Thursday, January 31, 2013

Striking a Perfect Balance

We enjoyed our job and had respect for everyone
by Harry H.

I was working on the Viking program at Lockheed Martin in Denver, Colorado, in the 1970s with my friend Don Greatorex. We were working in the machine shop and were looking for the supervisor to get our parts. My friend was 6 feet 4 inches tall, and I'm just a measly 5 feet 3 inches. As usual, the supervisor would say, "I have your parts, but I don't see the little guy, so I guess he doesn't get his parts." I worked with a lot of great people and we all enjoyed our jobs because we joked with each other, but also always treated each other and everyone with respect.

The Spirit of Camaraderie

It was the best job I ever had
by Juliana M.

I was hired at 50 to work in Professional Development Programs (PDP) as a clerk in Sunnyvale. We had training programs for suppliers and managers. Refreshments were served at the classes, so I developed a recycling program, sold the aluminum cans and used the money to have holiday parties (Christmas and Thanksgiving). We also raced cars outdoors with hot dog parties. We had such a nice camaraderie. I have it all on tape, and I would like it to be in the Lockheed Martin archives. It was the best job I ever had.
We were so connected, like family. I have such fond memories of my time at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, plus I get a pension. It’s not much, but it is very much appreciated.

Preparing for STS-1

We were behind-the-scenes testing avionics and software
by Frank P.

Before the Space Shuttle flew its first approach and landing test off the back of a Boeing 747 Carrier, Lockheed, working with NASA, built a full set of Shuttle orbiter avionics in a facility in Houston called the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL). Lockheed engineers also conducted tests of all the other orbiter systems that were simulated in the SAIL. When certified, the SAIL was used to check out the orbiter flight software prior to both the approach and landing test and later the first orbital mission, STS-1.

The SAIL served throughout the Shuttle program as a facility where the avionics and software for each mission could be tested and verified prior to the actual mission. It served also as a facility where anomalies that occurred in flight could be simulated on the ground with actual orbiter avionics to provide real-time problem resolutions.

A Great Experience at Martin Marietta

Everything was first-class
by Al M.

I worked for Martin Marietta for a bit over five years. I worked in the Air Traffic Division, in Washington, D.C., on the National Airspace System Modernization program. It was first job after retiring from the Air Force. I was more than a bit apprehensive! However, the people, both the old Martin Marietta people and the newly hired, were terrific. To top it off, I met my future wife there. I can't say enough about the organization. We had a tough job given that the FAA wasn't particularly happy to have someone doing the task and looking over its shoulder. But, all Martin Marietta staff worked as professionals and saw the task through.

Full Circle: Work, Family, Friendships

Lockheed Martin is in our genes
by Russell J.

After graduating from college in 1978, I got my first job at Lockheed as a planner analyst in the Satellite Test Center (STC) in Sunnyvale, California, working on the NAVSTAR program, later to be called GPS. I met many wonderful people in the STC and we enjoyed each other’s company both at work and after work. I even met my future wife while working there. After working at Lockheed Martin for 31 years, I retired, but still keep those friendships I made back in the 1970s alive. My wife still works for Lockheed Martin, and our daughter has even worked as an intern for the company.

Lockheed Martin is in our DNA!

The Legacy of Ford Aerospace

We’re also celebrating 100 Years of Accelerating Tomorrow
by Lawrence R.

Lockheed acquired several companies in the 1990s, and their legacy is also part of the Lockheed Martin story. I am from Ford Aerospace, and we have a past that I would like to share. I am sure Sam Araki and Vance Coffman would agree with me. I have written two articles for the AIAA in 2009 and 2010 with a peek at Philco, Philco-Ford and Aeronutronic (Newport Beach). Most people are not aware that there was a time when Ford Motor Company considered buying Lockheed. I am sure IBM Federal Systems and others bought out by Lockheed would like to tell their story and share their legacy. I hope they do!

 Ford Aerospace Satellite from the 1960s

Lockheed Medallion Award to Nobel Prize

Discovering the amazing power of plastics
by Teh K.

The proudest moment in my career was when, in 1987, I received the much-coveted Loktek Medallion Award “in recognition of my exceptional contribution to the advancement of technology at Lockheed.” For this award, I also had the honor to give a presentation at the Washington Press Club, in Washington, D.C., at the Lockheed Technology Symposium IX on October 27, 1987, “Electrically Conducting Plastics – New Materials from Aerospace Research.”

At that time, my team was in collaboration with an academic group from the University of Pennsylvania, led by the late Professor Alan G. MacDiarmid. Professor MacDiarmid won a DARPA grant to research the electrical conductivity of plastics, called polyanilines. My team at Lockheed explored the potential applications of these materials for aerospace defense needs. In 2000, nearly 13 years after my Loktek Medallion Award, Professor MacDiarmid was chosen one of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry by Norway for his pioneering work on conducting plastics. He passed away in 2007. I am forever grateful to have this once-in-lifetime opportunity to stand on his giant shoulders.

Here I am checking the electrical conductivity of a Lockheed-developed plastic.

My Story Begins as a “Rosie the Riveter”

I remain eternally grateful for the journey
by Verna W.

