In 1986 Paul Crickmore's first groundbreaking book about the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was published. At that time, the Cold War was at its height and the SR-71 was an integral element in securing crucial intelligence from all parts of the globe. The highly sensitive nature of its missions couldn't be compromised, and it wasn't until the end of the Cold War that the operational exploits of this incredible aeronautical masterpiece could be openly written about. As time passed has more and more information has come to light, with a vast number of official documents declassified and key military figures able to talk openly about the Blackbird programme. Paul Crickmore has used these updated facts to revise his previous history of one of the world's most iconic aircraft of all time, creating what will surely be considered the definitive, timeless volume about the SR-71 Blackbird.
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 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 both by the aviation press, Ben Rich (late president of the Skunk Works) and the crews that flew the SR-71. He is also the author of the first detailed book about the '117, written in partnership with his wife Alison; published by Motorbooks International in 1999.