Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed
The development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, the untold story behind America’s high-stakes quest to heaven Skunk Works is the true story of America’s most secret and successful aerospace dominating force. As told by Ben Rich, brilliant boss of the operation for nearly two decades, the chronicle of legendary Lockheed Skunk Works is a drama of the Cold War confrontation and Gulf War air battles, extraordinary feats of engineering and human performance at fantastic odds. Here is a close-up portraits of the maverick group of scientists and engineers who made the Skunk Works so well known. Filled with telling personal anecdotes and high adventure, with stories of the CIA and Air Force pilots who flew many classified risky missions, this book is a riveting portrait of the most spectacular aviation triumphs of the twentieth century.
List Price: $ 17.00
A pearl on many levels december 23, 2006
This review is from: Skunk Works: a Personal Memoir of My years at Lockheed (Paperback)
This book is a gem on many levels:
1) the history and development of spy planes this was covered by many previous reviews about this book so I will not write here
2) on creativity There are.. many books on creativity. many of them are trivial. most are written by people who have not design or deliver remarkable innovations that are of national or international significance. This book is different. It was written by a person who has contributed to innovations and even walking Skunk Works, which has made innovation after innovation that are of international importance.
How to determine a smart scientist or engineer or an organization is a place of important technical inventions? This book tells you the characteristics of such organizations. How do you organize and run a place that can deliver groundbreaking innovations for a bargain? This book gives you the principles on how to do it right
3) The cold war and patriotism. This book gives you a glimpse into the Cold War, and the hair trigger voltage of a nuclear war between the US and the former Soviet Union. Also shows the patriotism among American government officials, top military echelons, pilots and civilian scientists and engineers. Indeed, it shows how technologies Skunk Works’ power tipped to the United States
4) On biographies: This book is a partial and lively biography of both Kelly Johnson and Ben Rich. Their personal qualities, both strengths and weaknesses are clearly described
5) On major shortcomings Navy. Fifteenth principle of freedom to starve Kelly than to deal with the Navy is downright amazing. The descriptions of the stabbing Navy on Aegis frigate rather than Skunk Works’ SWATH ship, and prefer traditional submarines instead of stealth submarines are so, so amazing. At this time, US has the world’s largest naval force. US Navy could be much, much greater and the cost to taxpayers would be much, much lower cost as the Navy stealth technologies Skunk Works had been established.
6) on the harmful effects of government interference, waste and bureaucratic madness. Reading this book and you will understand why we spend so much in the defense and get so little in return
In short, this book deserves more than 5 stars. It should be read by CEO and CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of all major and high-tech company looking for ways to leapfrog the competition. It should be read by every minister of defense and military officers in high echelons looking to surpass military technology to other countries. It should be read by every bright scientists and engineers looking for a place to work where great innovations can be produced. It should be read by every science and engineering professors on how future generations of science and engineering students who can create and innovate to educate.
Awesome aerospace / military history
This review is from: Skunk works: A Personal Memoir of My years at Lockheed (Paperback)
Skunk works is the true story behind the coolest, high tech, top secret, aerospace division operated by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Forged by the legendary U. Michigan alumnus Kelly Johnson, the Skunk Works has the coolest areas of recent history, including the SR 71 Blackbird (currently visible on the flight deck of the Intrepid aircraft carrier in NYC), the F117a Stealth Fighter, and created the U2 spy plane. the F22 Raptor and Joint Strike Fighter are also creations of the Skunk Works, but are not written in this autobiography by Kelly Johnson’s successor, Ben Rich.
This quick read is worthwhile for a couple of reasons. First, the stories behind the creation of these aircraft is very interesting. For example, the Skunk Works engineers found the mathematical key stealth design buried in an obscure physics magazine originally published in Russian. Curiously, the Russian military never capitalized on the principle, despite the insistence of the Russian author of the article. In addition, if the stealth aircraft before it was designed first and kept in a secret hanger infected with some bats, to track the bats could not plane with their & amp; quot; sonar-like & amp; quot; feeling, and she ended up crashing into.
The book also makes for an excellent military and thus world history. Achievements of the U2 spy plane and the F117-A Stealth Fighter treated in depth and literally the course of world events changed during the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Gulf War, and other skirmishes. Lots of interesting behind the scenes (formerly classified?) Missions also revealed in this book. Ben Rich also speculates about the future types of aircraft that are currently on the minds of the engineers of the Skunk Works, and will change impacts how wars are fought in the future.
For readers found this book, NOVA recently released a video on the establishment of the Joint Strike Fighter, a contract fought between the Skunk Works and Boeing Phantom Works. These are all fighters are great, and this video is definitely worth watching for those who enjoyed & amp; quot; Skunk Works & amp; quot ;.
Fascinating True Story
This review is: Skunk Works: a Personal Memoir of My years at Lockheed (Paperback)
I’m not particularly book an avid reader of military history or contemporary history books in general, but after a colleague described this book, curiosity got the better of me and I bought it. I’m glad I did.
Ben R. Rich joined the legendary Skunk Works “as a young engineer, worked on some of the most secret military projects in recent history, and later ended up taking over the management of Skunk Works. As a result, perhaps no one else in the world has as much firsthand knowledge of these projects, and no one else is better positioned to chronicle some of America’s military crown jewels.
Rich (and Janos) have a uniquely designed book that Ben Rich gives story, with interesting first-hand testimonies from pilots, air force personnel and senior government officials. Rich has encountered concerns the struggle during the construction of various secret aircraft: U2, SR-71 Blackbird, the stealth fighter, the stealth boat, among others. He also turns light into the dark side of the defense industry. Politics, waste, and bureaucracy, a great read, and highly recommended.
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