In early spring 1942, at 20 years old, I became Lockheed Clock Number 028784, working as a “Rosie the Riveter” on swing shift in Department 10, Plant B1, Burbank, California. I was one of the first females on the Hudson Bomber final line, bucking rivets at 65 cents hourly. My next job was installing no. 10 fillets on P-38 center sections and oxygen plumbing into their booms. I then had a brief stint in P-2 mock-up at $1.35 per hour before layoffs began in 1946.

In 1951, I returned as a married woman with a husband in the VA hospital and a little girl to raise. I came back to the same job, same pay, same supervisor. The P-2 mock-up morphed into a P-3. I was upgraded to plumbing and hydraulic installer in 1951 at $1.85 hourly, until upgrading later to parts catalog analyst and, subsequently, to junior engineering writer in June 1966, leading to a funny story.

My new supervisor was skittish about having a “girl from the shop” in his more intellectually inclined department. He made me take the management test, although the men in my same job classification were not required to do so. When my score of 135 turned out to be better than his own, there were no more problems!

My final job upgrade was to a salaried aircraft specifications engineer in October 1968, a nice gift for my 47th birthday. It paid $182.32 per month. I held that position until having to take early retirement disability retirement in 1978.

Working for Lockheed was educational, demanding and an experience for which I remain eternally grateful. Thank you.
The Hudson Bomber Takes to the Air

Hudson Bomber Assembly: I Was There in 1942

Monday, January 28, 2013

With Lockheed Martin There Was Opportunity

I was promoted from file clerk to manager
by Mary Alice L.

In 1974, I was hired by Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation in Sunnyvale, California. I worked on most of the company’s missile projects. Now, I’m retired.

My first job description was as file clerk and fax operator. I was promoted to secretary and then to manager. In the 1970s, sending faxes took about three minutes per page and most times they failed! It was a fun job. Modern technology certainly has brought us a long way!

I Enjoyed Every Day

Including that one evening testing the C-130
by Ralph H.

I worked for Lockheed for 40 years, from 1951 to 1991. I was a functional test engineer and had the pleasure of working on many different airplanes. One evening, we were testing the hydraulic system on the C-130, checking for leaks. I checked under the C-130 and the radome cover that had been repaired. Suddenly the radome cover blew off! When my heart started again and we were talking about what had happened, a fireman walked up with his arms full of metal framing. He said, "I think you lost part of your airplane!" Luckily, I was not part of what he carried in his arms!

I enjoyed every day of my job at Lockheed. I wish I could do it again.

Celebrating over 50 Years with Lockheed Martin

This retiree will turn 90 in 2013
by Roberto M.

Roberto M. Martinez was born on August 21, 1923. He studied mechanical engineering at the Institute of Chihuahua in Mexico. Roberto was a husband and father of six. He began working at Lockheed on April 2, 1952, and retired on April 6, 2006. Roberto had the opportunity to work on various aircraft from passenger aircraft, to cargo planes, to special projects, including the Blackbird. To this day, he still fondly shares his memories and experiences at Lockheed Martin.

A Fascination with Amelia Earhart

She disappeared in her Electra during an attempt to fly round-the-world
by Cheryl Ann C.

In summer of 1998, I read several articles about Amelia Earhart on the occasion of her 100th birthday. As a playwright, I saw rich material for a yarn. I asked myself several questions. What would happen of Amelia was reincarnated and came across some old mechanic who had worked for her during her previous lifetime? What would they talk about? I decided they would talk about the aircraft that they both admired and both had in common. In the play there is a scene where the two characters get into a deep-excited technical talk about the features of Earhart’s modified Lockheed L-10 Electra. The play is simply titled “The Electra.”

Orientation Reflected Our Past and Future

Cutting-edge project onboarded new talent
by Russell H.

In November 1980, I was one of 3,000 new employees at Martin Marietta. I was hired to support various programs, but in a few months, I was assigned to a three-person team tasked to develop what would become a four-hour orientation for all new employees. The theme of the orientation was “This is Martin Marietta: Its Legacy and Challenging Future.” During several months, we had mined events from the earliest days when Glenn L. Martin hired aerospace pioneers, including Bill Boeing and Donald Douglas, through subsequent decades, to the then-present.

The final product was called the Denver Aerospace Orientation. It was presented in Denver, and in several other states—Florida, Louisiana, Texas, California and Massachusetts. The multi-media orientation included a series of four one-hour audio-visual presentations of President Caleb Hurtt and three vice presidents. I wrote much of the material.

In Denver, the company rented a high school auditorium for several Saturday sessions. For out-of-state orientations, one of the vice presidents would present. A person from my group would accompany and support the executive. Each new employee received a binder with over 200 pages and would be served a meal afterwards. New employees felt as if they were with the "big league!"

I made this model of the P-38 to scale.

Prototype Papa

As Superintendent of Special Projects, many sought Dad’s advice 
by Jan K.

According to my dad, in 1934, he walked into the employment office at Lockheed Burbank and announced the company was about to hire the best machinist it ever had. However true or embellished that story (you had to know him), Andy (A. J.) Kunsa went on to become the Superintendent of Special Projects, Plant C1. He earned the nickname “Prototype Papa” and worked there until his death in 1956. (As I understand, Special Projects was a precursor to Skunk Works, but I’ll let others attest to that.)

