Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Art and Science of Aviation

It was natural that one would want to work for Glenn L. Martin
by David B.
At the Glenn L. Martin Company in Middle River Maryland, in 1951, Mr. E. E. (Pete) Clark, the chief of aerodynamics, interviewed me for several hours, including lunch and afterwards. We agreed I should work there. It was the gift of a lifetime! Mr. Clark found out that I had built model airplanes all my life and had worked at a grass strip airport covering wings, welding and riveting, repairing, inspecting and modifying light planes. He found out, too, that I had earned a Bachelor of Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in aeronautical engineering. I had graduated with honors, and was placed number one in the class. I felt lucky to be hired.

Starting on August 2, 1951, the company assigned me to the Canberra project in the aerodynamics group. Joe Burghardt was the project engineer and Howard E. (Howie) Schick was in charge of stability and control, so I sat next to him. The English Electric Company had earlier delivered three Canberra aircraft to be used at Martin, and we still had WD932 and WD940, in the effort to turn it into the United States Air Force B-57. It required not just changing skin gauges and rivet sizes, but meeting MIL-SPEC-F-8785 ASG, the flying quality spec for piloted aircraft. It was said, at the time, that this was something to do with the balance of payments abroad, having to do with the war. This was hard to swallow, as we still had a Martin XB-S1 on the field, a really advanced aircraft with swept wings, two pod-mounted jet engines, a high T-tail, bicycle landing gear and other features to make it a really high-speed bomber. Later, it became clear that the Canberra had the greatest ratio of low speed to high speed of anything in the inventory, and this became increasingly important as we improved the high subsonic capability in flight test and then were invited to build a special purpose high-altitude variant. Wing Commander W. E. W. Petter had designed a beautifully streamlined, low-drag airframe with lightweight structure. He had chosen the equivalent of a NACA 0012 airfoil, inboard, which had plenty of room for deep spars but also avoided the early Mach problems over the upper surface of cambered airfoils. Contributing to low weight, he had avoided hydraulics on the controls, and used geared and spring tabs on the ailerons, elevator and rudder. All of this later enabled us to use the aircraft in a special high altitude variant—the BS7D.

These are my first memories at Martin. Thank you!

The Martin B-57 Canberra

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It’s a True Honor

Helping defend our nation is motivation enough
by Albert  Y.

Working for Lockheed Martin has been one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences in my career. There are very few people who get the opportunity to work on technologies and products of the future; and even fewer who have the honor of producing the tools and the means that defend our people, our homes, our soldiers, but most importantly our nation. When I get up for work, I am motivated to produce my best effort; not only because I find the work exciting and interesting, but also because our nation and our soldiers deserve and need the best we can offer. It is with a sense of pride and appreciation that I am able to claim that I help defend my country; that I work at Lockheed Martin.

P.S. I learned to fly an airplane before I learned to drive a car!

Pride Boiled Over

My career began on December 31, 1941
by Tudor D.

Thank you for the privilege of sharing my story. I was sworn in as an Apprentice Seaman in the United States Navy at the Old Seaman’s Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was December 31, 1941. I participated in the Murmansk Patrols and the invasion of Africa and Casablanca. I later served on the USS Halibut (SS 232) on its 5th through 10th war patrols. After World War II, I remained in the Navy and served on submarines. In April 1958, I was accepted for Polaris Training School, in Sunnyvale, California. I graduated in September 1958, and assigned to the USS Observation Island (EAG 154) to proof Polaris launch system. At the time, I had the good fortune to work with Lockheed engineers on the ship and in the shops at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Little did I know, my future was being planted, and a new career was in the making!

We commissioned the USS George Washington (SSBN 598) on December 30, 1959, and proofed all 16 launch tubes and the remainder of the missile system. We eventually loaded out the Polaris A1 missiles and went on patrol. We loaded out in Charleston, South Carolina. Our skipper took us on the first patrol. After more than 60 days at sea, in places unknown to the majority of us, we returned to New London, Connecticut. After going through the boat with our reliefs, we were assigned new orders. Some of us went on to more schools at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company and other companies involved with the intricate parts of the missile.

