Thursday, November 29, 2012

Around the World with Lockheed Martin

I'm proud of my 50-year association
by Thomas B.

As a 36-year Lockheed Martin Corporation career retiree, it seems my lifetime and family have been influenced by travel. Growing up as a United States Army dependent, I spent years traveling and living in South Korea, China and Japan. My own Army duty took me to Germany, where I first encountered Martin Marietta personnel. With a Martin Letter of Recommendation, I left the military and joined Martin in Orlando, only to be assigned to Korea as a field service rep. There I met the love of my life, leading to our marriage. The next 36 years took our family to assignments, both within the United States and outside, to the Middle East, Far East, Europe and Canada. Lockheed Martin not only favorably impacted my life, but also influenced our children’s lives as well. My 50 years with Lockheed Martin (36 active and 14 retired) only covers half of the Lockheed Martin Centennial period, but I am proud of the company, its people and its achievements during my life’s service. 

The Soaring Eagle

Worldwide, our aircraft raise the bar
by Joseph K.

One of Lockheed Martin's legacy companies, General Dynamics Fort Worth Division (GDFW), was awarded a contract in the mid-1980s to assist Aero Industry Development Center (AIDC), a quasi-government entity in Taiwan, in building a high-performance fighter, literally from the ground up. I was a senior engineering specialist (avionics) on the program for nine years, including over three years onsite in Taichung. The program continued in 1992 after Lockheed bought GDFW. The airplane is known as the Indigenous Defensive Fighter (IDF), the Soaring Eagle. The program took place because the United States would not sell F-16 Fighting Falcons to Taiwan in those years.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

“Rosy the Riveter”

Perhaps my father-in-law was the inspiration behind the icon
by Daryl C.

I retired from Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in 2007 after 40 years of service. My parents and my sister also had long careers with Lockheed Martin, but the story I want to tell is about my father-in-law Hyman Rosenthal. He started working for Lockheed in Burbank in 1941 and retired in 1973. He used to tell a story around the dinner table about how he believed he was the original “Rosy the Riveter.” His friends at work always called him Rosy and in the early 1940s, one of the jobs he performed was riveting. He recalled one day a reporter from one of the news magazines (Life, Look – he wasn’t sure which one) was touring the factory. While the reporter was in the area, one of Rosy’s coworkers called out, “Hey Rosy.” Shortly after that incident Rosie the Riveter, a woman, started turning up in magazines and posters and became the symbol for women supporting the war effort. To his dying day in 2007, he always believed that he was the inspiration for "Rosie the Riveter." Rosy spent 32 years with Lockheed Martin ending his career at Lockheed's Rye Canyon Research, north of Los Angeles. He enjoyed 34 years of retirement before passing at the age of 99 years.

"Rosy" inspired us all!

Strategic Reconnaissance

I worked on America’s first satellite intelligence program
by Corwin L.

I supported the system test of Thor-Agena on the Discoverer pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The classified program was Corona, which I learned later when it was declassified.

The first test launches for Corona/Discoverer were in 1959.

Monday, November 26, 2012

F-35: Pinnacle of Fighter Technology

I did the first “power-on”
by Paul P.

I was involved with the first production the F-35 and did the first “power-on.” My good friend, Johnny Zaskoda, was asked, but he felt that I was entitled to do the power-on because of my seniority. Thanks Johnny!

I am also proud to say that my son, Paul, was employed as a captain with Lockheed Martin’s security department when he retired from the Air Force, having served our nation for 23 years.

The World’s First Big Space Station

My work was a labor of love
by Robert H.

I worked on the Skylab program in the early 1970s at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. I wrote on-orbit crew procedures into a flight data file, which was flown onboard the Apollo capsule for each mission. This was the most fantastic labor of love in my career at Lockheed Martin, among other places I worked for them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The “Renaissance” Aircraft

It's still serving faithfully after 50 years
by Eric A.

As a young Navy enlisted aircrewman, I remember my first flight on the P-3C Orion. It was the first of many flights during my career on an aircraft that I come to respect and trust. Designed to be a sub hunter during the Cold War, the P-3C proved to be a multi-mission aircraft before it became fashionable—maritime patrol, search and rescue platform, air ambulance, surface targeting and control. After retiring from the Navy in 2005, I was proud to join the Lockheed Martin team. Twenty years and 2,500 flight hours later, my admiration for this aircraft has not diminished.

My crew and I respected and trusted the P-3C Orion!

Monday, November 19, 2012

We Continually Raised the Bar

Looking back, there's a great sense of pride in our success
by Bobby M.

I started working for Lockheed in 1967. Being a Lockheed employee gave me the opportunity to be involved in a number of exciting programs. I spent several years working on the Poseidon missile program. I also spent several years working on classified programs. I was continually amazed at the capability of Lockheed Martin personnel to solve so many challenging projects. A big portion of my career and the most memorable years were spent on the Hubble Space Telescope Program, where I managed the quality assurance effort.

