Lockheed Skunk Works

The DON’T ASK and NOYFB patch worn by C-5 crews tasked to bring F-117 aircraft to Area 51: when Nighthawk airframes were secretly transported to the test site via Galaxy airlifters

The DON’T ASK and NOYFB patch worn by C-5 crews tasked to bring F-117 aircraft to Area 51: when Nighthawk airframes were secretly transported to the test site via Galaxy airlifters

The F-117 Nighthawk The Lockheed F-117 was developed in response to an Air Force request for an aircraft capable of attacking… Read More

3 weeks ago

With an RCS of an Eagle’s Eyeball the F-117 Nighthawk was one thousand times less visible than the D-21, the least visible shape previously produced at Lockheed’s Skunk Works

The F-117 Nighthawk The Lockheed F-117A was developed in response to an Air Force request for an aircraft capable of… Read More

3 months ago

The story of how the US secretly tested the A-12 Mach 3 Spy Plane RCS during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Testing the A-12 Oxcart RCS. The A-12 was the product of Project Oxcart, a secret military program to develop a… Read More

4 months ago

The SR-71 Blackbird had a Smart Valve that allowed to use JP-7 fuel as internal coolant. Here’s how it worked.

The SR-71 Blackbird smart valve supplied only the hottest fuel to the engines and sent cooler fuel to retracted landing… Read More

6 months ago

CIA engineer recalls when specks of insects hoisted from atomic tests in Russia and China were found on an A-12 windshield after an Oxcart mission

CIA A-12 Oxcart CIA developed the highly secret A-12 OXCART as the U-2 spy plane’s successor, intended to meet the… Read More

8 months ago

“There are programs that we can’t share…yet:” Lockheed Martin celebrates 80 Years of Skunk Works Division

For 80 years, Skunk Works has pushed the innovation envelope, failing fast to prove out novel technologies and deliver disruptive… Read More

8 months ago

In the early 1960s Soviet Union sold titanium to the US believing they needed it for Pizza Ovens but instead they used it to build the iconic SR-71 Blackbird Mach 3+ spy plane

After all, they fraudulently possibly told their comrades that the United States was a lazy country that probably couldn’t even… Read More

8 months ago

Did you know the solid quartz glass of the canopy of the SR-71 Blackbird cockpit was 1.25 inches thick and was hot to the touch from the inside?

SR-71 Blackbird Pilots and RSOs, even with gloves on, couldn’t keep their hands by the glass for more than a… Read More

12 months ago

Did you know? To keep the A-12 project secret CIA stored in boxes Oxcart spy planes and moved them from Skunk Works production site to Area 51

Since the CIA wanted to keep the A-12 project secret, it determined that the Oxcart could not be tested at… Read More

12 months ago

The Stealth Fighter that Never Was: How the Secret Development of the F-117 led to the Birth of the Misleading F-19

Models of the F-19 Stealth Fighter started to appear in the eighties and were available from four manufacturers: Revell, Monogram,… Read More

12 months ago

The story of the U-2 pilot that took part in O Club parties wearing fake bad teeth to joke about the ozone level effect on U-2 drivers

Buddy Brown (Buddy is not a nickname it’s his real name) was one of a handful of men in the… Read More

1 year ago

The weird story of when Kelly Johnson received a bag with $30 million in cash to pay for the first six CIA U-2 spy planes

The guy has on a fedora and a trench coat with a pink carnation in the lapel. Johnson says he… Read More

1 year ago

Blackbird pilots explain why flying the SR-71 with just one engine in full afterburner was Blackbird aircrews’ most dangerous operation

Taken on Nov. 1, 1981 by US Air Force (USAF) Scene Camera Operator Ken Hackman, the interesting photos in this… Read More

1 year ago

First man to fly the iconic SR-71 recalls when he flew the Blackbird Inverted and he turned off the Instrumentation so that Kelly Johnson wouldn’t find out

When Kelly Johnson began designing the advanced SR-71 Blackbird for the US Air Force, he appointed Robert J. “Bob” Gilliland… Read More

1 year ago

First SR-71 RSO explains why Reconnaissance Systems Officer cockpit had to be rearranged before the Blackbird maiden flight or the USAF would not buy the SR-71

‘Airspeed indicators were on one side, attitude indicators were on the other, altimeter gauges were in the middle, and we… Read More

1 year ago

After an A-12 flight specks of insects hoisted from the atomic test explosions in Russia and China were found on the Oxcart windshield

‘A weird thing was that after a (A-12) flight the windshields often were pitted with tiny black dots, like burn… Read More

2 years ago