritative, but that's why I asked, and I'm wondering what evidence that you may have to doubt this testimony?
The Wikipedia lists the RCS as about 10 m^s, but the source is listed as SR-71 Revealed: The Inside Story, page 75. That page has no RCS information at all on it though. GlobalSecurity lists the SR-71 RCS at .1 m^2 (22 in^2). The Aviationists has it this way "With an RCS (Radar Cross Section) of a small light aircraft, when the SR-71 was found on radar it was too late for a SAM computer to estimate its direction for a successful kill."
Edit: after some searching, the correct RCS quote from SR-71 Revealed: The Inside Story, should be this, on page 139: "SR— 71 represented a target about the size of a j—3 Piper Cub". I don't know the RCS of a piper cub however.
Lockheed Martin itself, has this to say about the SR-71 RCS: "With tests carefully scheduled to avoid Soviet satellite observations, the results were impressive: The Blackbird model, more than 100 feet in length, would appear on Soviet radar as bigger than a bird but smaller than a man. The team had succeeded in reducing radar cross section by 90 percent."
< Message edited by Dfox071 -- 10/4/2016 7:03:53 PM >