Another Airplansta Book Giveaway Highlights Lockheed Martin's Secretive Skunk Works3:31 PM
By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor
Each page of late author Steve Pace's new work "The Projects of Skunk Works: 75 Years of Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs" is loaded with incredibly clear imagery and plenty of "inside baseball" details, presented in chronological fashion to take you through the story from start to finish.
Launched in 1943 to develop a turbo-powered jet fighter that could counter the growing German jet menace, Lockheed Martin's Advanced Developments Projects (ADP) would survive the war and go on to create many of aviation's most mind-bending aircraft and technologies. ADP would also become best known by another name...Skunk Works. Largely the brainchild of Lockheed designer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, Skunk Works was built as a nimble organization functioning in a cloak-and-dagger world if handshake deals that skirted leviathan government bureaucracies. In this massive new illustrated history, late author Steve Pace lifts the veil and examines every known Skunk Works project, beginning with the XP-80 that started it all and continuing through jet fighters and jet engines, missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles, a lighter-that-air ship, an oceangoing vessel...over 80 projects in all are detailed.
Served up in chapters broken down by decade, each new section reveals more about what happened in the secretive Skunk Works. It begins in the 1940s with the XP-38 and YP-38 Lightening and XF-90 Penetration Fighter, and continues in the 1950s with the X-7A Flying Stovepipes, XQ-5 Kingfisher and the U-2 Aquatone project, with that chapter concluding with a look at the Corona Reconnaissance Satellite System. Each chapter has a long list of detailed looks at the advanced aircraft of that time, with highlights including the RQ-3 DarkStar, the SR-71 Senior Crown project, the X-24C Hypersonic Research Airplane, and the QSST Quiet Supersonic Transport project as must-read entries.