Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed

Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed


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Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed by Ben R. Rich, Leo Janos

From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, the never-before-told story behind America's high-stakes quest to dominate the skies Skunk Works is the true story of America's most secret and successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation's brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works is a drama of cold war confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement against fantastic odds. Here are up-close portraits of the maverick band of scientists and engineers who made the Skunk Works so renowned. Filled with telling personal anecdotes and high adventure, with narratives from the CIA and from Air Force pilots who flew the many classified, risky missions, this book is a riveting portrait of the most spectacular aviation triumphs of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316743006
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 02/01/1996
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 102,668
Product dimensions: 5.75(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Ben Rich headed the Skunk Works from 1975 until he retired in 1991. He died in 1995. Leo Janus is the author of Yeager, the acclaimed bestselling autobiography of test pilot Chuck Yeager.

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Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first picked this book up and started reading it because hey, skunkworks (also, it probably helped that I was discussing the SR-71 online around then). The book not only tells of the research and development of several famous Skunk Works aircraft, but it also tells how Ben Rich's life and corporate outlook changed during his years at Skunk Works. Personally, the thing that will stick with me about this book is Rich's focus on quality control as a means of keeping the costs down. I think that all managers should read this book, especially if they are in a industry that designs and produces physical products.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Ben Rich is the main character and leads you through all his work that he is associated with in the Skunk Works projects. Ben Rich describes the difficulties and solutions developed that him, Kelly Johnson, and the rest of the Skunk Works encountered. The reader recieves a front row seat in aviation developement, the mechanics, the economic, and the political views. The reader also learns about the experiments that each airplane went through while the Skunk Works overcame the properties of physics and simple mechanics and test flights gone horribly wrong. I recommend this book to anyone who likes aviation, is interested in government spending, and mechanics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ben Rich tells the story of his years at Skunkworks with both historical and technical perspective that make this book an absolute pleasure to read. He narrates his experiences under Kelly Johnson's leadership, and later as Kelly's chosen successor, with great detail and grace. I particularly liked his tales about dealing with politics, economics and Kelly. Also, as an aerospace engineer, I thoroughly enjoyed the stories of technical difficulties encountered and solutions developed in designing the aircraft that have kept the U.S. at the forefront of air supremacy. His dry humor adds spice and his candor make the reader feel as if they were sitting with Ben and hearing him tell the story. Another point of interest is the added perspective of people who worked with Ben throughout the years. All in all, this absorbing and revealing book is great reading for anyone who enjoys technical, historical and military topics.