Monday, March 4, 2013

What I Didn't Realize in 1957

The C-130 still marvels
by Alwyn C.

When I left NACA (now NASA) to join the Lockheed-Georgia Company in Marietta, little did I know that I would become a part of a company that has played such an important role in designing and building so many aircraft for commercial and military use. My days at Lockheed were the best days of my working career. 

From January 1957 to 1969, I was proud to be a part of Department 7245 R&D. Although the C-130 was already in service, it was continuously being improved to serve advanced missions—tanker, airborne, gunship, Coast Guard and many others.

I spent a lot of time building and testing wind tunnel instrument models for the C-130, and later, on the C-141 Starlifter, the C-140 JetStar, the Hummingbird VTOL and the C-5 Galaxy programs.

All of these were great aircraft, but I admire the "Workhorse C-130" for its service in Vietnam and in the Middle East and its other missions. Over the years since 1969, Lockheed Martin has built high-tech aircraft, but "Herky" is my still favorite. This amazing aircraft is still in use today.