Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

Who says our work can’t also be fun?
by George J.

I was lucky enough to work for Lockheed Martin for over 37 years. I started my career on the L-1011 TriStar as a wash rack attendant working in the paint shop. During the program’s early days, from time to time we were required to lay up various new airline logos and markings on one of the aircraft on the final assembly line in Building 601. We worked with engineering to ensure the placement was aesthetically pleasing.
When we performed this task, we would look at the placement from the first mezzanine on the north side of the building. On any given day, we might lay up the logos on different aircraft. The aircraft used depended on which one the manufacturing department would allow access to. One day, someone noticed we kept changing aircraft and asked why. Being the practical jokers we were, we told them the mezzanine was designed to look like various air terminals around the world. We told him if we moved further to the east it looked like one airport or a little to the west it looked like another.
This rumor seemed to spread fast across the plant, and people actually believing our made-up story. This was just one of many practical jokes we played on the unsuspecting workers. 
I started my career in the L-1011 paint shop.