Suhler's "From RAINBOW to GUSTO" goes well with "From Archangel to Senior Crown: Design and Development of the Blackbird." The two books, both
published as part of the AIAA's Library of Flight Series comprise a set, each covering different aspects of the Blackbird's design evolution.
"From Archangel to Senior Crown: Design and Development of the Blackbird"
By Peter W. Merlin
Published: March 2008, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Library of Flight Series
202 pages, B&W photos, includes additional material on CD-ROM
This book describes the design evolution of the Blackbird from the ARCHANGEL study that culminated in the A-12 to the Air Force’s SR-71 (SENIOR
CROWN). It includes a detailed description of the construction and materials challenges faced by the prime contractor, the Blackbird’s performance
characteristics and capabilities, and use of the airplanes by NASA as a flying laboratory to collect data on materials, structures, loads, heating,
aerodynamics, and performance for high-speed aircraft. The final chapter discusses technical and programmatic lessons learned by the contractor and
users. A supplemental CD-ROM features additional documents, photographs, and video.
The following review can be found at:
"From Archangel to Senior Crown: Design and Development of the Blackbird, Peter W. Merlin, 2008 For the first time, an author has decided to focus
entirely on the technical and technological aspects of the Blackbird family. Merlin's work is outstanding, the only complaint being that this could
have easily surpassed 500 pages! While the text is outstanding and well researched, the real treat is the included CD containing numerous flight
manuals, documents, images, and videos. The information here is substantial and valuable enough to almost make the book an afterthought, but that
would be to ignore the well written insight into the technology of the Blackbird family that Merlin has authored."
The CD-ROM includes A-12, YF-12, and SR-71 flight manuals, SR-71 Researcher's Handbook, report on Lockheed Advanced Development Projects ("Skunk
Works") operations, A-12 specification report, Proposal for a Lightweight Reconnaissance Aircraft, Archangel design drawings, photos, and several