SR-71: The Complete Illustrated History of the Blackbird, The World's Highest, Fastest Plane

SR-71: The Complete Illustrated History of the Blackbird, The World's Highest, Fastest Plane

by Richard H. Graham
     
 

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“The most feared aircraft of the Cold War had no guns, bombs or missiles . . . it shot pictures!”
—Lockheed advertisement
 
Although the development of the SR-71 began over fifty years ago, the iconic Blackbird still looks like a futuristic spaceship. At an altitude of 88,000 feet and wearing pressure suits, its pilots,See more details below

Overview


“The most feared aircraft of the Cold War had no guns, bombs or missiles . . . it shot pictures!”
—Lockheed advertisement
 
Although the development of the SR-71 began over fifty years ago, the iconic Blackbird still looks like a futuristic spaceship. At an altitude of 88,000 feet and wearing pressure suits, its pilots, looking down at the curvature of the Earth from far above any other aircraft, certainly experienced some of what it was like to be an astronaut.  
The SR-71 had an unrefueled range of 3,500 miles, and its two Pratt and Whitney J-58 turbojets generated 60,000 pounds of thrust while guzzling 8,000 gallons of fuel per hour. Developed by the renowned Lockheed Skunk Works, the aircraft used cutting-edge technology to cope with the high speeds, altitudes, and temperatures to which it was subjected while its cameras took high-resolution images of multiple targets.
Twelve of the thirty-two reconnaissance aircraft were destroyed in accidents, but none were lost to enemy action—the aircraft was simply too fast and too high up. Throughout its career, the SR-71 was the world’s fastest and highest-flying operational manned aircraft, setting a number of world records for altitude and speed. It was in service with the USAF and NASA from 1964 to 1999, when it was withdrawn from use, superseded by satellite technology and cut from tightening budgets.Col. Richard H. Graham, USAF (Ret.), experienced the SR-71 program from many angles—pilot, instructor, and wing commander—over fifteen years of assignments, and that knowledge and access makes for a comprehensive book, full of insider stories and rare photos and documents. From the precursor aircraft A-12 and FY-12 to the development, manufacture, and service of the SR-71, the legendary Blackbird flies again in SR-71: The Complete Illustrated History of the Blackbird, The World’s Highest, Fastest Plane.

Author Bio:

Richard Graham was selected to enter the SR-71 program in 1974 at Beale AFB, California. After several years as a crew member, he became an instructor pilot, and in 1978 he was selected as the chief of the Standardization/Evaluation Division, which included the SR-71, U-2, and T-38 aircraft. In January 1980, he became the SR-71 squadron commander, 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, where he served until his assignment to Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, in 1981. Graham was a command pilot with more than 4,600 military flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with eighteen oak leaf clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with “V” device and one oak leaf cluster, Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm. Colonel Graham’s previous books on the SR-71 include Flying the SR-71 Blackbird, SR-71 Revealed: The Inside Story, and SR-71 Blackbird: Stories, Tales, and Legends. He lives in Plano, Texas.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"

Although the book is only 192 pages - much of them taken up with images, drawings and illustrations - it is filled to the brim with information and revelation. The book is as enjoyable to read as it is to see since the illustrations and background textures of the pages make for a rich experience. Once read, the reader will have not only an acute awareness of flying an SR-71 but an overview of the organization as well as logistics which were required to keep the SR-71 flying." - Travel for Aircraft (Seattle Post Intelligencer Blog)"

The book is a credit to Graham's skills as a writer and his in-depth, hands-on knowledge of the subject matter. It would be a solid addition to one's library." - Air Power History"

SR-71: The Complete Illustrated History of the Blackbird, The World's Highest, Fastest Plane by Col. Richard H. Graham is absolutely the best presented and most accurately detailed book ever published about the Blackbird family of planes. Rich Graham includes recently declassified information about the CIA and Air Force Blackbird programs to make his book the most informative source on the subject. Being a veteran of the CIA's A-12 Oxcart program, I can vouch to the accuracy of what Colonel Graham published in this great book about a world of aviation so selective and compartmentalized that even participants in the various Blackbird programs will learn from this book. Colonel Graham has published the "go to" book for our nation's reconnaissance programs involving the Blackbird family of planes." - Thornton D. "TD" Barnes (Former Area 51 Special Projects. Project OXCART)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760343272
Publisher:
Zenith Press
Publication date:
05/12/2013
Edition description:
First
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
238,725
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.70(h) x 1.00(d)

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