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SR-71 Revealed: The Untold Story Paperback – 23 May 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks International (23 May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760301220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760301227
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.3 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

For those who have never heard of the plane, this book would be merely interesting. To those with a healthy respect of the plane, its crews, and its mission, Col. Graham has written the book that beats all. This effort clearly covers the devlopment of the plane and its daily operations, all of which were cloaked in the highest secrecy of the Cold War. Graham, involved with the plane for most of his career, has a unique persepctive, and takes his reader through "the way it was." I really loved this book and the stories involved. Thanks to the types of missions flown, it will be years before the full story come sout, but until then, read this book --DavidTrail<br /><br />In life, if you need information, or want to know honest and real information on something, then ask an expert. And few can talk about the SR-71 with the credentials of Rich Graham! Not only was Rich an operational pilot of the Blackbird, he was an SR-71 Instructor, Squadron Commander, Director of the Program at the Pentagon, and Wing Commander. So few know what he does. His stories are very readable, he manages to mix facts with humour and technical information. Plus he has gathered some trusted friends to tell real life stories of the aircraft, the crews, and the way it operated. If you are a fan of the SR-71 like me, and want to know more, then this is one of the books YOU MUST OWN. --John Freedman<br /><br />Wow! Now this is what I'm talking about! You don't know anything about the SR-71 program unless you flew the plane, served in the units, or read this book! OK, you may not be as knowledgable as the people who walked the walk, but at least this is the closest you'll ever come to it! This book is full of details about the plane, its technical details (almost 50 packed pages!), the missions, the life in the Squadron or at the Detachments, the people who flew it, you name it, you'll learn it from this book. Nowhere else you can learn the intricate details about the unstart/restart cycle, spike and inlet management, IGV shifts, manipulating the forward and aft bypass doors, ADS failure, DAFICS, bank angle management, etc. I'm telling you, this book is full of riveting information! I particularily liked the short stories contributed by other Habus, sharing their experiences, excitements, ups and downs, etc. Good job Colonel! The author skillfully conveys the shear professionalism of the SR-71 crews and support personnel, and shares many stories that will take you back to the haydays of the Blackbird. He shares the good, the bad, and the fantastic! I agree, it was a loss to lose the program in 1990, but time had changed and maybe the Cold War justified it but by the fall of the CCCP it became impossible to need 25 tankers for one SR-71 mission. The changing times passed by a Cold War giant, even if it could fly M3+ and equipped with SENIOR KING. Thanks for sharing the memories, I think I'll go back to page one and start reading again! --Peter Cseke

This book was first published in 1996 and is written by a former SR-71 pilot, Squadron Commander and 9th Strategic Reconaissance Wing Commander, Colonel Richard Graham. It covers, in great detail, what it was like to pilot this formidable machine, but before that, he starts with an intorduction to Sr-71 training. Early chapters chronicle the aircraft's development and one very important feature - the aircrew's Pressure Suit. At the altitude that the aircraft flew, the aircrew could not survive without it. And, regarding this suit, if they had to eject at height, it was the only thing beteween them and the elements, unlike the F-111 which ahd an ejectable capsual. So I suppose it was worth the $120, 000 each one cost! Everything is larger than life in this aircraft,a s you will find out when you read the chapters covering the technical features. The fuel system is interesting: many readers will know that this machine burned JP-7, a noe of a kind fuel, but in an emergency if fuel was low it was possible the get a top-up from a standard tanker with JP-3 or JP-4. The only problem with this was that it was limited to a 'crawl' of Mach 1.5! Another unusual feature regarding this aircraft is the automatic barrier system. It goes like this. If all else fails to stop the Sr-71 when landing, it passes over pressure sensitive mats built into the runway six feet apasrt. Now here is the clevre bit - as the nose gear passes over one of them, computers calculate the speed and raise a barrier in time to catch the main gear and stop the aircraft...These are just a few of the gems you will find as you read his book, one that I am sure fans of the US Air Force will thoroughly enjoy. --Model Aircraft Monthly, June, 2009

