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Skunk Works - On the Path to 75 Years of Innovation
Skunk Works - On the Path to 75 Years of Innovation
Published: 2017/09/15
Channel: LockheedMartinVideos
HOW LOCKHEED MARTIN
HOW LOCKHEED MARTIN'S LEGENDARY SKUNK WORKS IS BEATING CHINA'S 'CARRIER KILLERS' || WARTHOG 2017
Published: 2017/04/01
Channel: Warthog Defense
Skunkworks V3 is COMPLETE!
Skunkworks V3 is COMPLETE!
Published: 2015/05/01
Channel: JayzTwoCents
The Most Epic Gaming PC Build Video Ever - Skunkworks Update 2016
The Most Epic Gaming PC Build Video Ever - Skunkworks Update 2016
Published: 2016/09/27
Channel: JayzTwoCents
Ben Rich on 60 Minutes
Ben Rich on 60 Minutes
Published: 2015/05/16
Channel: N2Eternity
Don Phillips from Lockheed Skunk Works UFO Encounter
Don Phillips from Lockheed Skunk Works UFO Encounter
Published: 2015/06/28
Channel: Exopolitical Archive
Watch : New Lockheed Skunk Works Video Teases The Shape Of The Next Generation Air Dominance Fighter
Watch : New Lockheed Skunk Works Video Teases The Shape Of The Next Generation Air Dominance Fighter
Published: 2017/09/21
Channel: Military Update
Skunk Works® Magic
Skunk Works® Magic
Published: 2014/03/25
Channel: LockheedMartinVideos
(MIND BLOWING) Lockheed Skunkworks Employee Speaks Out
(MIND BLOWING) Lockheed Skunkworks Employee Speaks Out 'Technology from Extraterrestrials'
Published: 2015/04/04
Channel: Envylife904
P&E 2014, "Alton Romig - A History of Skunkworks"
P&E 2014, "Alton Romig - A History of Skunkworks"
Published: 2014/08/04
Channel: AIAA
Skunkworks V3.0 Update has Begun!! Build Vlog Part 1
Skunkworks V3.0 Update has Begun!! Build Vlog Part 1
Published: 2015/04/22
Channel: JayzTwoCents
Top Documentary Films: The History of Spy Planes
Top Documentary Films: The History of Spy Planes
Published: 2014/08/14
Channel: Willie Mccarthy
Lockheed Martin’s ” Skunk Works” Shows Potential 6th Gen , F 22 Successor1
Lockheed Martin’s ” Skunk Works” Shows Potential 6th Gen , F 22 Successor1
Published: 2017/09/18
Channel: Global Conflict
Skunk Works® -- 70 Years of Mission Driven Innovation
Skunk Works® -- 70 Years of Mission Driven Innovation
Published: 2013/06/17
Channel: LockheedMartinVideos
Extraterrestrial UFOs are real Ben Rich Lockheed Skunk Works CEO admits on his deathbed
Extraterrestrial UFOs are real Ben Rich Lockheed Skunk Works CEO admits on his deathbed
Published: 2016/02/20
Channel: Shondra Allison
Skunkworks build vlog and why I wont use Pastel fluid anymore
Skunkworks build vlog and why I wont use Pastel fluid anymore
Published: 2015/12/23
Channel: JayzTwoCents
SR-71 Blackbird Lockheed Skunk Works
SR-71 Blackbird Lockheed Skunk Works
Published: 2009/01/16
Channel: BlackbirdSpecOps
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Fastest Jet in the World Full Documentary
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Fastest Jet in the World Full Documentary
Published: 2014/02/04
Channel: te darea
Bruce Dickinson Skunkworks full disc
Bruce Dickinson Skunkworks full disc
Published: 2016/05/28
Channel: Ricardo Sandoval
SR-72 New-Bird Lockheed Martin
SR-72 New-Bird Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works Information Revealed
Published: 2017/06/11
Channel: All In One A-1
"Extraterrestrial UFOs are real" -  Ben Rich Lockheed Skunk Works CEO admits on his deathbed
"Extraterrestrial UFOs are real" - Ben Rich Lockheed Skunk Works CEO admits on his deathbed
Published: 2011/09/20
Channel: Alexander Light
Ask a Skunk: What is Skunk Works?
Ask a Skunk: What is Skunk Works?
Published: 2015/03/23
Channel: LockheedMartinVideos
Skunk Works ARES
Skunk Works ARES
Published: 2014/02/27
Channel: LockheedMartinVideos
skunkworks
skunkworks
Published: 2008/08/04
Channel: James Maldonado
RailsConf 2016 - Day 1 Closing Keynote: Skunk Works by Nickolas Means
