Sled Driver : Flying the World’s Fastest and Largest Jet is a book published in 1994 written by Major Brian Shul, a fighter crew member of the USA air force.
The name itself indicates the story behind the book that it takes us through the riveting accounts of flying the most dynamic aircraft of the 20th century by the author.
He has illustrated his sensational experience regarding the flying of the fleet.
Based on this story and composed of incredible photographs, the Sled Driver is now one of the rarest books in the world.
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Due to restricted editions and finite hardcopies, the book is completely difficult to find anywhere.
For this reason, it has become a desirable and sought-after book to the audience who cherish an immense interest in aeronautics and firmament.
Accordingly, the price of this book is quite superfluous.
The article contains a description of the reasons that make it very expensive along with some other crucial factors.
Therefore, let’s dive into the exploration.
Why is sled driver so expensive?
Investigating several things, it has been found that the book Sled Driver is a rare book brightened with an exceptional and interesting subject matter regarding space.
Besides, the book has limited editions that make it unavailable to everyone.
There is no PDF file of the book that can somehow meet its demand slightly.
Thus, the book is found in some online sellers with a ridiculous price tag that ranges from $700.
So, the reasons are now interpreted here.
Unique Subject and Story
The very dominant reason that makes Sled Driver quite expensive is the popular subject and unique story.
Captain Brian Shull has written the book about the SR-71 Blackbird, the world’s fastest flying aircraft.
No other aircraft has ever captured such curiosity and attention as the Blackbird.
The jet was nicknamed The Sled by the aeronauts.
The story of the Sled Driver is truly fantabulous.
During the late 1950s, when the Cold war at large, America was scheming to make a top-secret aircraft with high-end efficiency.
Following the plan, an aircraft was constructed in 1966 namely the Blackbird.
With composite materials, innovative technology, and potential features, it became the strongest jet at that time.
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It could fly at Mach 3.6 so fast with a flying altitude of 80,000 feet.
Thus it could cover several countries of the middle east just within a few minutes.
Another mentionable fact is that the SR-71 Blackbirds were flown a total of 3550 missions with only 32 copies of the model.
Among them, 12 were lost or destroyed.
Although the Blackbird aircraft mission was primarily closed in 1989, it was re-examined in 1993 during the conflict in the Middle east.
However, it was permanently retired in 1998.
Hence, the story of this historic aircraft was at the highest level of the American people.
It gained wide applause and celebration at that time.
As Major Brian Shul was a crew out of 87 crews of the jets, he took an initiative to illustrate the story in words.
He has given an insight into experience relating to the jet.
This unique subject has gained attention and magnificence going the readers through an emotional phase regarding airshows.
As a result, the book becomes surprisingly popular and thus, the price is highly extravagant.
Another principle reason for having a ridiculous price tag is the limited edition of the Sled Driver.
Only 3680 copies were ever produced and ever will be.
Brian Shul published the books by a small publisher.
The edition of the book is also limited.
The publication Lickle Pub Inc had brought out four editions of the book so far.
Now, it is restricted to be printed newly.
As a result, all books are of the old version and there is no fresh original hardcopy.
Many copies of these books are found second-hand.
Consequently, the book enjoys being sold at a hefty price on several online sellers like Amazon, eBay, etc.
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No PDF File
As said before, the book, Sled Driver is very rare because of its limited edition.
The number of copies is also finite.
Once, the book had some PDF files online.
But at present, it is impossible to find a PDF file of the Sled Driver.
As the book is comparatively precious and holds huge popularity, people want to have it.
Those who are curious enough about space and firmament express a great interest in this book.
Since the price of hardcopy is outrageously sky-kissing, they look for a PDF file that doesn’t require any mentionable cost.
But unfortunately, the links to the PDF file have been disabled.
As a result, the current price of the hardcopy again raises to be higher.
The quality of the Sled Driver is quite impressive.
As the number of the book is finite, they were produced with excellent quality.
The hardcover of the book contains almost 170 pages that were thick and thus, the book is heavy.
The size is also remarkable as it contains some photographs.
It weighs nearly 2.5 pounds. Most of the books are signed by Brian Shul.
Hence, this outstanding quality of the hardcover relating print, size, and pages, the book demands an expensive price tag.
Another cause to be very costly is the rare photographs contained in the books.
Brian Shul was not only a crew member but also a photographer.
Having been interested in photography, he took several pictures of the inside of the jet revealing different phases of flying.
He also captured various pictures of the cosmos.
The activities of the crews are known through the pictures.