A trade school graduate, Dad enjoyed having engineers seek his advice. He would often say, “Well, it looks good on paper, but will it fly?” Yes, he had an ego.

Through Dad’s influence I was hired by the template shop in May 1956 and worked there until August 1966. I had a short stint in the new field of plastics, working for Scrubby Seboigian under John Kidder.

Ironically perhaps, I ended my tenure at Skunk Works working on the first of the Blackbirds.

It looked good on paper and it flew!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Best Years of My Life

1962 to 1995 were times of great adventure 
by John H.

I was employed for 33 years with the company and it was gratifying to be associated with such fine people—co-workers, managers, engineers and flight crews of various aircraft. One of my greatest adventures as an instrumentation technician with Lockheed Martin was working on the SR-71 project at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, California. My “finest hour” was observing the launch of two SR-71 and YF-12A Blackbirds on a Saturday morning. It was May 1, 1965. A record-setting speed of 2,000 mph was set and a record-setting altitude of 80,258 feet was attained. I was proud to work on these aircraft! A company patch depicting the event was made available and is a personal treasure.

Another event that comes to mind was in 1988. A contest was held at Site 2 in Palmdale where the Blackbird and U-2 were housed. My design of a patch depicting the event was selected among 25 other entries and I was given a jacket as a prize. Winning this contest was another proud moment.

Thank you for the memories!

A patch commemorating the records set on May 1, 1965 is a treasured memento.

I'm proud of my award-winning patch!

A “Ghost” from Martin Marietta’s Past

I learned so much about my grandfather that day 
by John S.

During the war years, my grandfather, Frank J. Stankis, managed the Glenn L. Martin sheet metal plant in Baltimore, Maryland. Family albums show my grandmother and grandfather seated with Mr. Martin and Minta Martin at important company functions. Even before I went to work for Martin Marietta in 1980, I as keenly aware of the Martin Company. My father once said, “It’s been awhile since Dad worked for Mr. Martin, but perhaps someday you’ll see a ghost.”
That day arrived. In 1983, I received a telephone call from Dabby Dabkowski. Dabby, retiring after 47 years with Martin Marietta, asked me if I knew that Stankis was a famous name in the company’s history. I replied that I did know. Dabby then recounted that my grandfather had given him his first job on the Mars program, molding sheet metal. I always enjoy telling this story.
It was wartime and jobs were scarce. Dabby spoke of an exchange he had with my grandfather. Dabby remembered, “One day, I was hammering away and I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, that Frank was watching me. I was nervous, but I didn’t miss a stroke. In those days, if you messed up, you were immediately replaced. There was no time to break even for a Coca-Cola."
My grandfather asked, “How are you doing, son?” Dabby replied that he was fine. Granddad said, “Good, but I want to see more light between you and the workbench.”
Yes, it was a glimpse of the ghost my father had talked about!

Re-Creating Flight

Training some of America’s best was a dream come true
by Howard P.

I went to work at Link in July 1965 and took an early retirement on December 31, 1990. I worked on three Apollo simulators, one of which was used to figure out how to get Apollo 13 back to earth. I also worked on C-130 simulators; three Space Shuttle simulators; and various simulators for military and commercial aircraft, many of which were built by Lockheed Martin. I donated my time to help at the family picnic and the children’s Christmas party. I really enjoyed supporting our nation and its aircrews. Congratulations Lockheed Martin!

Excellence in the Air

I’m honored to have supported the world’s finest aircraft
by Shirley E.

First, I want to thank God for my retirement and 29 years at Lockheed Martin. I was so excited and happy to work for a great company. In my eyes, it’s the world’s number one company! I worked in Burbank and Palmdale, California. It was the best job for me and my family. I supported the L-1011 program and got to take a trip on that same aircraft. During my career, I also supported the F-117, U-2, F-22 and the C-130 programs. Working at Lockheed was the greatest blessing. I tell my family and friends that I learned so much about business and people. What a wealth of knowledge I received.
After retirement, I wrote a book about child safety. In my prayer every day, I ask that Lockheed Martin continues to remain strong to support our nation. Thank you, Lockheed Martin. Congratulations on your 100-year anniversary! I am honored to be part of it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The T-400 Team and the F-22

We took on one of the greatest recruiting challenges
by Mike J.

In the fall of 1990, with the award for the development and manufacture of the F-22 stealth fighter jet imminent, a group of recruitment personnel was formed at Lockheed’s facility at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia. The manager was Ron Van Matre. Ron built his team with local staff members—Rodney, Linda, Tonya, Kay and Beverly—with whom he was familiar. He also drew upon a handful of recruiting professionals—Jerry, Bill, Steve and Bob—from other areas of the country. I came from Illinois to join the team, having previously worked with Ron. I would ultimately serve in a major coordinating role.
The company set the team up in an abandoned barracks building, T-400, away from major facilities. It was well-suited for the high-energy, high-traffic activity that was to come. Few would have expected it to be occupied, let alone house the team that would ultimately take on one of the great recruiting challenges in aerospace history. We organized and processed thousands upon thousands of resumes, and coordinated and sent recruitment teams of 12 to 15 staff members to places such as St. Louis, Missouri; Fort Worth, Texas; and Los Angeles, California. We also managed the onsite visits of a few thousand applicants.
In the end, we hired some 1,500 new staff within a 24-month period. The T-400 team was one special group! Several of us remain close friends to this very day! Thank you for letting me recall and share the story of those exciting days at Lockheed in Georgia.