For those who have never heard of the plane, this book would be merely interesting. To those with a healthy respect of the plane, its crews, and its mission, Col. Graham has written the book that beats all. This effort clearly covers the devlopment of the plane and its daily operations, all of which were cloaked in the highest secrecy of the Cold War. Graham, involved with the plane for most of his career, has a unique persepctive, and takes his reader through 'the way it was.' I really loved this book and the stories involved. Thanks to the types of missions flown, it will be years before the full story come sout, but until then, read this book.--David Traill--Wow is one of the many words that describe this book. It is a memoirs of the SR-71, told in a story-telling manner which won't allow you to put the book down. The level of detail Col. Graham goes into is spectacular. He tells of others many experiences of the SR-71 as well as his own. Like when traveling at mach 3, how a sunset would rise and when they slowed down it would set again. It makes one realize that the SR-71 is the Icon of American ingenuity as well as military might. --Navid --A terrific book for anyone interested in the most facinating aircraft ever flown, but a must for those who have had the honor of being associated with the mission. The SR-71 was pure magic, and Rich's love for it shines through on every page. It was with great honor that I served under Colonel Graham, the author. It would be hard to find a finer pilot, leader, commander, or friend. If you want the real inside story on the Blackbird, this is the one book you must have. I should know -- I supervised the 9th SRW command post and was also privy to the secrets of the program. The book evoked fond memories, and more than a few tears. --lora Wilson--Having been to many of the places noted in the book and having followed the SR-71 from it's earlist days as a U.S.A.F flyer myself I couldn't put the book down until itwas finished. Another fine job Col.Graham. After reading this book, you wonder why the SR-71 program was ever discontinued. Author Richard Graham, a retired USAF officer and former pilot of the SR-71, not only packs this book with endless fascinating details about this superlative aircraft, but makes strong arguments for its continuing utility as a reconnaissance platform. His book covers a broad spectrum from detailed technical descriptions of the aircraft, to stories of life among the "Habus" (as the aircraft were called by their crews), to discussions of the SR-71's place in aerial reconnaissance and its history in the halls of the Pentagon. Overall a great book from start to finish. Even if you've never heard of the SR-71 before picking up this book, you'll be a fan of the aircraft by the time you finish it! In life, if you need information, or want to know honest and real information on something, then ask an expert. And few can talk about the SR-71 with the credentials of Rich Graham! Not only was Rich an operational pilot of the Blackbird, he was an SR-71 Instructor, Squadron Commander, Director of the Program at the Pentagon, and Wing Commander. So few know what he does. His stories are very readable, he manages to mix facts with humour and technical information. Plus he has gathered some trusted friends to tell real life stories of the aircraft, the crews, and the way it operated. If you are a fan of the SR-71 like me, and want to know more, then this is one of the books YOU MUST OWN. --John Freedman--Surrounded by an aura of mystery, and yet to be know capabilities,the Blackbird stands as a warbird of almost mithological stature, but there was something missing in the equation, who drives it into the unkown of enemy territory and brings it back loaded with valuable date for our decission makers?? This excelent book will surely fill that void. --Militaria dot com

