This is the reprinted facsimile edition of the manual issued to crew members of the US Air Force’s sleek SR-71, now available with photos and annotations by former Blackbird pilot Richard Graham.
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was a long-range, Mach 3 reconnaissance aircraft developed by Lockheed’s top-secret Skunk Works. One of the first aircraft designed to have a low radar signature, the SR-71 could map 100,000 square miles from an altitude of 80,000 feet. Operational from 1964 to 1998, it is still the fastest jet-powered aircraft – a Blackbird once completed a Los Angeles-to-Washington, D.C. flight in 64 minutes. Naturally, reigning in all that technology and performance required some know-how on the parts of the pilots and ground crews. This massive volume, the SR-71 Flight Manual, is a facsimile reprint of the official flight manual issued to SR-71 crew members augmented with anecdotes and and descriptions of flight procedures from former SR-71 pilot Col. Richard Graham (Ret.). Divided into seven sections, the book covers in minute detail everything from the SR-71 trainer to normal and emergency operation procedures, navigation and sensor equipment, operating limitations, flight characteristics of the Blackbird, and all-weather operation.
Now the official SR-71 flight manual is not only declassified, it’s (at least partially) demystified as well!