Distinguished Expert in Aircraft Fire Safety

Proud to have been part of a dedicated and professional team
by Edward L.

I worked for Lockheed for 32 years, retiring as a senior research specialist in June 1990. Nationally, I was recognized as an expert in aircraft fire safety and in the development of flame retardant materials. I was proud to develop facilities for performing various fire-related tests. I had the opportunity to publish various papers throughout my career. I was an expert witness and received 15 patents.
Thank you, Lockheed Martin! I’m celebrating with you!

Three Decades of Discovery

We set high marks of achievement and innovation
by Wallace P.

I worked for Martin Marietta Denver for over 30 years, starting in 1956 as a stress engineer. I was involved in structural engineering most of those years. I retired as Director of Mechanical Engineering for the Denver Division in 1987.
Four events in my career had more impact on the company than my day-to-day job. First was my challenge in the 1960s to reinforce a Titan launch vehicle structure to help demonstrate the fire-in-the-hole concept for launching a liquid propellant booster from its underground silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Its successful test launch measured the real launch environment for the new Titan II ICBM program.
The second event happened in 1969. I served as project engineer for a study to define a Titan III L launch vehicle growth to a 15-foot diameter core. Our team defined such a booster and built a full-size mock-up to demonstrate its highway transport capability
Another major role in my career was as structures leader of the Space Shuttle external tank proposal to NASA in 1973. With Al Norton as my engineering leader, I led a team of structural engineers to prepare the proposal’s structures section. We won that proposal, which started a major Lockheed Martin activity in Michoud, Louisiana, for over 35 years.
The fourth highlight of my career was my role in a 1976 proposal to the Air Force to design and integrate into the Space Shuttle a new interim upper stage vehicle. Under Peter B. Teets’ direction, I led a team of structural designers to develop a new cradle concept integrating the IUS and its payloads into the Shuttle so that payload loading was minimized. The design would also prevent Shuttle-induced torsional motion from racking the IUS and its payload. Although we lost that proposal to Boeing, I was informed that the Air Force directed Boeing to incorporate our cradle design into their contract.

How Things Work on Mars

We helped propel rockets into space
by Ernest B.

When the first commercial jet came into service in the late 1950s, jet engine exhaust nozzles had a funny look. It appeared as if small diameter pipes were coming out. The purpose was, obviously, to reduce the noise of the engine exhaust.
Moving on to the early 1970s, I was the product integrity engineer for the Viking lander terminal engine program. The nozzle for this unprecedented throttling 600 lbf Hydrazine engine was designed by aerodynamic engineers to minimize nozzle exhaust effects (velocity) on the Martian landing site. After extensive testing at White Sands, in chambers that simulated the Mars’ atmosphere, the resultant engine had 18 small nozzles.
The engine was built at Rocket Research Corporation (RRC) in Redmond, Washington, and much of the testing was done there. I’d go by the sea-level test cell when the engine was running, and you could hardly hear the exhaust noise. At this time, RRC was developing a 300 lbf engine with a single large nozzle for another customer. One day, I happened to go by the test cell when this engine was running. It made so much noise that the ground would shake.
This gave me an appreciation of the effectiveness of the original jet engine nozzles to reduce noise. By lowering the exhaust velocity, you lowered the exhaust noise.
A companion development was the creation of purified Hydrazine to eliminate carbonateous compounds (contamination) that could be deposited on the surface of Mars. This propellant eventually became the industry standard for monopropellant Hydrazine propulsion system and has been used most recently on the Phoenix and Curiosity landers.

Viking Lander Terminal Descent Rocket Engine

A Commitment to Employees

We provided innovations in health care
by Susan R.

I was a nurse at Martin Marietta for 16 years, from July 10, 1970 through July 18, 1986. For the majority of the time, the medical department was staffed by one physician and two or three nurses. We provided physicals for the executive offices and all new hires. We triaged all accidents and injuries. The security department functioned as first responders, although I did assist with an occasional heart attack victim. The medical department then stabilized and transported the patient in one of the two ambulances owned by the company. We were a busy team!
After work, I used to play golf at a course near the plant. When I retired, a man from the factory gifted me with a sculpture of a nurse playing golf. This wonderful piece still sits on my shelf and reminds me of the years I worked at Martin Marietta. I am honored and grateful to be able to share my story. I have had fun recalling those days and my contribution to Lockheed Martin’s celebration of 100 years of accelerating tomorrow!

My Martin Marietta years are the stuff of great memories!

My Career Was on Target

It tracked with Lockheed Martin 
by Stephen I.

My career began in June of 1976 with Goodyear Aerospace. As an electrical engineer, I was tasked with the design and development of radar sensor systems, many of which became integrated onto Lockheed Martin platforms.
In January 1987, Loral Corporation acquired Goodyear Aerospace, and I continued my career as an electrical engineer. Again, many of my design and development of radar system were integrated onto Lockheed Martin platforms.
Completing the inevitable cycle of acquisitions, Lockheed Martin and Loral Corporation merged in April 1996. I continued my career as an electrical engineer and software analyst, developing radar sensor systems, many of which became integrated onto Lockheed Martin platforms.
I retired in June 2009, having completed 33-year career designing and developing radar systems for Lockheed Martin platforms. And, now I get an official Lockheed Martin Centennial ink pen!

