Sled driver by Brian Shul; 4 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Air pilots, Biography, Piloting, Reconnaissance aircraft, SR (Jet. No aircraft ever captured the curiosity & fascination of the public like the SR Blackbird. Nicknamed "The Sled" by those few who flew it, the aircraft was. If you have any interest in aviation I suggest you download this portal7.info link to the book 'Sled Driver" by Brian Shul. It's an easy read at
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Brian Shul. Midland . Brian Shu I came to the attention of Mach 1 two years ago through their exposure affectionately called "The Sled" by those who flew it. A couple days ago someone mentioned Brian Shul's now long out of print and hard to find book, "Sled Driver; Flying the World's Fastest Jet" on. SR Hall of Fame. Been looking around for a PDF version of Brian Shul’s book Sled Driver but all the links I’ve found appear to be dead. Anyone have a working link?.
Mezitilar Brian Shul For just one day, it truly was fun being the fastest guys out there. He has also released special, revised editions of both Sled Driver and The Untouchables. Good detail of the engines, fuels and control thereof that have made this record beating plane. This was good practice for him for when we began flying real missions, when a priority transmission from headquarters could be vital. Brian Shul — Wikipedia It is like waking up one morning and suddenly finding you can read a new language Dec 26, Joseph Simmons rated it it was amazing. I liked his unique dgiver and loved learning some of the inside scoop on this amazing jet.
You've probably already read Brian Shul's hilarious story about trolling a fighter pilot with ground speed tower checks , and maybe you've also heard about the slowest SR flyover ever attempted. Both are terrific, go read them if you haven't. Also a first-rate photographer, Shul spent a couple of years putting together a couple of absolutely extraordinary books on his experiences as a pilot.
The speed check story is directly lifted from its pages. One thing the book doesn't touch on in great detail is the extraordinary journey Shul himself took to get behind the stick of the Blackbird.
Overcoming massive injuries and burns from being shot down over Cambodia, Shul wasn't expected to be able to fly again at all, let alone make it into the ultra-exclusive Blackbird program.
We ran into Shul at this year's Reno Air Race, and he spoke with us about his journey, the experience of flying the world's fastest jet, and his books. We'll let Brian take it from here in his own words. Shot down and left for dead I was just a regular airforce pilot. I was flying special ops during the end of the Vietnam war down near Cambodia. I got shot down, I was forced to ride an airplane down into the jungle.
Blew up, was given up for dead. The helmet helped save me when I was stuck in that burning cockpit — I had a helmet and visor, but my visor started to melt. If I'd been in there a few more seconds it would've melted into me and I would've lost my eyes. Special forces guys rescued me, medevac'd me to Okinawa — they didn't want to ship my body across the Pacific.
They figured I was gonna die, so they sent me to Kadena.
They flew a burns team out from Texas just to take care of me. But I didn't die. I lasted those two months of intense emergency care, and I went from lb to 82 to 54 kg.
So it took everything my body had to survive. Then they shipped me back to Fort Sam, Houston, Texas, which is the main burns center.
I spent a year there going through 15 surgeries. The Air Force said, wow, you're lucky to be alive. It was very traumatic, but my training paid off. Got out of hospital, and I was able to pass a flight physical, which shocked the world. But the Chief of Aerospace Medicine gave it to me.
He said "I'm really interested in your case, and if I pass you, nobody will question it, because I'm the highest authority in the Air Force. So they couldn't flunk me. By then everyone said, "OK, he's a big story, but now you've gotta pass an astronaut physical to get in a space suit to fly that thing. The guy said, "wow, you've got one of the highest scores we've ever seen.
Flying the SR Blackbird I ended up flying the Blackbird for four years, I carried a camera — photography was my big passion — and I ended up with the world's rarest collection of Blackbird photos.
The airplane still holds every speed and altitude record. You did six months in the simulators, six months before they'd let you fly the airplane. So you're very prepared. Technically speaking, nothing is surprising you. Except, nothing can prepare you for the acceleration and everything happening at once, it's like "holy shit!
Start leveling at 17, you don't wanna overshoot. Are you nuts? I'll start leveling at 23 like I normally do…. Those big burners, well sometimes they lit simultaneously.
But otherwise there's a little jog sideways. It's impressive. Shul did not know his precise location, but he did know the approximate grid he was located within, so the search continued until his exact location was determined by him being able to see American aircraft.
The only practical way to recover the injured Shul would be by helicopter; and as it would likely be under fire from the enemy, Air Force Special Operations Command Pararescue teams were selected for the operation.
Although the original plan was to extract Shul quietly without the enemy noticing, the operation quickly turned into an openly hostile mission. Nearby enemy patrols were driven back by the rescue teams using small arms, while larger groups of enemies or search parties were handled with heavy weapon outfitted operators or operators acting as forward air control.
Once located the team provided immediate medical treatment to ensure that the extraction would not result in further wounds or make his existing wounds worse. Medical treatment continued aboard the evacuation helicopter and at a nearby American base. No American casualties occurred in the operation.
Once he arrived at the military hospital in Okinawa, doctors believed he would not survive his burns. During the following year, he underwent 15 major operations. Physicians told him he'd never fly again. Months of physical therapy followed, enabling Shul to eventually pass a flight physical and return to active flying duty.
Post Vietnam[ edit ] Two days after being released from the hospital, Shul was back flying Air Force fighter jet aircraft. He went on to fly the A-7 D, and was then selected to be a part of the first operational A squadron at Myrtle Beach, SC, where he was on the first A air show demonstration team.
As a final assignment in his career, Shul volunteered for and was selected to fly the SR This assignment required an astronaut type physical just to qualify, and Shul passed with no waivers.