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SR-71: The Complete Illustrated History of the Blackbird, The World's Highest, Fastest Plane Hardcover – 12 May 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • SR-71: The Complete Illustrated History of the Blackbird, The World's Highest, Fastest Plane
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  • Sr-71 Blackbird: Stories, Tales and Legends
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  • SR-71 Revealed: The Untold Story
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press (12 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760343276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760343272
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 1.9 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'An exciting and extensive guide to this most spectacular machine'

(Airfix Model World)

From the Inside Flap

"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 It was in service with the USAF and NASA from 1964 to 1999, when it was withdrawn from use, superseded by satellite technology and cut from tightening budgets.Col.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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Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover
Very good book showing Blackbird programme from the beginning to the end, with nice pictures, some of them which seem to be from Author collection I did not see before. It also gives you insight into what it meant to be a "Habu", an operational pilot, from the selection process right to flying operational missions. So why 4 stars? I think its 5 stars for anybody who does not know much about Blackbird and that will be the only book he will buy. For me having majority of books availble commercially on the market about Blackbird, most of the data and pictures was already known, and now I look more for something which is new (this is no book or Author fault at all !!!! and I understand the book is for different audience then me). Having all 3 previous Author books, number of stories are repeated (but they are still great!!) Also its 4 stars because comparing it with other sources there are few mistakes as well (like picture description, that row of Blackbirds is shown in Palmdale, when this is in Area 51, like that no possible cause of Jack Weeks dissapearance in A-12 was established when other sources advise that A-12 Birdwatcher system sent few signals before the crash etc.).
To be honest the crown jewel produced by Author in my opinion was his first book SR-71 Revealed. The inside story, where there were very few pictures but he talked you through in very fine fine detail from the very beggining of selection process, through to programme closure, describing in detail process of flying SR-71. I'm still waiting for a book which will describe in fine detail hardware side of maintaining and preparing Habu and its systems for flight/ recovering Blackbird after the mission, doing PMD's etc.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Col. Richard Graham both flew the SR71 and commanded the squadron giving him a very wide overview of the Blackbird from 1974 through until it was retired from service. Col. Graham has a writing style which imparts a lot of fascinating information yet remains easy to read. Couple this with amazing photographs, some of which have never been published before, and this is a book no Blackbird fan should be without.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant read, lots of stories, facts, pictures, etc. Extremely accomplished author, there's some great interviews with him on youtube, which will give a taste for this book, which are in a similar tone. Probably the best of the books on the SR71 that I have.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book, Rich Graham's books about the Blackbird provide a wonderful insight into not just what the aircraft was capable of, but also how the plane was flown, the logistics organised, the people, the politics.
Thoroughly recommendable.
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