My American Adventure

It was thanks to a silver dollar
by Paul M.

An immigrant from Spain, I became a citizen of these United States of America, a country blessed by God and the greatest nation in the world. My father, I’m a “junior,” was born in Albany, New York, when my grandfather was visiting the States. Our family went back to Spain to live. My father was about to go back to the United States when war broke out. Franco would not let him leave the country and gave my father two options: either to serve in the army or to be a prisoner of war. My father served and was wounded twice. The second time he was wounded, he had a United States silver dollar in his right shirt pocket. A bullet struck the wallet, and the silver dollar saved his life!

My father brought me to the United States, where I learned my trade as a general machinist. I thank Lockheed Martin for the privilege of working 11 years at Skunk Works. Lockheed Martin is America’s best national defense company!

I make models in retirement and still love aerospace!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Cheyenne to the “Dragon Lady”

I performed flight tests on 17 different aircraft
by Jim U.

My father, Virgil Upton, worked at Lockheed for 50 years. I carried on the tradition, and worked at Lockheed Martin for 35 years, from 1962 to 1997. I was in flight test on 17 different aircraft. The first was the A-12, Mach 3.2 single-seat for the Central Intelligence Agency. Next was the AH-56 Cheyenne for the United States Army, S-3A and S-3B Viking for the United States Navy, followed by the Maritime Patrol CP-140 Aurora, built for Canada. I also worked on the long-wing, high-flying U-2 that started in 1955, and is still flying today. I flew in all, except for the U-2 models and the A-12. Thanks for the memories!
I'm getting into the S/N 1005 AH-56 for first flight.

Cheyenne during testing

An Era of the Golden Age of Technology

Our innovation changed the world
by Raymond K.

I moved from a small town in Iowa to California in 1950. I was very fortunate to become a Lockheed employee in 1950. While at Lockheed, I held several different positions and enjoyed every one! In 1967, I had to take a leave to have cataract surgery, and when I was re-examined, I was able to continue on the job. The last half of my time at Lockheed was spent in ADP, and I retired in 1983. I have many fond memories of Lockheed.

It Was Rocket Science

Flash Gordon was my childhood hero
by Donald C.

When I was nine-years-old, I made rocket ships out of Carnation milk cans after watching Flash Gordon Saturday movie serials. While attending Cal Poly, Convair Astronautics had me doing a drafting job for Atlas sites at Vandenberg Air Force Base for six months. I watched the first Atlas launch from Vandenberg in September 1959.
I became a rocket engineer at Douglas (Santa Monica) helping to develop Nike Zeus, the first ABM missile. Six months later, on July 17, 1962, Lockheed Missile Systems Division in Sunnyvale hired me to perform test analysis on Polaris A3 and advanced Polaris boost motors. In 1965, I moved to our field offices at Hercules Industries in Utah to start the Poseidon C3 boost motors. As the Lockheed test director, I coordinated with the TVC and systems engineers to set up our combined subsystems tests.
Lockheed Propulsion Company (Redlands, California) convinced me to transfer in 1967 to set up a test planning group for the AGM-69 SRAM motor. This motor was unique in that it had two propellant grains inside one motor case. Later, we created a major proposal for the Space Shuttle advanced solid motors, but lost.
In 1974, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company requested that I head our field office at Atlantic Research Company, Virginia, where we developed Trident C4 PBCS generators. Back in Sunnyvale in 1977, I led development of D5 PBCS generators, missile equipment section, Navy THAAD RCS and advanced FBM mechanical controls. In 1989, we won the Shuttle solid motor contract.
I retired from Lockheed Martin in 1998. What fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Its Mission Was Reconnaissance

We ensured the ES-3A’s carrier suitability
by Jim W.

I was the Vought aircraft test project engineer on the Lockheed ES-3A structural static test program conducted in Dallas, Texas. Testing ensured the aircraft’s carrier suitability. Our test laboratory designed, fabricated and tested a unique dynamic test facility for conducting the drop test program, simulating aircraft carrier landings. I made many visits to Burbank and Rye Canyon, coordinating the test program to be conducted by the Vought test lab. A description of the drop test facility was published in the November 16, 1972 issue of the Lockheed Star.

1937 Marked the Calendar

In 41 years, I saw how we accelerated tomorrow
by Ralph W.

I became an employee of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in the spring of 1937, which was only a short time after Lockheed was established in Burbank.
At that time, they were still building aircraft and repair parts made of wood. However, a few weeks after my start there, they test flew the first ship made of metal. It was the Model 10, and the manufacturing of this unit began. From then on and still, one after another of a new type was produced and they were all excellent.
My first appointment was in the production office where I spent a few years. I then moved to engineering and served there several years, including the time during World War II. Later, I became a part of the spare parts sales department where I served for almost 20 years. And finally, I worked in finance for my last 14 years.
In 1978, I retired after 41 years as a happy member of the Lockheed community. I could not have spent over four decades as an employee of any other company of any kind or any place!