RailsConf 2016 - Day 1 Closing Keynote: Skunk Works by Nickolas Means
Published: 2016/05/12
Channel: Confreaks
Lockheed-Martin "Skunk Works" P791 LTA ACLS dynmicpara
Lockheed-Martin "Skunk Works" P791 LTA ACLS dynmicpara
Published: 2007/11/21
Channel: dynmicpara
UFO TECHNOLOGY: Ben Rich, Skunk Works, and Mind Control
UFO TECHNOLOGY: Ben Rich, Skunk Works, and Mind Control
Published: 2015/02/13
Channel: FaceLikeTheSun
How Vermeer’s ‘Skunk Works’ Approach  Resulted in the First Self Propelled Baler
How Vermeer’s ‘Skunk Works’ Approach Resulted in the First Self Propelled Baler
Published: 2017/09/14
Channel: Farm Equipment
Area 51 Road Trip: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks Video
Area 51 Road Trip: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks Video
Published: 2011/03/18
Channel: Diesel Power
Skunkworks Update Vlog - 2 GTX1080s vs 3 GTX Titan X??
Skunkworks Update Vlog - 2 GTX1080s vs 3 GTX Titan X??
Published: 2016/06/25
Channel: JayzTwoCents
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Chief: U.S. Next Generation Fighters Need Stealth
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Chief: U.S. Next Generation Fighters Need Stealth
Published: 2017/05/07
Channel: DF News
Skunkworks Update Part 3 - Q&A Session
Skunkworks Update Part 3 - Q&A Session
Published: 2015/04/29
Channel: JayzTwoCents
Skunk Works
Skunk Works' SPIDER: Self-Propelled Instrument for Airship Damage Evaluation and Repair
Published: 2016/07/27
Channel: LockheedMartinVideos
Sim Skunk Works F-104G from Bentwaters to Landivisiau
Sim Skunk Works F-104G from Bentwaters to Landivisiau
Published: 2014/10/08
Channel: Cleartheprop
Ben Rich of Lockheed Skunkworks Famous UFO Quotes
Ben Rich of Lockheed Skunkworks Famous UFO Quotes
Published: 2016/01/12
Channel: Jonathan Lippe
Crazy Overkill Watercooled Gaming PC Benchmarks - Skunkworks
Crazy Overkill Watercooled Gaming PC Benchmarks - Skunkworks
Published: 2015/05/27
Channel: JayzTwoCents
silicon valley skunk works s3e3
silicon valley skunk works s3e3
Published: 2016/05/09
Channel: Daniel Gagne
Lockheed SkunkWorks U-2 Flypast & Landing, RIAT 2017.
Lockheed SkunkWorks U-2 Flypast & Landing, RIAT 2017.
Published: 2017/08/06
Channel: bobsurgranny
Skunkworks and 370Z Nismo update vlog!
Skunkworks and 370Z Nismo update vlog!
Published: 2015/12/11
Channel: JayzTwoCents
Skunk Works "Stalker" UAV
Skunk Works "Stalker" UAV
Published: 2009/01/25
Channel: darpasonic
The Original Skunk Works – Nickolas Means | The Lead Developer UK 2017
The Original Skunk Works – Nickolas Means | The Lead Developer UK 2017
Published: 2017/07/05
Channel: White October Events
Skunk Works UCLASS Concept
Skunk Works UCLASS Concept
Published: 2013/04/08
Channel: defenseupdate
Skunkworks Build Vlog Part 2
Skunkworks Build Vlog Part 2
Published: 2015/04/27
Channel: JayzTwoCents
Skunkworks pt 2
Skunkworks pt 2
Published: 2008/08/04
Channel: James Maldonado
Evan Duffield Starting
Evan Duffield Starting 'Skunk Works' to ‘Future-Proof’ Dash
Published: 2017/05/05
Channel: Dash - Digital Cash
Ask a Skunk: How to Join the Skunk Works Team
Ask a Skunk: How to Join the Skunk Works Team
Published: 2015/03/23
Channel: LockheedMartinVideos
Pre-Order Now! SkunkWorks Surf Co.
Pre-Order Now! SkunkWorks Surf Co.
Published: 2016/08/25
Channel: SkunkWorks Surf Co.
Skunk Works Shirt Tradification 2017
Skunk Works Shirt Tradification 2017
Published: 2017/02/12
Channel: Skunkworks1983
Skunkworks pt 3
Skunkworks pt 3
Published: 2008/08/20
Channel: James Maldonado
Skunkworks changed colors... AGAIN! Now what?
Skunkworks changed colors... AGAIN! Now what?
Published: 2015/11/17
Channel: JayzTwoCents
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Entrance plaza at the Skunk Works in Palmdale, California
Skunk Works logo

