The Black Line by John Altson

  • Paperback:?202 pages
  • Publisher:?CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 7, 2018)
  • Language:?English


The SR-71 was one of the most amazing aircraft ever built. It was the fastest aircraft ever flown, setting just about every conceivable speed record. To top it all off, it was a very effective spy plane. Many books have been written about the design of the aircraft, the technical details, and the operational missions. For those wishing to explore the in-depth history of the SR-71, I heartily recommend Lockheed Blackbird ? Beyond the Secret Missions by Paul Crickmore and SR-71 Revealed ? The Inside Story by Commander Richard Graham. There is another yet-unwritten story, however ? the story of how a small group of talented techies, many of them fresh out of college, banded together to write software that planned the missions and fed the Nortronics navigation system which, in turn, flew the plane. This book is about the team that developed the software and how that software was used for a remarkable twenty-two years. Parenthetically, the author was the Airborne Instruments Laboratory Group Leader that managed the mission-planning programming effort.