by Clay W.
Working at the Rye Canyon Research and Development Center from 1966 to 1976, I lived our motto, "You make it, we break it." We received materials, components and complete aircraft to test for their structural ability to fulfill flight designs. We tested many new materials, which at the time could only be imagined, but are now part of our fleet of stealth aircraft. We tested advanced designs that are yet to be built.
It was a decade of dreaming and creating the future. The aircraft we saw included the F-104, U-2, YF-12A, S3A, L-1011, P-3, C-5 and the Cheyenne Helicopter. We also performed structural tests for Rockwell International on the B-1 and Space Shuttle. I know Lockheed and Hughes were tightly coupled, as some of us went there to help with the Apache Attack Helicopter, I as a structural flight-test engineer. We were a close-knit organization, dedicated to good work and proud of what we and Lockheed had accomplished.