Skunk Works is an official pseudonym for Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, which will be used in the air forces of several countries. The name "Skunk Works" was taken from the moonshine factory in the comic strip Li'l Abner. The designation "skunk works" or "skunkworks" is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, with the task of working on advanced or secret projects.

History[edit]

There are conflicting observations about the birth of Skunk Works.

Ben Rich and "Kelly" Johnson set the origin as June 1943 in Burbank, California; they relate essentially the same chronology in their autobiographies.[1] Theirs is the official Lockheed Skunk Works story:

The Air Tactical Service Command (ATSC) of the Army Air Force met with Lockheed Aircraft Corporation to express its need for a jet fighter. A rapidly growing German jet threat gave Lockheed an opportunity to develop an airframe around the most powerful jet engine that the allied forces had access to, the British Goblin. Lockheed was chosen to develop the jet because of its past interest in jet development and its previous contracts with the Air Force. One month after the ATSC and Lockheed meeting, the young engineer Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson and other associate engineers hand delivered the initial XP-80 proposal to the ATSC. Two days later the go-ahead was given to Lockheed to start development and the Skunk Works was born, with Kelly Johnson at the helm.

The formal contract for the XP-80 did not arrive at Lockheed until October 16, 1943; some four months after work had already begun. This would prove to be a common practice within the Skunk Works. Many times a customer would come to the Skunk Works with a request and on a handshake the project would begin, no contracts in place, no official submittal process. Kelly Johnson and his Skunk Works team designed and built the XP-80 in only 143 days, seven less than was required.[2]

Warren M. Bodie, journalist, historian, and Skunk Works engineer from 1977 to 1984, wrote that engineering independence, elitism and secrecy of the Skunk Works variety were demonstrated earlier when Lockheed was asked by Lieutenant Benjamin S. Kelsey (later air force brigadier general) to build for the United States Army Air Corps a high speed, high altitude fighter to compete with German aircraft. In July 1938, while the rest of Lockheed was busy tooling up to build Hudson reconnaissance bombers to fill a British contract, a small group of engineers was assigned to fabricate the first prototype of what would become the P-38 Lightning. Kelly Johnson set them apart from the rest of the factory in a walled-off section of one building, off limits to all but those involved directly.[3] Secretly, a number of advanced features were being incorporated into the new fighter including a significant structural revolution in which the aluminum skin of the aircraft was joggled, fitted and flush-riveted, a design innovation not called for in the army's specification but one that would yield less aerodynamic drag and give greater strength with lower mass. As a result, the XP-38 was the first 400 mph fighter in the world. In November 1941, Kelsey gave the unofficial nod to Johnson and the P-38 team to engineer a drop tank system to extend range for the fighter, and they completed the initial research and development without a contract. When the Army Air Forces officially asked for a range extension solution it was ready.[4] Some of the group of independent-minded engineers were later involved with the XP-80 project, the prototype of the P-80 Shooting Star.