Thus, illustrated with these rare photographs, the book gained more appeal to the readers and a certain group of people interested in this subject.
Accordingly, it has become a very desirable one to the audience.
And the price has also gone high.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the SR-71 Blackbird?
The SR-71 Blackbird is the most influential and potential aircraft of the 20th century constructed by America during the 1960s.
When the Cold War of the 1950s with the Soviet Union was at the end, the USA felt an urgency to make a powerful airplane that would never have been innovated by anyone.
Consequently, a radical design was brought, an aircraft was manufactured and attributed with advanced technologies.
It was named SR-71 Blackbird.
The crews of the flying Blackbird called it the Sled.
Therefore, the Sled is one of the fastest and largest aircraft that is an incredible piece of engineering.
How many missions did the Blackbird participate in?
The blackbird was invented to fly high to accomplish missions and participate in the wars.
It is estimated that the Blackbird participated in more than 3550 missions.
It was used as a spy on military installations and troop movements.
It was flown in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe to take part in the conflicts.
When was the Blackbird retired?
After so many missions, the authority intended to bring an end to the Blackbird because of the expensive cost to maintain the fleet.
As a result, it was primarily shut down in 1989.
But when a conflict was eminent in the middle east during 1993, the fleet was again exerted.
However, the Blackbird was retired in 1998 forever.
Two of them were given to NASA which flew one more year.
They are now owned by NASA and displayed in the museum.
And the rest of them are not in existence.
Who Wrote the Sled Driver Book?
The book, Sled Driver : Flying the World’s Fastest Jet, was written by Major Brian Shul who worked in the air force as a fighter pilot.
He flew more than 210 missions in his life.
Crashing on the Cambodian border, he suffered a 70% burn that made him impossible to fly again.
Yet he was indomitable and accordingly became a crew member of the Blackbird and participated in one of the most crucial missions.
In 1990, he retired from the job and started writing and photography.
During his Blackbird missions, he captured so many pictures that illustrate the inside and outside of the fleet.
The photographs of the firmament are included in his book the Sled Driver.
It was eventually published in the early phase of the 1990s.
What is the main theme of the book?
As I’ve described earlier, the Sled Driver book was composed by Brian Shul who was a crew member of the USA air force.
Being a part of the Blackbird mission, he took so many pictures illustrating the fleet and the cosmos.
What Shul experienced during his days in space is the main theme of the book.
After retirement, Shul published a book narrating the different phases of flying, the psychological stresses of that time, and the experience of missions.
He also included the photographs that he had taken from the inside of the fleet.
What does the book cost?
Already known that the book Sled Driver is outrageously expensive that claims an exorbitant price tag.
It is very hard to find the book in bookshops.
Some online sellers like Amazon and eBay sell the book but it is also very limited.
As a result, the price goes up noticeably.
It is seen that the minimum price tag of a Sled Driver is $700.
It can even go for $2000 to $3000 depending on the quality of the book.
Is the book worth the money?
Whether the book is worth it or not depends on the readers.
Sled Driver is an exclusive book illustrating the experience of Captain Brian and the photographs of the space.
So, those who have enough curiosity about this particular subject regarding aeronautics purchase this book at a hefty price.
On this particular subject, the book is really an outstanding masterpiece.
For this reason, it has gained recognition.
Therefore, if you are from this particular audience, the book is worth the money.
Final Thoughts On Why Is Sled Driver So Expensive
Why Is Sled Driver So Expensive? In the end, the SR-71 Blackbird is such an aircraft that achieved wide recognition in USA history because of its magnificent characteristics.
After flying for so many years, working as a spy, and participating in various missions, it was finally shut down in the 1990s.
But its historical importance remains so far.
As a result, the book ‘Sled Driver: Flying the World’s Fastest and largest Jet’ written by Brian Shul is considered a precious piece in the aeronautics and astronautics books.
Due to the finite edition, the book is now very hard to find.
Besides the scarcity of the book, significant subject and story, rare photographs, and excellent quality of the book have made it more outstanding to the audience.
That is why its price is now extremely high and ridiculously expensive.
About Dawson Kutch
Dawson Kutch is a born and raised Alaskan who loves the outdoors and everything it has to offer. Kutch has been an avid hunter and fisher his entire life, and takes great pride in providing for himself and his family. While he enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, Kutch also has a passion for fashion and loves to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. In his free time, Kutch enjoys spending time with his wife and one young daughter. He is always looking to learn more and better himself, both as a writer and as a person.