Tag Archives | Lockheed

Friday flick: “Look to Lockheed for Leadership”

This early-1940s-vintage film is a time capsule of the Lockheed Aircraft Co. at a key moment in its history. The company was just at the beginning of its war-driven growth trajectory. The film focuses on Lockheed’s commercial division. It highlights the Model 18 Lodestar airliner, and offers only a glimpse of the hundreds of Hudson […]

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Robert McNamara, TFX & the Total Procurement Package

The words “TFX” and “TPP” still raise chills in defense board rooms nearly 50 years after they were invented. And, for better or worse, both terms — landmark policy failures of military acquisition — will be associated with Robert McNamara, who died earlier this morning. The failures of Tactical Fighter Experimental, or TFX, set back […]

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The turbofan: Not dead yet

The ducted turbofan jet engine, the world’s most efficient machine, is now 43 years old. General Electric introduced the TF39 in 1965 to power the mammoth Lockheed C-5A. This now ubiquitous source of power for aircraft would seem to be a “mature” (read: dead) technology, closed to new opportunities for innovation. Whether the goal is […]

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Flashback: the original US Air Force acquisition scandal

Ike Eisenhower got it wrong when he called it the “military-industrial complex”. It’s really the military-industrial-and-congressional complex, and each component plays an equal part in the long history of flubs and scandals involving the process of developing and buying weapons. At least, that’s the message of a book I just finished called “The C-5A Scandal”, […]

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