Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Timing Was Perfect

I met Rosie the Riveter and Chuck Yeager
by David B.

I began working at Lockheed in 1964, in Burbank, California, as a hydraulic plumbing development mechanic for the SR-71. One of my challenges was to figure out how to develop and make the pilot’s ejection handle to be used in the event of ejection.
I worked with many wonderful people during that time. Most noteworthy, were the “Rosie the Riveters,” women who had worked in the industry since World War II. I went on to work on the U-2, the F-104, P3 and many other aircraft.
When the development of the L-1011 began, I had the opportunity to work in many areas of development and construction of this fine aircraft, including tool design, tool control, material and production control as well as quality control. I was the lead man for final delivery on the flight line in Palmdale, California. I had the opportunity to meet Chuck Yeager, the greatest test pilot ever!
Before I left Lockheed in 1976 to move my family to Oregon, I had the pleasure to also work on the Space Shuttle while it was in Lockheed’s structural and fatigue test facility for flight. For this, I received my prized Certificate of Operation for my contribution to the Space Shuttle program.
I have so many wonderful memories. Congratulations, Lockheed Martin!