I was fortunate to be accepted by Lockheed. J.T. McFarlane, supervisor at the office in Groton, Connecticut, explained my future, location of where I would be assigned and other job details. I was assigned to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company and reported aboard in early 1961 with my wife and two daughters in tow. We were on our way to more adventures with Lockheed. The beginning of a second career was about to commence!

We had three shifts on the SSBNs, which we helped prepare for commissioning. Three to five men were on a shift—depending on the amount of testing to be performed. At times, the home office at Sunnyvale would send assistance to support us on seven-day workweeks. We observed and supervised all active/inert missile movements for testing in the 16 launch tubes in preparation for sell-off by the shipyard to the Special Projects Office and United States Navy.

I worked on the submarine tender USS Hunley (AS 31) as my first assignment. The greatest feeling on the job effort was being at commissioning ceremonies after many hours of testing, frustration with changes in operations and performing SPALT changes—pride boiled over.

In 1972, I retired, though not for long. Lockheed called me back in 1976, and I was sent to POMFPAC in Bremerton, Washington, as the logistic rep between POMFPAC, POMPFLANT, the shipyards, the training centers and Lockheed’s Sunnyvale office. I had the good fortune of a two-year assignment at POMFPAC. I witnessed its transformation into the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific (SWFPAC). I was promoted to supervisor of warehouse operations, and then retired in 1987.

How lucky we were as a family! So much good fortune was bestowed upon us. Thank you, God, the United States Navy and Lockheed Martin!

Here I am in SWFPAC.

Expecting the Unexpected

I learned to maintain a wild field of view at work and at play
by Rich F.

I began working at Martin Marietta in 1985 as an hourly production control expediter on the LANTIRN program. I later worked in product support for TADS/PNVS. I was known as a sort of “Radar O’Reilly,” because I was the requisition expediter for worldwide Apache operations, including Army bases, Special Repair Activities and foreign military service units. I enjoyed the whirlwind demand for repair parts' and maintenance compounds. They were vital for keeping the Apache fleet in the air across the globe. How did I deal with the job stress? I loved to ride my Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I still put the rubber to the road.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I Hitched My Career to a Star

I was there from the Golden Age of Aviation to the Space Age
by George D.

In the late 1930s, I was “shaping up” in various aircraft manufacturer employment lines while working as a night watchman at Paramount Studios in Burbank, California. On February 28, 1939, Lockheed’s winged star became my lodestar.

Lockheed played a key role in my home life. In 1940, I met my future wife, Margaret Harris, when we both worked in spare parts sales. My children—Bonnie, Gary and Marsha—were all born in Dayton, Ohio, when I was assigned at Wright Field.

Wright Field and Lockheed also played a part in a remarkable experience for me in 1943. Lockheed sponsored a photo opportunity on the tarmac at Wright Field, and I saw Orville Wright peering out the pilot’s window of a C-69 military Constellation!

My career developed through field offices, soared through the aircraft industry’s mass production Golden Age and flew into the 1960s Space Age era. After 35 years, I retired from Lockheed in 1974. But I’ve never forgotten the thrill of the projects I worked on—the B-47 joint modernization programs involving Lockheed with Douglas and Boeing; the 1957 United States Air Force X-7 Ram Jet test vehicles and Q-5 Drones and the United States advanced satellite reconnaissance satellite system of the 1960s and 1970s.

Now, revisiting those epic times makes me feel proud to having been part of aerospace history. I am grateful for my long and productive career at the core of a great company. I am glad I followed that lodestar.

I met Margaret at Lockheed!

A Testament to Hard Work

The sacrifice was well worth it
by Mrs. Charles C.

I am going to tell this story as if my husband were speaking it to you. He was the Lockheed employee.

“During the building of the C-5 Galaxy, we were so busy that, one year, I worked 352 days. That is a long haul with no time off. I was a supervisor and pushed hard to meet our deadlines. Of course, I was present at the roll out of that big monster. I also worked on the C-141. We worked hard, but the results were worth the effort."

A Bit of Middle River History

My father worked on every major project there
by Ed W.

My father, John, worked at Martin Marietta in Middle River. During his tenure, from 1936 to 1973, he worked on every major project there, including the M-130 China Clipper, the B-26, the PBM Mariner, the Martin Mars and the P6M SeaMaster Supersonic Seaplane. He also worked on the early guided missiles Martin developed, as well as the Titan rockets. He loved his job and the company. His Martin ring was buried with my brother in 1987.