About the Author

A veteran of fifteen years of assignments within the SR-71 community, Colonel Richard H. Graham is uniquely qualified to tell the Blackbird's story. Crew member, instructor pilot, chief of the standardization/evaluation division, Colonel Graham was named SR-71 Squadron Commander, 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, in January 1981. A command pilot with more than 4,600 military flying hours, he has earned military decorations and awards including the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with eighteen oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Colonel Graham's books on the SR-71 include "SR-71 Revealed: The Inside Story" and "SR-71 Blackbird: Stories, Tales and Legends." He lives in Plano, Texas.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading this book, you wonder why the SR-71 program was ever discontinued. Author Richard Graham, a retired USAF officer and former pilot of the SR-71, not only packs this book with endless fascinating details about this superlative aircraft, but makes strong arguments for its continuing utility as a reconnaissance platform. His book covers a broad spectrum from detailed technical descriptions of the aircraft, to stories of life among the "Habus" (as the aircraft were called by their crews), to discussions of the SR-71's place in aerial reconnaissance and its history in the halls of the Pentagon. Overall a great book from start to finish. Even if you've never heard of the SR-71 before picking up this book, you'll be a fan of the aircraft by the time you finish it!
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Fascinating stuff. Oodles of technical detail but also lots of 'back story' about the lifestyle of the Habus (SR-71 crews), some of the missions they flew and some of the things that didn't go to plan.
With contributions from many of his colleagues, it's a great varied read.
Some crazy stuff they got up to is now coming out - how about two SR-71 crossing paths at a closing speed of Mach 6 right over Vladivostock?!
Read it and marvel at the brilliance of the plane and the guys who flew it.
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By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`SR-71 Revealed' is an in-depth and fascinating look at this incredible aircraft, written by one of the pilots who was fortunate enough to actually fly it. This looks at the development of the aircraft, the selection process to fly it, the tankers needed to refuel it, the technical specifications, a selection of missions it flew on, the retirement or the aircraft, as well as it redeployment and a whole host of other bits of information besides. The chapter on technical specifications was the driest to read and only of real interest to huge aviation fans, but the remainder of the book was gripping and had me fascinated throughout. There is a middle section with various photos which illustrate the various points raised perfectly and you really get a sense of how impressive this plane was. As this was written by a former pilot you get a real inside view of the aircraft and how it feels to fly one and this aspect elevates this book from a dry account of stats and technical specifications to an exhilarating read about what this awesome piece of technology could achieve. If you have only a passing interest in this plane (as I do) then this is a engaging book about it's history and if you are a hardened fan of aviation then I'm guessing this would be required reading. Well worth checking out.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Another of those excellent reads by former pilot and Squadron Commander, Richard H.Graham, who tells of the secret missions flown by the pilots in the SR71 spyplane based in Kadena, Japan and at Mildenhall, England.
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Format: Paperback
I WORKED WITH THIS PLANE UNTIL ITS RETIREMENT AND KNOW COL. GRAHAM. THIS BOOK TELLS IT LIKE IT WAS AND IS TRULY A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE SR71 BLACKBIRD. IT IS WELL WORTH READIING
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Format: Paperback
One of the best books about SR-71 programme, written by true insider! To me the best book from Rich Graham. Fascinating details about recruitment process, actual step by step description of mission from start to finish, detailed technical description of systems as well as interesting insight from squadron and wing commander point of view as well as Pentagon insider. And very little pictures so you can imagine the huge amount of information, that it contains.
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Format: Paperback
Firstly, I must say the book, as a piece of work, itself is worth 4 or 5 stars in my opinion.

However, the physical quality of the book I received was shockingly substandard in terms of print quality and diagram quality. Many of the schematics are unreadable. I don't know much about the printing of books but this is like a collection of bad photocopies or some kind of draft - on some pages the print seems slightly misaligned too. The choice of typeface is also questionable. I accept that maybe I just got a bad copy?

This is a great shame and when I received it as a birthday present and opened it, it was embarrassing and disappointing.

I would say if you buy it and it turns out like this tell Amazon and refer them to my review. I kept mine but on reflection I should have returned it as unacceptable.
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Format: Paperback
A fascinating aircraft and the book illustrates how our knowledge of the technology involved was pushed to its limits to create it. The support required just to fly a mission was amazingly complex. It makes the point how the crew were fully occupied flying it - when it reached its destination(s), it just performed the mission role itself. No real examples of what it actually did are given, perhaps they are still classified.
It is heavily politically biased, especially towards the end. The repeated reference to people by their full military titles, while understandable, does get a little tedious and makes it hard to read.
Would have made an excellent magazine article if it was condensed into that style.
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