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Skunk Works

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 1997
Re "History, Patriotism Make Skunk Works Worth Saving," Aug. 24. An important part of the Valley's aviation history and contribution to the defense of America should not be destroyed. As a retired Lockheed employee who joined the company in 1957 and as a San Fernando Valley resident for the past 42 years, I concur with R.C. "Chappy" Czapiewski: The last of the Skunk Works buildings should be preserved. Mothballed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird aircraft created by the famed Skunk Works could be turned into permanent outdoor displays at the Burbank Airport site where they were conceived by Kelly Johnson and his remarkable team.
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BUSINESS
August 16, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
Area 51 has to be the worst-kept secret in the aerospace industry. It's where some of the most innovative military aircraft ever built by Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Skunk Works were flight tested. Supposedly. For decades, the government has refused to acknowledge the existence of the military outpost, which is about 100 miles outside of Las Vegas. Until now. PHOTOS: Skunk Works secret programs For the first time, Area 51 has been recognized by the CIA, according to a newly declassified history of the U-2 program.
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BUSINESS
June 20, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
Few places in the aerospace industry are as revered as Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Skunk Works. For decades, employees at the secretive site have designed and built the some of the most innovative military aircraft ever built. The U-2 spy plane. The SR-71 Blackbird. The F-117 Nighthawk. This week, the shadowy weapons development facility in Palmdale silently celebrated its 70th anniversary. It should come as no surprise that the milestone came with little fanfare, considering the Skunk Works mantra is "quick, quiet and quality.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
Few places in the aerospace industry are as revered as Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Skunk Works. For decades, employees at the secretive site have designed and built the some of the most innovative military aircraft ever built. The U-2 spy plane. The SR-71 Blackbird. The F-117 Nighthawk. This week, the shadowy weapons development facility in Palmdale silently celebrated its 70th anniversary. It should come as no surprise that the milestone came with little fanfare, considering the Skunk Works mantra is "quick, quiet and quality.
NEWS
December 21, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
Clarence L. (Kelly) Johnson, creator of Lockheed Corp.'s secret Skunk Works aircraft factory and a leading designer of the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes, died today. He was 80. Johnson died at St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank after an illness of many years, a Lockheed statement said. The illness was not disclosed. Johnson organized the Skunk Works in 1943 to build the XP-80 Shooting Star, the United States' first production jet fighter.
BUSINESS
December 5, 1990 | GEORGE WHITE, From Times Staff and Wire reports
Lockheed Corp. has selected Sherman N. Mullin to succeed the retiring Ben R. Rich as head of Lockheed Advanced Development Co., the aircraft design and development operation commonly known as the "Skunk Works." Mullin previously was vice president of Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Co., heading up the company's development of the F-22 advanced tactical fighter. Mullin will remain involved in that project as an adviser.
BUSINESS
August 11, 1992
Lockheed Corp. says it has slightly scaled back relocation plans for its famed "Skunk Works" advanced-aircraft development unit, which is in the process of moving from Burbank to Palmdale. The unit, formally named Lockheed Advanced Development Co., now plans to build a 225,000-square-foot office building in Palmdale and to remodel or construct nine other buildings there, said spokesman Richard Stadler.
NEWS
January 6, 1995 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ben R. Rich, who headed Lockheed's fabled "Skunk Works" during development of the Stealth fighter plane and wrote a book about his 40-year career with the company, died Thursday at age 69. Rich, who headed the secretive section from 1975 until he retired in 1991, died at Ventura's Community Memorial Hospital after a lengthy illness. Less colorful than the unit's original chief, Clarence (Kelly) Johnson, Rich nevertheless was an adept manager whose talents were nationally recognized.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 1993 | Researched and written by Sharon Moeser / Los Angeles Times
It was 50 years ago this month that Lockheed and its renowned aeronautical engineer Clarence L. (Kelly) Johnson promised the U.S. Army Air Forces they would build a prototype for a jet fighter in 180 days. World War II was raging as Johnson brought together a team of 23 engineers and 105 production people to design and build the XP-80. They worked under an order of absolute secrecy in a well-guarded shop building and circus tent-covered production area on Lockheed's Burbank facility.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2000 | ANDREW BLANKSTEIN and JEAN GUCCIONE, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Rejecting one of the largest toxic pollution judgments ever rendered, a California appellate court Tuesday threw out $380 million in punitive damages against five oil and chemical companies accused of failing to warn hundreds of workers about health hazards at the Lockheed Skunk Works. The three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in Aguilar vs. Ashland Chemical Co. that there was no evidence of "despicable conduct" by Exxon, Unocal, Shell, Ashland and DuPont.