A Wealth of Talent and Brainpower

I worked at Palmdale for over 40 years
by David F.

I worked at the Palmdale, California, facility my entire Lockheed Martin career. I was there from August 1969 through December 2011, and was the second Palmdale employee hired in to support the L-1011 TriStar program. My first assignment was to coordinate the setting up the ID office at the old Caravan Inn. During my career, I worked in several different organizations including finance, shortage control, facilities and last but not least, material management as a purchasing representative. While each position had its challenges and rewards, my most memorable would be my time in material management, supporting our materials and process group. What a challenger that was! However, the rewards were great in working with such a dynamic group of engineers and scientists.

My favorite plane still is the SR-71. The gatherings that would take place on the corner of Sierra Highway and Avenue North to watch the Blackbird take off were second to none. I’ll never forget the sight and sound! While the SR-71 is my favorite, all of our programs are near and dear to me. My hat is off to the people who came before me, the men and women with whom I worked and those who will continue to carry the torch.

A Brilliant Opportunity

It was a prestigious education about the world and life
by Pauline L.

Martin Marietta Vice President of Operations Roger Coleman offered my most important career opportunity in 1973. The company was in the process of moving its headquarters from Torrance, California, to 18th and K in Washington, D.C. A brilliant and inspiring person, Mr. Coleman always focused on the essential, always able to see the larger picture. Working with him proved an education in itself!

In the Washington office, I met Gayle Chin, my dearest friend. She was a recent graduate of studies in Paris. When she applied for a position in the executive suite, I was asked to introduce her to the various areas of the company. She often said that I taught her "all she knew." My hunch is that we shared interest in many of the same things—art, travel, cooking and dining among them. When my husband accepted a position with the Association of Theological Schools in Dayton, Ohio, Mr. Coleman made my transfer easy to the company's Central Region Sales Office there.

After 10 years, my career at Martin ended with early retirement in the summer of 1983. However, my friendship with Gayle continues to this day, as does that with close friends from the regional office, John Meek and Sheila Sideroff. My memories of Lockheed Martin are fond, and its stewardship, retirement income and health benefits have contributed significantly to my life. I am grateful for the experience and proud to be a "graduate" of the company."

Thank you, Lockeed Martin!

The C-130 Was “My Airplane”

Thanks Lockheed Martin, for this wonderful aircraft
by Bill I.

I retired from the United States Air Force in 1989. During my military career, I was an enlisted crewman aboard the EC-130 ABCCC aircraft when it was at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. When I found out that I was going to be on flying status, I was very excited. I was really hoping to fly on one of the EC-135 aircraft. After getting to Keesler and getting qualified to fly my position by myself, I couldn't have been happier. The C-130, to me, was the best aircraft for the mission we had. I accumulated almost 700 hours of flying time while at Keesler, going to 10 different countries and 10 or 15 different states.

From there I went to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where I was assigned to a unit that flew JC-130Bs, which were older than the EC-130s. Again, it was a great aircraft for a great mission, which was satellite recovery. I do not allow anyone to bad mouth "my airplane" in my presence. If they do, I quickly correct them and point out that, yes, they might be slow and noisy, but I always felt safe. I was in Vietnam in the early 1970s and had friends who flew gunship and airborne command post-missions on that venerable aircraft. No one time did I ever hear a derogatory word. I hope Lockheed Martin keeps building and updating the C-130 for years to come. I can't imagine my Air Force without it!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lockheed Vega "Winnie Mae"

This is the story of two of aviation’s finest
by Eugene P.

Kelly Johnson's high altitude expertise goes back further than the U-2. I was one of the CIA engineers in the program office that managed the U-2, A-12 Oxcart and Corona. Having a lifelong interest in aviation, I learned of Kelly Johnson's earliest high-altitude project in which he modified Wiley Post's Winnie Mae to attempt altitude and speed records in 1934. Wiley bet Kelly a new K&E slide rule he would set a new world record. Kelly knew that would be possible only if Wiley found the jet stream. Wiley didn't make the record, and would later fly off with Will Rogers to Point Barrow, Alaska, where they crashed and were killed. When Kelley learned of Wiley's death, he is reported to have said, "Why that Wiley never did give me that slide rule.”