Mary G. Ross, the first Native American female engineer, was among the 40 founding engineers.[5]

1950s and beyond[edit]

SR-71 at Lockheed Skunk Works
Assembly line of the SR-71 Blackbird at Skunk Works

In 1955, the Skunk Works received a contract from the CIA to build a spyplane known as the U-2 with the intention of flying over the Soviet Union and photographing sites of strategic interest. The U-2 was tested at Groom Lake in the Nevada desert, and the Flight Test Engineer in charge was Joseph F. Ware, Jr. The first overflight took place on July 4 1956. The U-2 ceased overflights when Francis Gary Powers was shot down during a mission on May 1, 1960, while over Russia.

The Skunk Works had predicted that the U-2 would have a limited operational life over the Soviet Union. The CIA agreed. In late 1959, the Skunk Works received a contract to build five A-12 aircraft at a cost of $96 million. Building a Mach 3.0+ aircraft out of titanium posed enormous difficulties, and the first flight did not occur until 1962. (Titanium supply was largely dominated by the Soviet Union, so the CIA set up a dummy corporation to acquire source material.) Several years later, the U.S. Air Force became interested in the design, and it ordered the SR-71 Blackbird, a two-seater version of the A-12. This aircraft first flew in 1966 and remained in service until 1998, and the Flight Test Engineer in charge was Joseph F. Ware, Jr.

The D-21 drone, similar in design to the Blackbird, was built to overfly the Lop Nur nuclear test facility in China. This drone was launched from the back of a specially modified A-12, known as M-21, of which there were two built. After a fatal mid-air collision on the fourth launch, the drones were re-built as D-21Bs, and launched with a rocket booster from B-52s. Four operational missions were conducted over China, but the camera packages were never successfully recovered.

Kelly Johnson headed the Skunk Works until 1975. He was succeeded by Ben Rich.

In 1976, the Skunk Works began production on a pair of stealth technology demonstrators for the U.S. Air Force named Have Blue in Building 82 at Burbank. These scaled-down demonstrators, built in only 18 months, were a revolutionary step forward in aviation technology. After a series of successful test flights beginning in 1977, the Air force awarded Skunk Works the contract to build the F-117 stealth fighter on November 1, 1978.

During the entirety of the Cold War, the Skunk Works was located in Burbank, California, on the eastern side of Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (34°12′03″N 118°21′07″W / 34.200768°N 118.351826°W / 34.200768; -118.351826). After 1989, Lockheed reorganized its operations and relocated the Skunk Works to Site 10 at U.S. Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, where it remains in operation today. Most of the old Skunk Works buildings in Burbank were demolished in the late 1990s to make room for parking lots. One main building still remains at 2777 Ontario Street in Burbank (near San Fernando Road), now used as an office building for digital film post production and sound mixing. During the late 1990s when designing Pixar's building, Edwin Catmull and Steve Jobs visited a Skunkworks Building which influenced Steve's design.[6]

Projects[edit]

2015 projects[edit]

Next generation optionally-personnelled U-2 aircraft. During September 2015 the proposed aircraft was deemed to have developed into more of a tactical reconnaissance aircraft, instead of strategic reconnaissance.[7]

Aircraft[edit]

A modern Skunk Works project leverages an older one: LASRE atop the SR-71 Blackbird.

Other[edit]

Term origin[edit]

The Skunk Works logo as seen on one of Lockheed Martin’s hangars.

The term "Skunk Works" came from Al Capp's satirical, hillbilly comic strip Li’l Abner, which was immensely popular in the 1940s and '50s. The “Skonk Works" was a dilapidated factory located on the remote outskirts of Dogpatch, in the backwoods of Kentucky. According to the strip, scores of locals were done in yearly by the toxic fumes of the concentrated "skonk oil", which was brewed and barreled daily by "Big Barnsmell" (known as the lonely "inside man" at the Skonk Works), by grinding dead skunks and worn shoes into a smoldering still, for some mysterious, unspecified purpose.

