May 13, 2012 |
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.
October 7, 2010 |
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.
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.
November 19, 2006 |
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.
January 26, 2003 |
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.