Super Snoopers: The Evolution and Service Career of the Specialist Boeing C-135

Author(s): Bob Archer

ISBN: 9781781557693
£28.00 £40.00
A comprehensive and first look into the world of the personnel who fly and maintain the highly secret C-135 series, but whose duties take them extremely close to hostile territory worldwide.
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  • Brings together sixty years of observing US intelligence gathering aircraft, mostly in the US, along with fifty years of research and fifteen years writing

  • The majority of illustrations are drawn from private sources and include rare photographs from the mid-Cold War era to captivate aviation historians and modellers alike

  • Contains stories from aircrew and technicians explaining peacetime operations and combat support

  • Lifts the veil of operations of these fascinating aircraft types to bring a peek inside their secretive world

The US Air Force has performed peripheral reconnaissance adjacent to the traditional foe of Russia, China, North Korea and others for several decades. Evolving from rudimentary aircraft to an unprecedented level of sophistication, the current and elderly airframes boast unmatched performance.

Super Snoopers details the aircraft, equipment, sensors, air bases involved and limited operational details – as much remains highly classified. Additionally, stories by the personnel involved who have flown these missions and often faced their quarry at very close range.

The majority of aircraft involved are the Boeing C-135 series, including more than 100 different airframes of forty-eight different versions. Missions include strategic intelligence, airborne command and control, treaty compliance, Open Skies, weather reconnaissance, aerial refuelling and transportation.

This comprehensive volume is lavishly illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs, details the different aircraft missions, bewildering programme names, operating locations and flying units involved.

BOOK ISBN 9781781557693
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 352 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 135 black-and-white and 72 colour photographs



London-born Bob Archer's sixty years in aviation began as an aircraft enthusiast, turned photographer. Latterly writing for aviation journals, as well as four books. His primary period of interest is post World War Two to date. American, Russian and UK manufacturers are his favourites. Two greatest aviation periods were viewing the early 1960s American nuclear bombers in central England, and the Russian military in Eastern Europe during the early 1990s. He has flown in numerous military aircraft, including Phantom, Tornado, Jaguar, Hercules, VC.10 and various helicopters worldwide.