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  Area 51 Black Jets

...featured during X Planes...

Area 51 Black Jets

Presentation and Book Signing
By Author Bill Yenne

When most of us think of Area 51, we think of aliens, UFOs, and controversial government cover-ups. It's easy to forget that, since the mid-1950s, the United States' famed extension of Edwards Air Force Base has served as a top-secret CIA testing ground for many of the most groundbreaking advancements in American military aviation technology.

In Area 51 - Black Jets, author and military historian Bill Yenne offers the first fully illustrated chronology of Area 51's most famous aircraft projects, including Lockheed's U-2 "Dragon Lady" and SR-71 "Blackbird" reconnaissance planes, drones ranging from the early Lockheed D-21 to the modern-day General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, and the famous F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter produced by the Have Blue program during the 1970s. Each project is given its own fascinating chapter illuminating the aircraft’s development at this famed location.

But beyond the aircraft themselves, Area 51 - Black Jets also covers a handful of the many classified experimental programs carried out at Area 51 over the years, such as Have Doughnut, Have Ferry, and Have Drill - secret undertakings that successfully reverse engineered such enemy aircraft as the Russian MiG during the Cold War.

Presented in beautiful hardcover format and illustrated with historic color and black-and-white photographs, diagrams, and maps, this book reveals Area 51 for what it truly is: a clandestine area for the United States' most cutting-edge technological innovators in military aviation.

Bay Area X Planes

Saturday October 18
11 am - 2 pm

On Saturday, October 18, the Hiller Aviation Museum hosts a gathering of homebuilt experimental "X-Planes" and their builders from around the Bay Area. Join us to meet these magnificent men and women and their flying machines.

A child stopped in front of a house in his neighborhood and asked the woman working out front why she had such a strange looking canoe in her driveway. "It's not a canoe, it's an airplane!" said the woman. Mystified, the boy asked where the wings were if the odd contraption was actually an airplane. The woman laughed and replied, "In my living room, of course!"

Strange stories like this happen often to the men and women who build experimental aircraft, often in their own garage. These homebuilt X-Planes are constructed, certified by the FAA, and then flown.

The thought of Caractacus Potts from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tinkering in his laboratory conjures up Hollywood images of eccentric inventors, but these creative souls are actually normal people that have a love of flight and a desire to create their own flying machine! While some of these aircraft are economical and can be built for less than the cost of a new car, others are high tech machines more expensive than the fanciest of sports cars.



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