I am the president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).

Wings for the Eagle

Lockheed had a starring role
by Wes C.

Mike McDaniel came into possession of a big stack of old Lockheed newsletters and publications. Idly thumbing through one from 1942, he came across mention of a Warner Brothers movie of that year that was shot in and around the plant, using actual Lockheed workers: “Wings for the Eagle.” What? A film shot at Lockheed? We were both immediately intrigued—after all, both my father and I had worked in the plant and knew it well.

I checked Netflix and YouTube for copies. Nothing! Then I checked with my film noir buddy who specializes in hard-to find movies—nothing there, either. But he happened to notice that TCM was broadcasting it the very next day (! So, he recorded it for me and I watched it.

The film is corny and propagandistic by today's standards, and contains many film clich├ęs. (For instance, when somebody in a film turns on a radio in 1941, you know you're about to hear a flash bulletin announcing the bombing of Pearl Harbor.) But think back. In 1942, we were fighting for our survival, and films of this type were well received with the general public. They were even necessary. As for me, I'm grateful that there's such good film documentation of what it took it build aircraft at Lockheed in the 1940s. I love the interior plant shots—it reminds me of when I worked there in 1979 and 1980.

The World’s Best Father

I worked alongside my dad one summer
by Lisa L.

My father started working for Martin Marietta in January 1962. His salary was $132 a week, which was considered very good at that time. Today, it would be well below the poverty level!

Dad worked on the Bullpup, Pershing and Sprint missile programs and on various research and development tasks. However, his most memorable program was TADS/PNVS. He was program director for PNVS and was technical director for TADS. He was selected as engineer of the year in 1979. A few years later, I worked for Martin Marietta during the summer of 1982 in the test program set arena where we wrote test programs for testing TADS/PNVS. It was a father-and-daughter scenario!

TADS/PNVS was the main weapon system used at the start of the Gulf War to neutralize Iraq’s air defense system. It worked to perfection with the entire Iraqi air defense systems destroyed in one evening engagement. My father was so proud of that system! It would be months later when he would get to see actual video from that engagement.

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Life Well Lived

Around the world, Hunt made a lasting impression
by Linda, Keli, and Jennifer C.

Hunt had the attitude of John Wayne, the style of James Bond and the brainpower of a rocket scientist. On his first day at work at Martin Marietta, Orlando, he may have expected to be greeted by his boss with "Welcome aboard!" Instead, he heard, "Who are you?" Why are you here?"

Throughout his 35-year career with Martin Marietta and Lockheed Martin, from Advanced Programs in Orlando to the Vertical Launching System (VLS) program in Baltimore, he excelled at his job. He flew over one million miles and traveled to six continents as he successfully marketed VLS internationally. He was known worldwide as a talented and fair businessman, for his excellent technical knowledge of the product and for his understanding of and respect for other cultures. He became lifelong friends with many of his customers.

Hunt always had time for his family. He was a great husband, dad and grandfather. He took the family around the world when he could. When he couldn't, he and wife Linda created their own legendary family adventures at Mount Rushmore, Key West, Niagara Falls, Canadian Rockies and so many more.

After retiring as Senior Vice President of Lockheed Martin's Naval Electronics and Surveillance Division in Baltimore, Hunt and Linda returned to Florida. As a retiree, he became involved in the Orlando community with the Kiwanis Club of Orlando. To his surprise, one year he was awarded the club's esteemed Kiwanian of the Year award for his service.

Thank you for this forum to share Hunt’s story, and thank you, Hunt, for making the world a better place.

A life well lived and a job well done!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Optimism and Purpose

I learned important values at Lockheed
by Carol L.

I started working at Lockheed Missile and Space Division in Sunnyvale in April 1959. I was 18 years of age. I started in blueprint files, then material planning and material checking. I worked in Buildings 102, NIROP, 151, 152, 153 and 126. I became a lead at the age of 21. Lockheed gave me the chance to learn, promote and realize the importance of a work ethic. That core value helped me throughout my career. I was laid off in June 1970. I still claim that Lockheed was the best place I ever worked, and I am grateful that I started my career there.

