Twenty years after releasing his first groundbreaking book about the SR-71, Paul Crickmore returns to the subject to tell the complete story of the most famous American spy-plane. Using a vast number of previously classified government documents, and utilizing dozens of key military contacts, this book examines all of the Blackbird's missions within the larger context of global political events. From the skies of Vietnam, throughout the Cold War, and over the Middle East, the SR-71 was the premiere source of intelligence gathering in the days before satellites. Although, its long mission has now ended, the SR-71 remains a legendary piece of technology, and one of the most amazing military aviation projects of all time.
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.