Tag Archives | Skunk Works

Night, night, Nighthawk. F-117 retires

The US Air Force is retiring its Lockheed F-117s, 27 years after the stealth fighter first flew in secret and two decades after it was revealed to the public. I remember being at the formal roll-out – of the last F-117. Must have been 1990. At the Skunk Works in Palmdale, California. I was amazed […]

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DARPA seeks bidders for hypersonic Blackswift

Blackswift may have emerged out of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ Falcon hypersonic technology demonstration, but DARPA is looking for competitive bids to design and build the unmanned demonstrator, issuing this solicitation in early March: “The Tactical Technology Office (TTO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting proposals to develop an extended duration […]

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5 minutes with the Skunk Works’ Frank Mauro

It’s conference season again, and last week it was the Air Force Association’s winter symposium in Orlando – where I grabbed 5min with Frank Mauro, vp advanced systems development at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. Here’s some of what he said. Polecat (video) – LM has decided against building a replacement for the P-175 Polecat flying-wing […]

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Blackswift breaks cover – DoD funds hypersonic aircraft

The Pentagon boffins have been keeping mum, but the DoD’s fiscal year 2009 budget request lifts the lid on Blackswift – DARPA’s prototype hypersonic aircraft. Formerly the Falcon HTV-3X, and being designed by Lockheed’s Skunk Works, the unmanned Blackswift is intended to take off conventionally on turbojet power, transition to scramjets, cruise at Mach 6 […]

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Skunks Works to build hypersonic gliders for DARPA

DARPA has just awarded Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works a $40.8 million contract to build two HTV-2 hypersonic technology vehicles to be flight-tested in 2009 under the Falcon programme. This gives me a good excuse to update my Short Guide to Hypersonics Programmes. The HTV-2 is an unpowered, unmanned, expendable vehicle to demonstrate high lift/drag aerodynamics […]

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Dumbo can fly – Skunk Works airship stars in video

Thanks to Sentinel Chicken over on secretprojects.co.uk for posting this video of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ P-791 hybrid airship. The late Mike Dornheim of Aviation Week broke the story about the Skunk Works flight testing the P-791 in February 2006. As Sentinel Chicken points out, whoever posted the video on break.com did not know what […]

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Oxcart – A new CIA history of the Lockheed A-12

The Central Intelligence Agency has published a history of Oxcart, the super-secret programme that resulted in Lockheed’s Mach 3-plus A-12, YF-12A and SR-71 Blackbird. The monograph, by CIA chief historian David Robarge, provides insight to the competition between Lockheed’s A-12 and Convair’s Kingfish – a remarkable-looking aircraft powered by the same Pratt & Whitney J58 […]

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Scramjet test a step towards DARPA’s hypersonic Falcon

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has just tested a subscale combustor for a dual-mode ramjet/scramjet under the FACET programme to demonstrate a combined-cycle powerplant for DARPA’s planned Falcon HTV-3X hypersonic test vehicle. The combustor was ground-tested from Mach 2.5 to Mach 6.0. Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works is designing the HTV-3X. As the attached video shows, the […]

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Blackbird to Blackswift – via Falcon?

DARPA’s annual tech-fest has caused a stir in the blogosphere with the first appearance of a model of the HTV-3X demonstrator being designed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works under the Falcon hypersonic technology programme. Bill Sweetman broke the story on AvWeek’s Ares blog, and Sharon Weinberger weighed in on Wired’s Danger Room. Hopefully Bill won’t […]

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