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In 1986 Paul Crickmore's first groundbreaking book about the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was published. At that time, the Cold War was at its height and the SR-71 was an integral element in securing crucial intelligence from all parts of the globe. The highly sensitive nature of its missions couldn't be compromised, and it wasn't until the end of the Cold War that the operational exploits of this incredible aeronautical masterpiece could be openly written about.
As time has passed, more and more information has come to light, with a vast number of official documents declassified and key military figures able to talk openly about the Blackbird program. Paul Crickmore has used these updated facts to revise his previous history of one of the world's most iconic aircraft of all time, creating what will surely be considered the definitive, timeless volume about the SR-71 Blackbird.
Reviews of Lockheed A-12: The CIA’s Blackbird and other variants (Air Vanguard). Lockheed A-12: The CIA's Blackbird and other variants (Air Vanguard) – Kindle edition by Paul Crickmore, Adam Tooby. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Lockheed A-12: The CIA's Blackbird and other variants (Air Vanguard).. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
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During the early years of the Cold War, the most effective way to gather strategic intelligence about the Soviet Union and its allies was manned overflight. Lockheed's U-2 was spectacularly successful in this role. Much to the concern of President Eisenhower, its shape meant that it could be tracked on Russian radars. Given the highly sensitive nature of such flights, the President insisted that every effort should be made to reduce to zero the U-2's radar cross section (RCS), thereby making the aircraft "invisible." When this was proven to be impossible, the stage was set for a U-2 replacement. Following a competition between Lockheed and Convair, the former was declared the winner and the result was the A-12. Designed to incorporate 'stealth' features before the term was even coined, the A-12 has to date proven to be the fastest, highest flying jet aircraft ever built, and is operated exclusively by the Central Intelligence Agency.
This book will also cover a two-seat variation of the design built as an advanced interceptor – the YF-12. In addition, the D-21 drone programme, known as Tagboard will also be covered.