On December 22nd, 1964, the SR-71 Blackbird took to the air for the very first time, rising above Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale with F-104 chase planes in pursuit. The occasion would mark the birth of one of the most amazing and renowned aircraft of all time.
One of the most legendary stories related to the SR-71 Blackbird has nothing to do with how fast or how high it could fly. Quite the opposite really, it has to do with how slow and low it flew, somewhat accidentally, the results of which was probably one of the most spectacular visual and audible moments in aviation…
This is an invention that might change civilization as we know it: A compact fusion reactor developed by Skunk Works, the stealth experimental technology division of Lockheed Martin. It's the size of a jet engine and it can power airplanes, spaceships, and cities. Skunk Works claims it will be operative in 10 years.
Not long ago Lockheed Martin posted on its Instagram account the most badass aviation photograph ever. Just look at it:
"Shoe companies are full of people who wanted to design cars," explains Jalopnik's Jason Torchinsky in a post about this slick 1971 DeTomaso Pantera today. Nike's own skunkworks design team had very different plans for this aging Pantera—check out their work below.
The venerable U-2 'Dragon Lady' is a spy plane born from Cold War necessity that soldiered on operationally for decades past anyone's wildest dreams. She went from sleek design to a bulging beast of burden whose silhouette can change as fast as her mission requires it to. Here's a guide to her many configurations.
Aviation Week's Guy Norris has an exclusive article on the successor for the Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird, the legendary spy plane that may be the favorite of every airplane nerd in the world. The hypersonic SR-72 is the first aircraft that can fit perfectly in Star Wars or Galactica, a true space age ship.
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works' Transformer TX started out as yet another design for the oft-predicted but never delivered flying car. But it's since turned into an entirely different type of flying machine: an autonomous way for the military to airlift vehicles and cargo to dangerous areas.
Gary Power's failed sortie over Soviet Russia in 1960 prompted military brass to search for unmanned alternatives for performing recon over hostile territory. The D-21 drone was Lockheed's solution—launched from a modified A-12, it spied on Red China at over 2,000 MPH.
How do you hide an airplane behind a bird? Very skillfully. Lt. Col. William B. O'Connor (ret.) flew the F-117 Nighthawk during the Bosnia Conflict, and in Stealth Fighter, he explains the history, operation, and soul America's most advanced stealth jet.
The existence of a new secret plane photographed this week has been confirmed by the United States Air Force. The secret aircraft now has an official denomination: The RQ-170 Sentinel, a flying wing developed by Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works.
Dr. Paul Bevilaqua is the aerodynamicist who designed the F-35B shaft-driven lift fan years ago at Skunk Works, Lockheed Martin's advanced technology program. His invention changed short-take off and vertical-landing (STVOL) planes forever, making the Lightning II the first supersonic aircraft with this capability. To…