Crickmore's first groundbreaking book about the Lockheed SR-71 was published by Osprey in 1986. At that time, the Cold War was at its height and the SR-71 was an integral element in securing vitally need intelligence from all parts of the globe, enabling the United States to gauge the strength and intentions of its enemies and formulate its foreign policy. The highly sensitive nature of its missions could not be compromised and it was not until the end of the Cold War that the operational exploits of this incredible aeronautical masterpiece could be openly written about, and in 1993, Osprey published the highly successful Lockheed SR-71: The Secret Missions Exposed.
Ten years later, a vast number of official documents previously categorized as Top Secret have been declassified Using these and dozens of key military contacts, we can now tell the story of just how the SR-71 was able to harness its awesome performance capabilities to secure intelligence demanded by Washington. Key world events are examined, along with the intelligence requirements that they generated and how all the planning elements came together and individual SR-71 missions were executed to fill the gap between what was known and what needed.
This book is by far the most detailed ever written on the subject and is required reading not just for those interested in aviation, but all scholars of the Vietnam and Cold War. Lockheed Blackbird: Beyond the Secret Missions is a permanent tribute to all involved in the most amazing military aviation project on all time.
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During his time as an air traffic controller at the London Air Traffic Control Centre, Paul Crickmore gained a unique introduction into SR-71 operations from RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk. Teaming up with Osprey he produced the first detailed book ever to be published on the subject. When additional information became available to him in 1990 following the initial shut down of SR-71 operations, Crickmore produced an even more detailed book, Lockheed SR-71: The Secret Missions Exposed - the standard reference work on the subject. The work was acclaimed by both the aviation press, Ben Rich (late president of the Skunk Works) and the crews that flew the SR-71.Review:
"Author Crickmore has been involved in SR-71 operations to some extent and so is able to bring his own love of the aircraft to the reader... Full of photos, charts and technical information, this book is as good as it gets. It is a superb reference on the type and is one that every enthusiast of the aircraft needs to have on their shelf." - Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness
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