The Illustrated History of Manned Reconnaissance and Surveillance Aircraft from World War I to Today
Spyplanes is a comprehensive illustrated history of manned spyplanes. Nearly seventy-five aircraft from eight nations are profiled, pictured, and accompanied by technical specifications.
Norman Polmar is an author and historian specializing in the naval, aviation, and intelligence fields. He has written or coauthored more than fifty books, including Spyplane: The U-2 History Declassified (2001) and, with John Gresham, DEFCON-2: Standing on the Brink of Nuclear War During the Cuban Missile Crisis (2006; foreword by Tom Clancy). The latter was the basis of the Discovery Channel film DEFCON-2, in which Tom Clancy did the opening and closing scenes. Mr. Polmar also has written about aircraft in other books and was author of nine editions of the reference work Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet and four editions of Guide to the Soviet Navy. He writes a column on historic naval aircraft for Naval History magazine and is a columnist for the US Naval Institute Proceedings.Lieutenant Colonel John Bessette, US Air Force (Ret), is a veteran Air Force navigator and intelligence officer who flew in various combat aircraft during the Cold War. For three years he flew as navigator in C-97G cargo aircraft configured for spy missions over East Germany and the Baltic region. From May 1968 to August 1969 he was assigned to the 3rd Special Operations Squadron at Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, where he flew more than 1,200 hours as a navigator in AC-47 Spooky gunships. A three-year assignment in the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) followed, supporting the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Joint Reconnaissance Center (JRC) with assessments on the military and political risks of reconnaissance missions worldwide and the anticipated intelligence gain from them. He subsequently served in NATO air intelligence positions, retired from the Air Force in 1979, and after a year, rejoined DIA as an intelligence analyst specializing in the Soviet and Warsaw Pact air forces. He retired from DIA in 1996 to begin a third career as a researcher and author.