Developed from the A-12
, the SR-71 was slightly less of a hot rod, but it more than made up for the slight performance penalty of a second crew member by being far more versatile. The A-12 was a one-sensor platform, having only one camera. In contrast, the SR-71 could carry several different electronic or optical sensors, and swapping them out was made as easy as possible to ensure that operational demands could easily be met. The SR-71 served until 1989 when it was prematurely retired. A few years later two of the remaining 3 Blackbirds still in USAF control were reactivated, proving exactly how capable the Blackbird really was.
64 pages, softcover. This book is smaller than the usual run of Osprey's profile books. The photos provide a glimpse into the formerly highly secret history of the USAF's SR-71 program. Paul Crickmore's text is accompanied by several spectacular profiles and illustrations by artist Adam Tooby.
Picking up where the previous volume
left off, this book tells the story of the USAF's operational Blackbirds. The book is divided into two major sections. The first describes the technical specifications of the SR-71.
The second section describes the SR-71's operational employment, in general terms only, because much of what was done with Blackbirds is still highly classified. The text touches only on the highest of the high points of the aircraft's 30 year career.
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