Not every thing in there can be taken at face value (his rant against the paint locker on the Sea Shadow for example... it's really the 'toxic solvents and chemicals locker'), but still full of gold.
For example, they had into all sorts of problems wielding titanium for the first time. Chlorine would wreck all sorts of havoc on the plates they used, which they discovered when someone drew on a plate with a ball-point pen. And then they completely ripped their hair out when the municipality increased the chlorination in the water they were using to clean the plates.
I thought the passage about "600 mph birds" was particularly humorous because that was the first thing my young hacker mind thought of during a training section on the radar cross-section of the aircraft I was working on. It went something like this:
Instructor: "So the radar cross section is reduced considerably to approximately the size of a small bird"
Me: "So why don't they just look for a small bird going 600 mph?"
Some years after, an F-117 was shot down during the Kosovo War, reportedly using this method (I had nothing to do with it :). I think this was probably a big learning lesson in regard to stealth technology.
And no disrespect to my instructor, he was a professional and a god of his domain.
It was a bit more complicated than that ;-)
The full account how they managed to shot down a "stealth" F-117A with some modifications to cold war era Russian missiles, microwave ovens as radar decoys and in-promptu installed landlines can be read here: http://xmb.stuffucanuse.com/xmb/viewthread.php?tid=6376
I can believe the rabbit story in that link. ECM radiation is nasty.
>The spies and observers enabled Zoltan to keep his radars on for a minimal amount of time.
Reminds me of The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.
I do get the impression Skunkworks is not what it once was.
His book Sled Driver is selling for ~$2500 USD on amazon, and The Untouchables (which I haven't heard about) is here:
(Disclaimer: I own one of the regular ones, and didn't pay $200 for it. But it's a large form factor hardback printed on high quality glossy paper -- full of breathtaking colour images -- so even if they reprint it, don't expect to see copies on sale for less than $50.)
Which takes you here where you can purchase a limited edition for ~$400 USD
Pretty much anything Shul writes is excellent and readable.
I love that he accidentally overshoots the refueling in Gibraltar -- and ends up next to Sicily.
The more detailed Libya stuff is at the end, though he summarizes it in the beginning.
"On a typical training mission, we would take off near Sacramento, refuel over Nevada, accelerate into Montana, obtain high Mach over Colorado, turn right over New Mexico, speed across the Los Angeles Basin, run up the West Coast, turn right at Seattle, then return to Beale.
Total flight time: two hours and 40 minutes."
Puts the speed in such great perspective.