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Roadrunner and British Author Paul Crickmore publishes about SR-71 Blackbird
RR Patch




United Kingdom

"Lockheed Blackbird, Beyond the Secret Missions" is a revision of the original written ten years ago. This edition contains much of what the CIA has declassified since then. This edition includes line diagrams of the various A-1 through A-12 iterations merged with notes from Kelly's diary to provide an insight into his thinking as he and his team developed this amazing aeronautical masterpiece.


The Blackbird flew at over three-and-a-half times the speed of sound Crickmore1 at 88,000 feet, an altitude that was at the very edge of space. It had an unrefueled range of 3500 miles, and its two Pratt and Whitney J58 bypass turbojets generated 60,000 pounds of thrust and guzzled 8000 gallons of fuel per hour. It was an awesome aeroplane in every respect. In 1964 America's President Johnson announced that Lockheed had developed an aircraft dedicated to strategic reconnaissance and so fast that no other aircraft could catch it. It took the world by storm. It was developed by the renowned Lockheed Skunk Works and employed many forms of new technology made necessary by the excesses of speed, altitude and temperature to whichCrickmore2 the aircraft was subjected. It served for many years during the Cold War until it was superseded by satellite technology. This is a useful introductory source book for enthusiasts and modelers wishing to find detailed references to the design and history of the Blackbird. Why was the aircraft conceived? What was it like to fly in combat? Who were the people who designed it and became famous for flying it? What were its virtues and vices?


These and many more questions are answered here. There are illustrations to show the colour schemes used in different operational theatres of combat and rare photographs taken when the heat was on.

Purchasing Information

Book Review

Lockheed Blackbird, Beyond the Secret Missions is a well written account of the Blackbird program from beginning to end.  Paul certainly did his homework on this one, presenting first time accounts of activities and events known only to personnel with boots on the ground  during the program's black years of ultra secrecy. For those of us conducting the RCS tests at Area 51 and the first A-12 and YF-12 flights of Project Oxcart, this book certainly rejuvenates our pride and a bit of nostalgia. I'm sure it does the same for those in the SR-71 programs that followed. The book is a great tribute to the pilots lost during the Blackbird programs and operations, and to all who have taken their final flight since. 

Roadrunners Internationale

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See a broken link or error, have a story or photo to add - please email the webmaster  - -  Page last modified 01/22/2017