Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It’s Been a Thrill for This Navy P-3 “Driver”

Lockheed Martin aircraft have awed me for decades
by Samuel M.

My first introduction to Lockheed was as a Navy pilot flying the P-3 Orion, both on active duty and in the Reserves. I flew the P-3A and P-3C in Jacksonville, Florida, on active duty and the P-3B in Detroit while in the Reserves.
After active duty, I went to work at Goodyear Aerospace in Akron, Ohio, as a flight simulator engineer. I spent 10 years with Goodyear, 10 years with Loral and 10 years with Lockheed Martin before retiring in 2006.

I worked on United States Air Force F-15 weapon systems trainers, JSASDF F-15 trainers for Japan and JAS-39 trainers for Sweden. My last assignment was as a systems engineer on the F-16 Distributed Mission Trainer program where I worked with staff from Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth and Orlando plants. We were able to integrate products and expertise from different divisions to produce a system that enabled Air Force pilots to "train the way we fight."

In fact, they were able to use the Lockheed F-16 Simulator to fly rehearsal missions for the invasion of Iraq in the last Gulf War. As part of the test team, I got to fly the F-16 simulator during checkout with other Air Force Reserve F-16 pilots who were subcontracted to Lockheed Martin as subject matter experts. I became pretty proficient flying with those guys, which was a real thrill for an old Navy P-3 driver! Now, my daughter works in communications at the Lockheed Martin Corporate Headquarters in Bethesda.