I feel very fortunate to have worked on that program from the proposal stage through launch and several of the refurbishment missions. I worked with so many highly qualified individuals. I look back at the various periods and feel a great sense of pride in the success that the Hubble Space Telescope has had during its ongoing life in orbit.

Thank you Hubble Space Telescope; I've enjoyed the view!

Keeping the Peace

“Missile envy”
by David C.

Initially my job with supplier quality control was at 32nd and Chestnut St. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1989, the program was moved to Valley Forge. We worked on the awesome MK-21 missile program. This missile was capable of firing multiple atomic warheads. I could not imagine anyone using such a weapon. I guess it deserved the name "Peacekeeper." Although I gave over 100 percent to the job, I secretly hoped there would never be an occasion to use it. So far, we are in the clear. Nevertheless, to this day I wonder, "What if?"

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eyes and Adrenaline Skyward

I will never forget the Thunderbirds
by Fred C.

I was at the annual airshow at Sewart Air Force Base, Tennessee, in the early 1960s. The Thunderbirds performed with the F-100 show. Captain Bailey demonstrated a C-130 max performance take off, sans jet assisted take off (JATO), with a fuel truck aboard, and info fell through the crack (vacuum between the headset?) as truck had quite a bit of fuel aboard. It was a hot day, slow acceleration, rotation and into ground effect for quite a distance. Had to extract seat cushions from guys in the front office I'll bet you!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Raptor Dominates the Skies

It’s impressive worldwide
by Paola B.

I was in Switzerland with my friends when I saw two F-22 Raptors fly overhead. They were both at a very acute angle, maybe 20 degrees of turn.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Passion for Aviation, A Desire to Change the World

I had the honor of knowing a true American hero
by Karl J.

When it was thought that Blacks were not intelligent enough to fly, Eleanor Roosevelt had one of the Tuskegee Airmen as her personal pilot. His name was Lewis Jackson. He was the dean of Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, when I was a student there. We were friends. A quiet intelligent man, he researched the engineer Eiffel (tower in Paris) and his studies on the lift effect on flat plates. Dr. Jackson invented and built an airplane based on that science.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Passing the Torch through Generations

We’re proud to work for such a great company
by Susan J.

When I was quite little, my father worked on airplanes for Naval Air Station Alameda. He used to take me to airshows where we would view the Lockheed-built airplanes and jets he worked on. When I became a teenager, he worked at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale. Next thing you know I'm working at Lockheed in Sunnyvale right next to him, building vehicles still in service today. Now 20 years later, I'm proud to say my son is working at Lockheed Martin, just a few buildings away from me. 

We are very proud to work for such a great company building quality vehicles that withstand decades of outstanding services.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Boon for Astronomy and Mankind

Hubble’s achievements have been out of this world
by Chuck J.

In my 27 years with Lockheed Martin, at various sites across the country, working various programs, many of which cannot be openly acknowledged, my most notable achievement that can be mentioned was the contribution I made to the Hubble Space Telescope program in Sunnyvale, California. That space vehicle was quite a scientific achievement, not only for our nation but also for the world at large. Fly on Hubble!

Keep Going Strong, Lockheed Martin!

You build fantastic aircraft
by Nicolas M.

I’ve always loved airplanes. I served in the United States Air Force in Vietnam in 1965 and loved to fly. I had an aunt who worked in a bomb factory while her husband served in World War ll. My cousin flew fighter jets while serving in the United States Marine Corps. He also served in Vietnam. I was in one of the last prop (gas piston)-type aircraft schools. I flew in C-123, C-119 and C-123. I think Lockheed Martin builds a fantastic aircraft, including the SR-71 Blackbird and the best C-123.

Keep building and going strong!

Our History Here Began with My Grandfather

We couldn’t be prouder than to serve in the Air Force and work at Lockheed Martin
by Michelle A.

Lockheed Martin’s 100th year anniversary is also a celebration for my family and its heritage. I am the third generation to work for the Corporation. My grandfather worked for Lockheed on B-17 production lines in southern California during World War II. He was also one of the first employees to buy a Thousand Dollar War Bond. 

Following military retirement from the United States Air Force, my father joined Lockheed through a heritage company and worked for the company until his retirement in the mid-1980s. I am also a proud member of the Lockheed Martin team after having served in the Air Force. In my family, we were proud to serve in the US Air Force and to work for Lockheed Martin. 

This is a photo of my grandfather and the production line for the B-17 Flying Fortress.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

“Wing-Overs” in the P-38 Lightning

Memories of test flights will never fade
by Rosemary B.

My memories of Lockheed date from World War II. With a newly minted journalism degree, I was employed by the Lockheed Modification Center in Dallas. My job was writing the weekly newsletter for employees, which was called "The Interceptor."

