Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed

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From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, the never-before-told story behind America's high-stakes quest to dominate the skies Skunk Works is the true story of America's most secret and successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation's brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works is a drama of cold war confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement against fantastic odds. Here are up-close portraits of the maverick band of scientists and engineers who made the Skunk Works so renowned. Filled with telling personal anecdotes and high adventure, with narratives from the CIA and from Air Force pilots who flew the many classified, risky missions, this book is a riveting portrait of the most spectacular aviation triumphs of the twentieth century.



  • Memoirs have taught me a valuable lesson. I had hoped for an objective historical account, but unfortunately the author's main focus throughout the book was to boast about his intelligence and righteousness. He consistently claimed that his decisions were the best while everyone else was foolish. Towards the end, a significant portion of the book was dedicated to complaining about the military. It's perplexing how someone who served in the military for such a long time failed to comprehend the dangers of constructing a plane in just 90 days, which not only posed a threat to America's security but also put the pilot's life at risk. This book left me deeply disappointed, and I struggled to finish it. Luckily, I was alone at home because by the end, I found myself expressing my dissatisfaction with the author in less than pleasant terms.
  • The red tape and administrative hurdles within the Air Force, Navy, and Lockheed management contribute to inefficiency and increased expenses. On the other hand, the liberation and autonomy experienced within the Skunk Works division lead to innovation and growth.
  • When I picked up 'Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed', I never thought it would evoke such strong emotions. This book delves into the remarkable team responsible for crafting cutting-edge weapons of war, but it doesn't stop at engineering. It weaves a captivating narrative that explores the intricate human connections among the team members. Moreover, it offers intriguing insights into the historical backdrop of the plane's development, shedding light on the secretive aspects of foreign relations and internal politics within agencies. All in all, it's an exceptional read that left me wanting more. I can't wait to dive into its pages again.
  • I couldn't really get into "Skunk Works" due to the narrator. Pete Larkin's voice reminded me more of a comic book reader, which felt overly humorous at times. It took me until the second half of the book to develop any attachment to the Stealth fighter. Unfortunately, this memoir didn't appeal to me as much as I had hoped. I may have overindulged in memoirs and military-related books, so maybe I should have waited before picking this one up. Is Ben Rich's career at Lockheed worth exploring in writing? It depends. If you work in the aerospace industry, then yes. However, if you're like me and couldn't get into this book, the same can be said for any specific topic.
  • If you have any interest in knowing about the conception, construction, and utilization of the U-2, SR-71, and B117 directly from the individuals who brought them to life, then this book is a must-read for you.
  • This audiobook was incredibly hard to listen to, and I ended up giving up after about an hour. It seems like the intended audience for this book is young children in the third grade. The author continuously includes awkward analogies in almost every paragraph to try and make his point. When combined with the narrator's delivery, it feels like a low-budget John Wayne talking to schoolkids about his experiences in constructing a stealth fighter.
  • The narrator had this badass vibe, just like you would imagine one of those tough engineers at Skunk Works. The story itself was absolutely captivating, a thrilling account of the daring adventures and mischief the brilliant engineers from the Greatest Generation got themselves into during the Cold War.
  • I really enjoyed this book. I would have rated it 5 stars for the story, but there are moments when the book delves into technical jargon about production, finance, procurement, and accounting topics, which are important but tend to become a bit dull. Nevertheless, the overall experience of the book was fantastic.