It Was the Best of Times

Lockheed Martin was my one and only employer
by Geraldine W.

I started working at Lockheed Martin on May 7, 1970. It was my first job out of high school. I retired at 55-years-old in January 2007. I worked all of my 37 years at the Santa Cruz Test Base in Santa Cruz, California. We were one big happy family. We had our good times and bad times, but God always found a way to bless the Santa Cruz facility. I went back and visited the test base in July 2012. I really missed all of my friends. I hope to visit many, many more times. Thank you for letting me share! May God forever bless Lockheed Martin! 

Operation Credible Sport

Teamwork was the watchword
by Robert A.

I was on a test team that proved out the concept of a special STOL mod to a C-130 in 1980. The mod enabled a C-130 to land on a soccer field and take off from that same soccer field. The mission was to fly into Tehran, Iran, to rescue the hostages taken by rebels. The test team designed, fabricated, installed and tested the mod in about six months. Test trials were performed at Eglin Air Force Base by a team of Lockheed, Allison, Air Force and Army personnel. Teamwork was the watchword throughout, and the trials on the test bed aircraft proved out the concept.

“Ike” and the Constellation

1955 was a year to remember
by Margaret F.

I was working as a secretary for Lockheed in Building 85 in Burbank, California. It was 1955. It was the year of the Constellation. Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. He flew into the Burbank airport aboard the Presidential Constellation.
All the employees were on the field as he stood on the steps of the aircraft to speak. It was a wonderful experience for all of us as President Eisenhower was on one of our aircraft. It was such an honor to see him in good health, as he was a great military man and president.

I Hunted Storms

Tracing my roots: from Naval Aviator to systems integrator
by Kerwin N.

My Lockheed Martin experience spans over 40 years and three diverse chapters of my life.
My first connection goes way back, at the age of 20 in the spring of 1959. I was in flight training with the Navy and flew instrument training quals in the back seat of the Lockheed T2V jet training aircraft. When I completed flight training, my first assignment was the world famous United States Navy Hurricane Hunters. We flew into (and out of) hurricanes in the Lockheed Willie Victor, a military version of the Super Constellation.
Years later, in 1976, having left the Navy and working in the life insurance industry, I met Cortland Gross, Lockheed CEO at the time. He was our board of directors audit committee chair, and as manager of EDP (now IT) auditing, I briefed him on this newly formed function.
More years later, in 1985, I joined GE Aerospace, soon to become Martin Marietta, then Lockheed Martin. I was an individual contributor in systems integration for 15 years, and retired in 2000.
Great airplanes, great people, great place to work!

The Super Constellation

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Supercharged P-38

The Lightning was the choice of America’s top aces
by Burton W.

During World War II at the age of 19, I flew a P-47 across India to join my fighter squadron. Our mission was to support ground forces driving the Japanese south out of Burma. After 75 missions, our missions became longer range, and my squadron converted to longer-range P-38Ls. I really enjoyed the forward visibility of the P-38. After 50 P-38 missions, I was rotated back to the United States.

A Pilot and a Boy's Dream to Fly

I had a chance to pay it forward
by Don T.

I grew up in the Atwater district of Los Angeles. As a nine or ten-year-old boy, I would occasionally ride my bike to the Lockheed Air Terminal on Saturday mornings to watch airplanes take off and land. I found a spot at the fence next to the Old Trapper Lodge, close to the taxiway. I would wave at the pilots. Every once in a while, they would see me and wave back. I wanted to fly like that someday.
Some 30 years later, I was working at Lockheed in the engineering flight test department. I worked on the S-3A program as a navigation/electronics engineer and co-pilot. One Saturday morning, as we taxied to the runway, I glanced to my right. There standing was a nine or ten-year-old lad at that very same spot at the fence with his bike. He was waving to me! I waved back with both arms.
We had to hold short of the runway for landing traffic, so it gave me time to tell test pilot Lyle Schaefer my story, with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. He said, “Let’s show him a performance takeoff.” I didn't know the S-3A could climb so steeply!
I just hope that boy grew up to be a test pilot, an airline pilot or even an astronaut.

I had an opportunity to pay it forward!

"Meeting" the F-104

My job and my experiences were simply incredible
by Patricia I.

Thinking of my employment at Lockheed, from 1954 to 1992, always gives me a warm feeling. I loved Lockheed.
My first job and my first experiences were so exciting. I was assigned to the Flight Test E-5 Fire Control department, working for two great people, Mike McMickle and Les Hauck. When being introduced to the other employees, we entered a huge hangar. There, I saw this awesome, sleek, beautiful F-104 jet fighter. It was just a breathless sight to look at, and I excited to know I was working on this program.
Some of the great people I met were Tony Levier, Herman "Fish" Salmon, Firman Grey and many others. Some of the other programs I enjoyed working on were the L-1011, stealth proof of concept and flight operations at Burbank and Palmdale.

Passing the Lockheed Martin Torch

For our family, the story began in 1941
by Joe H.