BUSINESS
May 13, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Alton D. Romig Jr., 58, is "chief skunk" at Lockheed Martin Corp.'s famed Skunk Works secretive weapons development facility in Palmdale. It's one of the most coveted jobs in aerospace. For more than 70 years, workers at the shadowy site have designed and built the world's most innovative military aircraft, including the U-2 spy plane, SR-71 Blackbird and F-117 stealth fighter. About 2,000 people work on 600 programs at Skunk Works, which got its nickname in 1943 at its original Burbank headquarters that was located next to a manufacturing plant that produced a strong odor.
BUSINESS
October 7, 2010 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been good for Frank Amador Jr.'s business, a small Buena Park machine shop where workers make aluminum parts for the B-1 and B-2 bombers. Sales have tripled since the war began, to $8 million a year. The payroll has doubled to 28 workers. But now, after one of the biggest military buildups in decades, Amador is among the thousands of aerospace suppliers across Southern California bracing for a downturn, a slide that could have gut-wrenching consequences for an economy struggling to recover.
OPINION
January 1, 2010
Dollars and security Re "Obama calls safety lapses unacceptable," Dec. 30 For President Obama to admit Tuesday that valuable information regarding Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was not sufficiently distributed weeks before his alleged attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight makes me and many others wonder what good are the billions we spend on our aviation screening system. The Department of Homeland Security has one job: to keep us safe. We can thank the heroic passengers and Abdulmutallab's amateur jihadism for the safe landing of the jet -- not Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and her bureaucrats.
MAGAZINE
November 19, 2006 | Rick Wartzman
One of my most memorable moments covering the aerospace industry came during an early '90s visit to Lockheed Corp.'s advanced development division in Burbank--an operation more commonly known as the Skunk Works. The facility, named after the "Skonk Works" in the comic strip "Li'l Abner," was legendary.
MAGAZINE
January 26, 2003 | Paul Gordon, Paul Gordon is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. He currently is saving for his 12,000-mile tuneup.
It was in that sparkling age of early adolescence that I first fell under the spell of motorcycle magazines. Tech manuals to chopper rags, they papered my walls with photos of wheelies and trophy chicks, they filled my nights with dreams of fuel and freedom. I had many flirtations, but only one subscription.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2000
Re "As a Factory Falls, Memories of What It Means to Have a Job," Sept. 10. I too have many memories about Lockheed. Both of my parents and even one of my grandparents worked there. Two of my brothers and myself worked there as well, making us third-generation. My parents worked in the "Dark World," as the Skunk Works was known. That was because anybody who worked there couldn't talk about what they did. This was during the height of the Cold War and everybody was paranoid about the Russians.
BUSINESS
November 5, 1988 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, Times Staff Writer
Lockheed said Friday that it plans to move its Advanced Development Projects unit--known as the Skunk Works--out of Burbank and relocate it at its facilities in Palmdale over the next several years. Lockheed has never disclosed how many jobs it has at the top-secret Skunk Works, but it undoubtedly accounts for a large percentage of the company's more than 12,000 jobs in Burbank and is widely believed to be the site for construction of the Air Force's F-19 stealth fighter plane.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2000
A California state Court of Appeal has thrown out $15.2 million in damages against five oil and chemical companies accused of failing to disclose toxic hazards used in defense manufacturing at Lockheed's famed Skunk Works here, lawyers said Tuesday. The three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in Arnold vs. Ashland Chemical Co.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2000 | ANDREW BLANKSTEIN and JEAN GUCCIONE, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Rejecting one of the largest toxic pollution judgments ever rendered, a California appellate court Tuesday threw out $380 million in punitive damages against five oil and chemical companies accused of failing to warn hundreds of workers about health hazards at the Lockheed Skunk Works. The three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in Aguilar vs. Ashland Chemical Co. that there was no evidence of "despicable conduct" by Exxon, Unocal, Shell, Ashland and DuPont.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 27, 2000
A judge said Friday that it will take him two to three weeks to decide how to proceed with a lawsuit filed by about 2,500 Burbank residents who say they were sickened by chemical emissions from Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works defense plant. Attorneys met privately with Burbank Superior Court Judge Carl J. West to debate how the case should move forward. Lockheed Martin claims that the suits are baseless and should be dismissed.
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