The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird ranks as one of the most elegant, sleek and powerful airplanes 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 program. 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.
By Paul F. Crickmore. Published by Osprey Books, 2023. Hardcover, 528 pages.