Both my parents worked in Burbank, California. My father was at CALAC, as Lockheed–California came to be known, having joined the company in April 1941 as a payroll clerk. My mother hired on at nearby subsidiary Vega Aircraft Company, and I still have her one-year employment pin. Mom left Vega when she was pregnant with me. I was born in December 1943. Dad departed shortly after the end of World War II. I still have a photo on my wall that includes my father with the aircraft assemblers on a bomber line. The photograph was taken to honor meeting a production goal. My Dad is the only person in the photo wearing a tie!
Dad rejoined CALAC as an employment interviewer in 1951. He transferred, first to Van Nuys and then to Sunnyvale, as part of the newly developing Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. He was an employment supervisor in 1968 when I ‘snuck in the back door’. I was hired by Sunnyvale by a technical publications organization, supporting the Polaris/Poseidon FBM programs. In the ensuing years, because of my skills for computerized technical publishing systems, I was loaned out to support leading-edge programs, including the Space Shuttle orbiter, the high- and low-temperature reusable service insulation (heat resistant tiles) programs and the Cruise Missile program, when that concept was merely a twinkle in the eyes of engineers.
The 38 years I spent at Lockheed Martin allowed me to feel that I was supporting the United States in the best way I could.  

Seeing Things in a New Light

I was empowered to consistently exceed expectations
by John W.

What did I do for my company? Over the 25 years that I was employed by Martin Marietta, I worked in five different departments, all related to electro-optical engineering. I especially enjoyed working with the TADS/PNVS program. I volunteered many times outside of my department discipline, outside working hours, on my own time. Two efforts I enjoy remembering to this day. Both produced cost savings.
The first when was when, after a long period of time, the assembly department had been rejecting telephoto doublets, which go into the dayside path of the TADS. They are very expensive to build and rework. I discovered that prior testing had been faulty. I demonstrated a testing technique using existing equipment, and it was successful. I saw a need and it was fun doing.
The second was when the modulation transfer function equipment, used to pass optical subassemblies, was down. Unfortunately, there was no one locally to fix it. An option was to call a tech down from New York. I was asked by another department to have a look at it because I had prior knowledge of the equipment. I stayed after hours and was able to fix the MTF analyzer, and have quality control stamp it. The serious cost savings came with keeping the subassemblies going to the final assembly area.

We Soared to New Heights

I was thrilled by brilliance, leadership and commitment
by Dale M.

I began as a student summer employee for the Glenn L. Martin Company in Denver as a design draftsman in facilities engineering. Upon graduation from the University of Colorado Boulder in June 1958, I began a 38-year career with Lockheed Martin in aerodynamics. Early on, I had to learn how to listen to, understand and respond to ‘Baltimorese’, having been born and raised in Colorado.
Over the years, I had fascinating and challenging assignments in engineering, test, leadership, program management and sales. I worked on many programs and technologies. They ranged from ICBMs, strategic war game analysis and ballistic missile defense to satellites, the Space Sextant autonomous satellite navigation system, radio and laser communications systems and others behind the doors. We worked long and hard days, for weeks and months. Winning, performing and delivering provided both satisfaction and pride, not only for the company and team but also for me personally.
One of the greatest rewards I received was to be able to know, work with and be thrilled by the brilliance, leadership and commitment to excellence of my peers and leaders.
At times I compared my career with that of a dentist, who might have enjoyed going to the bank with his money. But, I enjoyed my many hours working on challenges that were much more fun that looking into someone’s mouth and doing the same thing day in and day out.

My Dream Took Flight

It all began with the P-38 Lightning
by Robert T.

I was born an Army brat, and when I was 13, my father was stationed in France. Much of the time, I was in my room building model airplanes. The first was a P-38. I wore glasses, so after high school I enlisted in the Air Force and repaired aircraft navigation equipment. I received my military discharge at March Air Force Base, California, which was close to Lockheed Aircraft. There, I hired on as an electrical installer on the L-1011 TriStar airliner in Palmdale, California. The beautiful airliner’s program was challenging, but I progressed to production supervisor.
I took advantage of the educational opportunities offered by Lockheed by getting my bachelor’s in science from the University of La Verne. I held positions at Burbank in industrial engineering and in cost analysis. I worked in ADP and on proposals. I transferred with the F-22 program to Marietta, Georgia, in producibility engineering. My most exciting assignment was at the Composites Development Center. I retired in 1999 as a senior engineer after 28 perfect years.
Lockheed Martin cared for its employees with great medical coverage, helping our family to grow. We also took full advantage of the investment program. My wife and I have a comfortable and enjoyable retirement that we share with our two daughters' families, including our nine grandchildren.
Looking back, my life has come full circle. One of my favorite things is going to the Reno Air Races, and, when one is there, watching a P-38 fly.

“I Want to Be an Astronaut”

Lockheed Martin is helping young people live out their dreams
by David R.

I'm a filmmaker who has always loved aviation. For years, I attended the Muskegon Air Fair in Michigan, probably 15 in-a-row. Now older, I'm working on a documentary about a kid who has wanted to be an astronaut since he was three ( I’m partnering with industry representatives to understand the importance of math and science in creating capable students who can take America to the next level of innovation. It's all about the American dream, and that dream is to be an astronaut.
Lockheed Martin has sponsored the robotics team captained by the young man we are following. I believe we need companies like Lockheed Martin to continue to advance our nation's aerospace, military and space exploration technologies. That enables us to continue to be the best and young people can dream about what is possible with an idea and hard work.
Thanks Lockheed Martin for all you do!

