Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2018
The author of the book,Ben Rich led the Skunk Works design team after Clarence Kelly Johnson retired in 1975. Ben talks about the development of Have Blue which would later become the F-117 Nighthawk or the Stealth Fighter. The book also talks about the U-2 spy plane and its being shot down over the Soviet Union. It also tells how Clarence Kelly Johnson gave Francis Gary Powers, the pilot shot down in the U-2 incident, a job at Lockheed working on the U-2, which Powers accepted. The next plane that is talked about in length is the famous SR-71 Blackbird and its development. To date, the SR-71 is the only air breathing jet plane to have flown at Mach 3 speeds. Sure,the X-15 was faster but the X-15 used rocket propulsion instead of jet power The D-21 drone is also talked about briefly. The D-21 was a drone built by Lockheed to be launched from a modified A-12 but this was scrapped after one of the drones collided with the mothership M-21 at launch, causing the loss of the drone, aircraft, and one of the two crew. The project was later revived and the D-21 would be launched from B-52 bombers but it was cancelled again because of lack of success as no drones were recovered with their photographs. The book talks briefly about the Sea Shadow. The Sea Shadow was a ship built by Lockheed to determine how to develop stealth for a ship. The book has events in Ben's life like the passing of Kelly Johnson as well as the passing of Ben's wife Faye. Ben Rich died in 1995 of cancer but the Skunk Works still lives on today. This book is a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone who is curious about the Skunk Works, its people and the aircraft it created
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