Trains, Boats & Planes | 21 June 2017Skunk Works: 1940’s Models Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Skunk Works, the historically secretive aircraft manufacturer was responsible for bringing to life the SR-71 Blackbird, an essential fighting jet. This, however was not the first, or the only plane developed by Skunk Works. Since they began development they have been turning out some of the most efficient and well produced warplanes on earth. Check out some of the earliest models produced by Skunk Works, these excerpted from The Projects of Skunk Works were all produced in the 1940’s. The F-80 Shooting Star splits the sky. LM The second of the two XP-80As—nicknamed Silver Ghost—in early 1949, when it was being used as an engine testbed for the Lockheed-designed afterburner section for use on the Westinghouse J34 turbojet engine slated for the XF-90 program. LM Code One Beautiful color study of a Saturn in its element, circa 1946. LM Code One YP-38 takes flight. USAF Right: Page 1 of patent drawings and information on Lightning, filed by Hibbard and Johnson on June 27, 1939—patent awarded on March 26, 1940. United States Patent Office Milo Burcham shows new anti-compressibility dive flap to World War II’s and America’s still highest-ever-scoring eight-time ace Richard Ira “Dick” Bong (forty kills). LM via Denny Lombard A depiction of what an operational L-133 may have looked like in aerial combat over Italy. Artwork by Luca Landino Phantom view of the proposed L-133. LM via Denny Lombard Left: Early artist concept of L-133 design. LM Code One artist concept by J. e. Davis, dated October 2, 1942. LM Code One Nate price and hall hibbard with L-1000 (XJ37) turbojet engine. Author collection artist concept of the revised Model 44 excalibur a in its proposed pan american airways livery. LM Code One Buy from an Online Retailer US: The stories behind more than 50 secret projects undertaken by the famed Lockheed Martin Skunk Works on behalf of the US Armed Forces, DARPA, and the CIA – all illustrated with official Skunk Works photography and commissioned artworks. Hatched in June 1943 after a special request of the US Army Air Forces to develop a turbojet-powered fighter to counter growing German threats, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works has gone on to develop remarkable aeronautical and space technologies, including stealth. Some have made it into production, while others never quite made it off drafting boards and computer screens, but proved fascinating nonetheless. This generously illustrated history tackles Skunk Works programs ranging from jet fighters and jet engines to missiles and rockets, helicopters, research aircraft, airships, unmanned aerial vehicles and recon drones, and even the seagoing stealth ship Sea Shadow – more than 50 in all. Author Steve Pace examines the historical context which led government organizations to approach the Skunk Works, as well as the technologies and projects developed there (often on a handshake and unburdened by bureaucracies), and the anecdotes and legends associated with each program. Pace includes official Skunk Works photography of the projects taken both at its headquarters and at test facilities such as Area 51. In addition, commissioned color artworks help further illustrate many of these projects featured herein. In addition to profiling legendary aircraft like the F-80, F-94, F-104, U-2, SR-71, F-117, and F-35, Pace takes on more obscure projects from the past as well as those still to come, such as the hypersonic SR-72 and High Speed Strike Weapon, and even offers a peak into what the future might hold with the proposed TR-X. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.