Lockheed Martin is sponsoring America's next generation of astronauts.

Beyond Earth

We powered America’s spacecraft
by Larry C.

In 1961, I helped design the first Agena spacecraft solar array power system, which allowed classified missions to last six months instead of two weeks on battery power. Eventually, we would make them last five years. To test automatic deployable solar array wings, I climbed over 80-foot rafter beams to hang wires to simulate space deployment. I was the power systems department manager when we developed the huge solar array wings for the Space Shuttle. My last job at Lockheed was as project manager for the power system on the Iridium telecommunication spacecraft.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Living My Childhood Dream

And, I truly really enjoyed the ride
by Chuck R.

In my youth, I was very interested in aviation, building model airplanes and collecting photos of all the latest aircraft. I often thought how cool it would be to work for an aerospace company. I eventually got to work for two of them (Vought and Lockheed Martin), and I never had to change my desk or phone extension. My first “professional” exposure to Lockheed was as a contract engineer at Bendix Aerospace designing the landing gears for the Lockheed C-5A. These were some very complex systems and were designed before CAD or even the digital calculator. 

I moved on to LTV (Vought), which eventually was chosen as a sub to Lockheed on the S-3A where I worked on the environmental system. Still no CAD, but at least we had simple digital calculators. Drawings for the C-5 and S-3 were produced using ink on Mylar, a very labor intensive effort. I hired in at LTV in 1988, which eventually was acquired by Lockheed Martin. During my tenure at Lockheed Martin, I was fortunate to have been involved in the Shuttle leading edge and chin panel designs. In addition, I worked on the radiators for the International Space Station and finished out my career on the ATACMS program. 
I retired from Missiles and Fire Control, Dallas, in 2009 after 21 years as a senior staff mechanical engineer. I feel fortunate to have been a small part of history that produced some of the most technological advances in the aerospace history. It was a great ride.

I had an opportunity to meet astronauts!

A Pillar in American Rocketry

The mighty Titan was America’s Rocket
by Gary F.

I worked for Martin Marietta, and then Lockheed Martin, for 40 years. My first and last love will always be the history of the Titan rocket program. I started on the Titan I and II intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) programs and then worked on the Titan launch vehicle programs. Watching any of our Titan rockets roar off the launch pad is a thrill that is very hard to match.
In the early 1980s, we tried to convince Pentagon leaders that they shouldn't rely on the Shuttle solely for satellite launch capability. We were successful and then won the competition for the program that would become Titan IV. I always considered this one of our nation’s great capabilities as most major Department of Defense space programs were put into orbit with the Titan IV. I also used to remind the Air Force that Titan was America's Rocket as it involved most of the major defense contractors. It was sad for me to watch the last launch of Titan IV from Vandenberg Air Force Base after I retired. I do feel very privileged to have been associated with our great company and all the things we did for our nation!

Innovation at One of Its Finest Hours

A courageous quest in search and rescue
by William K.

This is a true story about innovation. This story is about two Air Force Reservists, who in the face of austere funding, deterrence and of obstructions, designed and built a handcraft communications vehicle called Rescue 621. Eventual recognition as Free World’s most versatile communication system could not have come if it weren’t for two different Air Reserve Rescue Squadrons that flew the Lockheed HC-130H and P models.
Rescue 621 valuable communication resources to the Atomic Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of State. The Lockheed aircraft provided transportation to such historical events as the 1979 aftermath of the Wichita Falls tornado disaster, the aftermath of the Mount Saint Helens eruption, the San Francisco and Loma Preita earthquakes and Hurricane Andrew.
Rescue 621 and the Air Force Reserve Lockheed HC-130H and P models found themselves in Argentina, Panama and Peru. Although Rescue 621’s communications suite was designed somewhat after the HC-130H aircraft communications suite, it had one single advantage. That advantage was the use of two different NASA experimental voice satellites. This was provided through the relentless and courageous quest of Lois Clark McCoy, current president of the National Association for Urban Search and Rescue.

No challenge is too big for the Hercules.

Mom Was a Lockheed Pioneer

I discovered her riveting past
by Daniel W.

My mother was always, to me, just my mom. She is now 83, suffering the dire effects of a severe stroke. I cherish every opportunity to visit with her, although it is usually bittersweet. This story relates an exceptional conversation we had.
During our last visit, she asked me how my job was going. I told her that I changed companies and now work for Lockheed Martin. Her eyes sparkled for a moment and she smiled broadly, saying, "I used to work for Lockheed! I worked on rockets, mostly. I worked out of Sunnyvale and sometimes Norton Air Force, no Vandy, Vandyland, um, Vandenberg."
I never knew my mother worked with any sort of technology, let alone missile and space systems! She worked for Lockheed in the 1950s and 1960s, before I was born. She described crawling into rocket fuselages, riveting and installing wires and various electromechanical components. She spoke of things I recognized, Titan and Atlas. She also mentioned something I had never heard of, the Agena. For about 30 minutes I had Mom back, enthusiastically telling me something about herself that I never knew. The memories were obviously dear to her and they forever changed how I perceive my mother.
She left me two final statements before going to sleep. First, she told me never to tell anyone what she said, "Because it's all very secret." The second was, "You'll like working for Lockheed, I sure did. It's a good company."