What an exciting job! I was given a private office, access to the tarmac, factory and out buildings via an electric scooter, as well as camera and photo facilities and the print shop some miles away.

My most thrilling experience at Lockheed was being invited to go on a test flight of the P-38 fighter plane called "Night Lightning" with pilot Ben Branson. We flew straight up a long, long way and then straight down. It was very scary! We also did a series of "wing-overs" and other tests.

The P-38s were modified to fly at night over Germany during World War II as camera spy planes. They were painted black and a second seat, the double-bubble, was provided for the cameraman. The photomaps produced during those night flights were used later for bombing missions.

Another exciting event was going on a test flight in a B-17 Bomber, a huge airplane. I was even invited to take the controls as the pilot watched. What a thrill and a privilege!

When World War II ended in September, 1945, the Lockheed Modification Center in Dallas was promptly shut down forever. My memories of those test flights will never fade.

Thank you, Lockheed Martin, for a unique experience!

Ace reporter for "The Interceptor" in the Lockheed P-38

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dreams Become Reality at Lockheed Martin

I’m honored to work here
by Samantha O.

I knew I wanted to work on underwater vehicles when I saw "The Spy Who Loved Me" with the "swimming" Lotus. When I found out that Lockheed Martin Palm Beach built it, I knew there was only one place I wanted to work. I set that goal in middle school, and it became a reality when I graduated from college. I love my job and am honored to work here with such amazing innovative people.

We Changed History for Women

Glenn L. Martin took an unprecedented step
by Katherine S.

Almost 70 years ago, in 1943, in the middle of the most devastating war in history, Glenn L. Martin took the unprecedented step of recruiting women to take the place of engineers who were leaving to serve in the armed forces. I was 18-years-old and one of those women chosen to work at the Martin Company's camouflaged plant in Middle River outside Baltimore. Hired, and sent to college to study aeronautical engineering in an accelerated program, then to Martin's training school in an overhauled warehouse on Redwood Street in Baltimore, we were then ready to take up our jobs in the Middle River drafting rooms, changing, updating and correcting original drawings of the Martin planes. I was assigned work on the A30 attack/reconnaissance plane, the B-26 Marauder and the JRM-1 Mars cargo flying boat, as well as later, the 210, a Navy carrier plane.

It was an exciting time and we were changing history, not only in countries around the world, but also in the lives of working women in the United States. It was here that I met my husband, who was an engineer working in Martin's flight test, designing instruments that would help to make the planes safer. I remember the long nine-hour days, the six-day work week, the round-the-year double-daylight savings time, as well as the dedication of all the men and women at "GLM," and the pride of being a part of winning the war.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Exploring the Bounds of What’s Possible

It’s a career, not a job
by Frank C.

I've been employed with Lockheed Martin for seven years, and I’ve worked on amazing projects that have had a direct and real impact on the world around me. I feel pride that I work for the company that started with dawn of aviation. Now, we’re exploring the bounds of what is possible with cyber security and computing and the bleeding edge of space. I feel that I have a career, not just a job with Lockheed Martin.

It Was an Epiphany

At that moment, I was suddenly able to truly say I knew who I was working for
by Stephen K.

The lights pooled around the sand-colored vehicles as night came on. Stacked high about them were packs and duffle bags. Soldiers checked in, mingled with families, were issued weapons; a photographer snapped photos of the moment, capturing both smiles and somber expressions.

In an oft quoted slogan we say "We know who we're working for," and I believe that we do, but as I stood in that Ft. Stewart motor pool and my daughter kissed my son-in-law for the last time, I was suddenly able to truly say that I knew who I was working for.

We know who we're working for, we're working for them!

Over 60 Years Ago Today

My father was at the cutting edge of IT
by Jody P.

Sixty-five years ago, my dad started at GE Aerospace, a heritage company of Lockheed Martin. At 17-years-old, he was full of passion and curiosity and was quite driven. I closely watched as my dad, Thomas Pregent, changed IT history through his leadership, vision and fortitude. In fact, he was key to bringing together the future of information processing technology.

By 1959, he was already part of the development of information handling systems, computing services and business information processing centers. All evolved through new technology and consolidation of services that are still part of Lockheed Martin today. He was at the heart of change and was in front of what was considered the “leading edge” in technology. In the early 1950s, this included punch cards, magnetic tapes, mainframes and servers.

Twenty-five years ago, he led the GE Aerospace information technology initiative to integrate processes and services to combine key data centers by December 1989. He not only influenced and brought about change through the evolution of information technology, but he also was very influential in my life and in my career at GE Aerospace, then Lockheed Martin.

I proudly reflect on his impact to the company over his 42-year career. He was awarded for his many significant achievements, which influenced technology innovation and change. 

Thank you, Dad, for accelerating tomorrow!