SR-71: The Complete Illustrated History of the Blackbird, The World's Highest, Fastest Plane Hardcover – 12 May 2013
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'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 It was in service with the USAF and NASA from 1964 to 1999, when it was withdrawn from use, superseded by satellite technology and cut from tightening budgets.Col.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."
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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Top customer reviews
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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