Area 51 - Black Jets

Area 51 - Black Jets by Bill Yenne

A History of the Aircraft Developed at Groom Lake, America's Secret Aviation Base

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Format: Hardcover Book , 192 Pages
ISBN: 9780760344262
Publisher: Zenith Press
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$40.00 $32.00 / £30.00 £24.00

Area 51's most important military aviation developments are profiled in an illustrated format. When most of us think of Area 51, we think of aliens, UFOs, and controversial government cover-ups. It's easy to forget that, since the mid-1950s, the United States' famed extension of Edwards Air Force Base has served as a top-secret CIA testing ground for many of the most groundbreaking advancements in American military aviation technology. In Area 51 - Black Jets, author and military historian Bill Yenne offers the first fully illustrated chronology of Area 51's most famous aircraft projects, including Lockheed's U-2 "Dragon Lady" and SR-71 "Blackbird" reconnaissance planes, drones ranging from the early Lockheed D-21 to the modern-day General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, and the famous F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter produced by the Have Blue program during the 1970s. Each project is given its own fascinating chapter illuminating the aircraft's development at this famed location. But beyond the aircraft themselves, Area 51 - Black Jets also covers a handful of the many classified experimental programs carried out at Area 51 over the years, such as Have Doughnut, Have Ferry, and Have Drill - secret undertakings that successfully reverse-engineered such enemy aircraft as the Russian MiG during the Cold War. Presented in beautiful hardcover format and illustrated with historic color and black-and-white photographs, diagrams, and maps, this book reveals Area 51 for what it truly is: a clandestine area for the United States' most cutting-edge technological innovators in military aviation.

Bill Yenne is the author of more than three dozen nonfiction books on historical topics. His books on aviation and military history have included Area 51 Black Jets--which T. D. Barmes, formerly with NASA High Range and Area 51 Special Projects, described as "not a book that the reader will lay down and not finish. It holds one's interest from front to back." Yenne has also contributed to encyclopedias of World War I and World War II and has been featured in several documentaries which have aired on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, the Smithsonian Channel, and ARD German Television. The Wall Street Journal notes that Yenne writes "with a cinematic vividness." Yenne has also authored ten novels and has penned several books on beer and brewing history, including Beer: The Ultimate World Tour.

"This book is equally suited for the aviation enthusiast as well as the historian. Area 51 Black Jets addresses so many of the seemingly innumerable as well as fantastic aeronautical advancements accomplished there. It is an incredible story told well by Bill Yenne" - SeattlePI.com

"Since the mid-1950s, Area 51 (aka the ­Nevada Test and Training Range, Homey Airport, and more), a desolate, dry lake bed in the southern Nevada desert, has operated as a clandestine CIA-U.S. Air Force-­Lockheed Corporation test site for ongoing cutting-edge research in U.S. flight technology. In July 2013, following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed nearly a decade earlier, the CIA finally acknowledged the existence of Area 51 for the first time by declassifying documents outlining the mandate and history of the base. ­Military historian Yenne's (Aces High) insightful study provides an illustrated chronology of many of Area 51's premier aircraft projects, which include Lockheed's U-2 and SR-71 spy planes, a range of drones, from the early Lockheed D-21 to the contemporary Predator, and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter. Yenne awards each major program its own chapter showcasing the aircraft's stage-by-stage development. In addition, he previews just a few of the classified special assignments undertaken over time, such as the analysis and covert trial deployment of "acquired" Soviet planes, as well as rumored extraterrestrial projects. VERDICT A comprehensive study, incorporating sound research, vivid prose, colorful illustrations, helpful maps, diagrams, and an indispensable acronym list. Recommended for aviation historians and enthusiasts and those who are interested in U.S. intelligence, national security, conspiracy theories, and UFOs."— Library Journal

"Unlike the breathless treatment given the subject in other mass-market volumes, Area 51 Black Jets provides solid research and real background on the more well-known programs that conducted flights from Groom Lake. Area 51 will continue to be a source of curiosity and fascination that will last as long as any of its secrets, and probably beyond. That being the case, this book makes a great introduction to what little is known of Groom Lake and its history, and may even be an effective reply to the more wild-eyed conspiracy theorists among your friends and family. Area 51 Black Jets is one example of truth being more interesting than fiction." - DefenseMediaNetwork.com

"Even as someone who reads a fair amount about aviation history (though I'm by no means any kind of expert), I found quite a few things in this book I'd never known about before. Area 51 Black Jets is stunningly illustrated. As you look at photos of advanced aircraft or aerial shots of Groom Lake, you can't help but consider that possessing these same photos 20 years ago would have been treasonous, or at least a severe breach of national security. Now you can see F-117s being built, A-12s being pole-tested for their radar signatures, and examine the dry lake, runway and hangars that make up Area 51.If you're an aviation buff, you'll find Area 51 Black Jets a comprehensive history of top secret projects. I find myself thumbing through the pages even after I've read it simply for the photos." - io9.com

"Unlike the breathless treatment given the subject in other mass-market volumes, Area 51 Black Jets provides solid research and real background on the more well-known programs that conducted flights from Groom Lake. Area 51 Black Jets is one example of truth being more interesting than fiction." - DefenseMediaNetwork.com

"Yenne keeps to the facts and sheds light on the true purpose of the base at Groom Dry Lake, which is testing classified aircraft systems (including aircraft and radar systems obtained from other governments). Lavishly illustrated with photos on every page, most in full color, and many that have not seen the light of day, this is a well-researched volume that is worth adding to your library." - The SR-71 enthusiast website HABU.org

"Intriguing history." - Air Force Times

"Gorgeous, authoritative, and indispensable for anyone with an interest in America's favorite secret base." - Coast to Coast AM Radio (Host George Knapp)

"Gorgeous, authoritative, and indispensable for anyone with an interest in America's favorite secret base." - Coast to Coast AM Radio (Host George Knapp)