Adventures in Science

I was an EPL lab technician
by Darrell W.

I worked on many, many systems and was sent to Huntsville, Alabama, to work on a secret project. I returned and was offered to go to another country with another company. Now, years later and 16 countries under my belt, I have hung up the coat and settled down in my old back yard. Thanks Martin Marietta for the adventure!

The Lockheed Warning Star

I continue to wonder why I was stateside
by Raoul L.

As an electrical flight line supervisor at Lockheed Aircraft Services in New York, I was assigned to lead a group of Lockheed aircraft technicians to perform maintenance on the WV-2 aircraft at the United States Navy Airbase in Atsugi, Japan. My group included a fine bunch of guys who were sharp technicians. They were also a lot of fun, as attested to by the Northwest Airlines flight attendants who were on our Tokyo-bound flight. They refused to serve us, so we had to take the beverages ourselves—all of the beverages.

We had a group of Navy aircraft that we did maintenance on, performed modifications and then flew on the “check-out" flights. It was part of our duty to fly over the Sea of Japan on the routine test flights after work was completed. I flew on many of these.

After several months, I had to return to our corporate headquarters for a brief period. This was in the fall of 1965. During the month of November, while I was in the United States, my crew as usual, performed their duties. I was shocked to hear that a "foreign" fighter shot down our WV-2! I was stateside. I often think of my friends and wonder why I was in the States during that incident.

We Helped Defeat Communism

It was like being a member of a family
by Ronald L.

I was at Sunnyvale for almost 16 years (just 2 weeks short) from 1979 to 1995. Work meant having projects done according to Lockheed’s high standards. I worked with colleagues even after normal work hours; I worked whenever I was needed. Jobs well done caused communism to collapse. There was a reduced need for the United States Armed Forces to procure more Lockheed top-quality products; hence, there were massive layoffs, which affected me.

We had the opportunity to participate in activities during off-hours, including Toastmasters to improve talking in front of groups, the management association to listen to accomplished individuals, annual picnics and a 5K fun run. LERA was a way to doing other things, such as taking hang gliding lessons and going on a cruise where I met my wife. I am proud to be part of the Lockheed Martin family. Thank you.

Discovering the Plasma Universe

I was a research scientist at Palo Alto Research Laboratories
by David K.

In the mid-1980s, I joined Lockheed’s Palo Alto Research Laboratories as a research scientist. I had the opportunity to work alongside some of the country's most highly regarded senior space physicists. Among them were Joseph Reagan, Edward Shelley, Richard Johnson and Martin Walt. I was privileged to be affiliated with "The Labs" for a decade-and-a-half. My colleagues in the Space Plasmas Laboratory and the closely related Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory produced some of the most sophisticated spaceflight instruments ever developed to understand the geospace and solar plasma environments. The participation by a corporate aerospace giant in fundamental discoveries of the plasma universe was an enigma for a field of study typified by university and government laboratories and represents a real feather in the cap for Lockheed Martin.

Looking West toward the Horizon and the Future

Dad began at “the plant” in 1941
by Bonnie C.

The year was 1941. My dad, a newlywed, was working at Retail Merchants in downtown Ft. Worth, Texas, making $85 a month. At lunch, he would sit in the stairwell looking west toward the horizon. There, "the plant" was being constructed. Soon, he would have the opportunity to interview there and was hired in at $100 a month. He told his boss that he was taking "the plant" job because he really needed the extra money. His boss' reply was, “You better stay with us son, that's a 'fly-by-night' operation."

When General Dynamics developed its TFR system to prevent planes from flying into a mountain at night, Dad remembered and chuckled over the irony of his former boss' words. Dad retired from "the plant" after almost 36 years. He was always thankful that he gambled on that "fly-by-night" company!

Dad was known as "Jim" by his peers. He is still going strong at 90 years of age. In addition to his sense of humor, his co-workers might remember his brown bag lunches, which would cover the top of his desk! Mom packed them fresh each morning at 5 a.m. It is a known fact that several of his peers tried to get him to swap lunches with them on a daily basis.

Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime!