Lockheed Blackbird

Beyond the Secret Missions – The Missing Chapters

Lockheed Blackbird cover

Lockheed Blackbird

Beyond the Secret Missions – The Missing Chapters

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The SR-71 Blackbird is an iconic aircraft that has come to symbolize America's technological superiority during the Cold War. Using recently declassified information, globally renowned expert Paul Crickmore updates his definitive account of the aircraft.

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird ranks as one of the most elegant, sleek and powerful aeroplanes ever designed. But it was not built to be admired – it was built not to be seen at all. The high-altitude aerial reconnaissance sorties it was to perform were top secret and carefully concealed from public knowledge. However, as the aircraft have become museum pieces and details of their work declassified, the whole story of their design and operation can finally be told.

This updated edition of Paul Crickmore's classic Lockheed Blackbird: Beyond the Secret Missions is based on 850 pages of documentation and images declassified by the CIA covering the A-12 Oxcart programme. These highly significant documents range from discussions at the highest levels of the US government concerning the rationale for Oxcart's development and eventual deployment, to extremely detailed intelligence data gleaned from each of the 29 operational missions flown by Oxcart during Operation Black Shield.

The Blackbird family of aircraft continue to fascinate a wide age group and, since the aircraft will never fly again, its history has become timeless. This new edition will provide the last word on the SR-71 Blackbird and its operational history.

Table of Contents

(Subject to confirmation)

Chapter 1 From Espionage to Aquatone (Add info from Hopkins re Spyflights & SAC in UK)
Chapter 2 Rainbow and Gusto (Add info from DoS&T Office of Special Activities History doc)
Chapter 3 Oxcart (Add info from DoS&T Office of Special Activities History doc)
Chapter 4 Area 51 (Add info from DoS&T Office of Special Activities History doc)
Chapter 5 Upwind, Skylark and Black Shield (Add info from DoS&T Office of Special Activities History doc plus Imagery from Lin Xu & National Geospatial Intelligence Agency)
Chapter 6 Tagboard and Senior Bowl
Chapter 7 Kedlock
Chapter 8 Technical (Add info from docs about J58 details)
Chapter 9 From RS to SR and Beyond
Chapter 10 Beale Operations (Add info from Hopkins re Cuba and FOIA/MDR declassified docs.)
Chapter 11 OL-8 to Det 1 (Add info from FOIA/MDR declassified docs)
Chapter 12 Det 4 Operations (Add info from Veltri & Kinego Baltic incidents & FOIA/MDR declassified docs)
Chapter 13 Squaring up Over the Baltic
Chapter 14 NASA
Chapter 15 Shutdown
Chapter 16 Patches – Not sure if we want to retain this?
Appendix 1 Black Shield Missions
Appendix 2 Det 1 Missions
Appendix 3 Det 4 Deployments
Appendix 4 Check Flights
Appendix 5 Blackbird Disposition
Appendix 6 SR-71 Commanders & Awards
Appendix 7 AFLC SR-71 Flight Crew History
Appendix 8 Chronology
Appendix 9 Records
Appendix 10 Losses
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Technical Diagrams

Product details

Published 23 Nov 2023
Format Hardback
Edition 3rd
Extent 528
ISBN 9781472851383
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 200 black and white and 200 colour illustrations
Dimensions 312 x 240 mm
Series General Aviation
Short code GNA
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Paul F. Crickmore

Paul F. Crickmore is the author of the much-acclai…


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