Lockheed A-12

The CIA’s Blackbird and other variants

Lockheed A-12 cover

Lockheed A-12

The CIA’s Blackbird and other variants

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Description

During the early years of the Cold War, the most effective way to gather strategic intelligence about the Soviet Union and its allies was manned overflight. Lockheed's U-2 was spectacularly successful in this role. Much to the concern of President Eisenhower, its shape meant that it could be tracked on Russian radars. Given the highly sensitive nature of such flights, the President insisted that every effort should be made to reduce to zero the U-2's radar cross section (RCS), thereby making the aircraft "invisible." When this was proven to be impossible, the stage was set for a U-2 replacement. Following a competition between Lockheed and Convair, the former was declared the winner and the result was the A-12. Designed to incorporate 'stealth' features before the term was even coined, the A-12 has to date proven to be the fastest, highest flying jet aircraft ever built, and is operated exclusively by the Central Intelligence Agency.

This book will also cover a two-seat variation of the design built as an advanced interceptor - the YF-12. In addition, the D-21 drone programme, known as Tagboard will also be covered.

Product details

Published Jan 21 2014
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 64
ISBN 9781472801135
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 35 b/w; 32 col
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series Air Vanguard
Short code AVG 12
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors

Author

Paul F. Crickmore

Paul F. Crickmore is the author of the much-acclai…

Illustrator

Adam Tooby

Adam Tooby is an internationally renowned digital…

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