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Area 51 - Black Jets

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About the Author

BILL YENNE (San Francisco, CA) is the author of three dozen works of biography and historical nonfiction, including many books on military history, and he has been a contributor to encyclopedias of both World Wars. His previous books on combat aviation and the Boeing Company include Superfortress: The B-29 and American Airpower in World War II (written with legendary U.S. Air Force commander General Curtis E. LeMay), The Story of the Boeing Company, and The American Aircraft Factory in World War II. Most recently, he has written B-52 Stratofortress: The Complete History of the World's Longest Serving and Best Known Bomber (2012) and Area 51 - Black Jets: A History of the Aircraft Developed at Groom Lake, America's Secret Aviation Base (2014), both for Zenith Press.


"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 Black Jets is one example of truth being more interesting than fiction." - "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" - "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 "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) "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." - "Intriguing history." - Air Force Times

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