The original Lockheed facility, during the development of the P-80 Shooting Star, was located adjacent to a malodorous plastics factory.[1] According to Ben Rich’s memoir, an engineer jokingly showed up to work one day wearing a Civil Defense gas mask. To comment on the smell and the secrecy the project entailed, another engineer, Irv Culver, referred to the facility as "Skonk Works". As the development was very secret, the employees were told to be careful even with how they answered phone calls. One day, when the Department of the Navy was trying to reach the Lockheed management for the P-80 project, the call was accidentally transferred to Culver’s desk. Culver answered the phone in his trademark fashion of the time, by picking up the phone and stating "Skonk Works, inside man Culver". "What?" replied the voice at the other end. "Skonk Works", Culver repeated. The name stuck. Culver later said at an interview conducted in 1993 that "when Kelly Johnson heard about the incident, he promptly fired me. It didn’t really matter, since he was firing me about twice a day anyways."[8][9]

At the request of the comic strip copyright holders, Lockheed changed the name of the advanced development company to "Skunk Works" in the 1960s. The name "Skunk Works" and the skunk design are now registered trademarks of the Lockheed Martin Corporation.[10] The company also holds several registrations of it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. They have filed several challenges against registrants of domain names containing variations on the term under anti-cybersquatting policies, and have lost a case under the .uk domain name dispute resolution service against a company selling cannabis seeds and paraphernalia, which used the word "skunkworks" in its domain name (referring to "Skunk", a variety of the cannabis plant). Lockheed Martin claimed the company registered the domain in order to disrupt its business and that consumer confusion might result. The respondent company argued that Lockheed "used its size, resources and financial position to employ 'bullyboy' tactics against . . . a very small company."[11]

Australian company The Novita Group Pty Ltd owns the trademark "Skunkworks" in that country. After years of litigation the Australian government department IP Australia confirmed the trademark and awarded it to Novita against Lockheed Martin's objections.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bennis, Warren and Patricia Ward Biederman. Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration, p. 117. Perseus Books, 1997.
  2. ^ Lockheed Martin Corporation Skunk Works
  3. ^ a b Bodie, 1992, p. 23.
  4. ^ Bodie, 1992, p. 72.
  5. ^ Briggs, Kara (December 24, 2008). "Cherokee rocket scientist leaves heavenly gift". Cherokee Phoenix. NMAI Newservice. 
  6. ^ Catmull, Edwin (2014). Afterword: The Steve We Knew. Creativity Inc. ISBN 9780812993011. 
  7. ^ Drew, James (September 14, 2015). "Lockheed Skunk Works' next-generation U-2 morphs into 'TR-X'". Flight Global. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  8. ^ Pace, Steve, Lockheed Skunk Works, p. 11. Rich, Ben, Skunk Works.
  9. ^ How the Skunk Works got its name
  10. ^ Boyne, Walter J., Beyond the Horizons, p. 154.
  11. ^ "Nominet UK Dispute Resolution Service – DRS 04100 – Lockheed Martin Corporation vs. UK Skunkworks Ltd – Decision of Appeal Panel" (PDF). Nominet UK. April 23, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 26, 2009. 
  12. ^ Guan, Lilia (May 27, 2008). "Skunkworks wins trade name battle". CRN Australia. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 
  • Bodie, Warren M. (2001). The Lockheed P-38 Lightning: The Definitive Story of Lockheed's P-38 Fighter. Hayesville, North Carolina: Widewing Publications. ISBN 0-9629359-5-6. 
  • Miller, Jay (1995). Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works: The Official History. Aerofax. ISBN 1-85780-037-0. 
  • Rich, Ben; Leo, Janos (1996). Skunk Works. Little, Brown & Company. ISBN 0-316-74300-3. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°36′53″N 118°07′07″W / 34.614734°N 118.118676°W / 34.614734; -118.118676

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