SR-71 Revealed: The Untold Story Paperback – 23 May 1996
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not really what I expected. Just a list of stories & anecdotes from pilots...no real narrative. I recommend "Skunkworks" insteadPublished on 10 Mar. 2014 by Dr G
More technical facts than in the companion volume but very similar in content. Both should be on the bookshelves of aviation enthusiasts.Published on 15 Feb. 2014 by John David Price
Lots of information about the purpose,design and operation of an iconic aircraft.If you weren't aware that the crew were known as Habus you certainly will be as the description is... Read morePublished on 2 Feb. 2014 by John D. Meachen
Very detailled, but readable story of this aspect of the intelligence war. The pilots' personal reports of their experiences are revealing, especially the dificulties with such new... Read morePublished on 3 Sept. 2013 by Roger Allton
Such a good account of what it took to fly those planes. Astounding level of resources required, but incredible engineering & skill from those guys, all those years ago.....Published on 19 May 2013 by Jonathan L williams
The book arrived promptly and in good condition. My partner was really pleased with the book. The reviews posted really helped me choose this book.Published on 4 Mar. 2012 by Sheryl
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