Kelly Johnson

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Posted by bender 03/01/2009 @ 17:41

Tags : kelly johnson, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Golfing notebook: Johnson shoots 60 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Hooters Tour — Kelly Grunewald of Grand Prairie, Texas, shot a 1-over 73 and stands at 7 under to lead by one shot in the Sunset Hills NGA Classic in Edwardsville. Mike Suhre of Glen Carbon is at 219 and John Kelly of St. Louis at 224....
Play by play - USA Today
Out: Kelly Johnson struck out looking. None on with one out and Yunel Escobar due up. Out: Yunel Escobar struck out swinging. None on with two outs and Chipper Jones due up. Out: Chipper Jones grounded out third to first to end the inning....
Johnson gets night off amid struggles -
By Mark Bowman / ATLANTA -- Dating back to his Minor League days, Kelly Johnson has always recognized the fact that he's a streaky hitter. While this trait might follow him throughout his career, his recent inconsistencies have further weakened...
Union County Championships - The Star-Ledger -
Johnson junior Emily Vargas still owns the county record in the triple jump after losing it for 12 minutes. Vargas entered the meet with the record of 38-4, but Cranford's Kelly Burke erased that with a 38-5¼ on her first jump of the final round....
Mira Costa basketball standout Johnson heading to Washington - Daily Breeze
By Tony Ciniglio, Staff Writer Johnson was eating with her mother, Kelly, and assistant coach Craig Takahashi at El Gringo's Restaurant in Manhattan Beach when Takahashi handed her the phone. It was University of Washington coach Tia Jackson,...
Do we make a trade for power? - Talking Chop
Kelly Johnson, Garret Anderson, and Jeff Francoeur are off to slow starts, leaving the team 11th in the NL with 4.47 runs scored per game. The Braves might be OK at second with Omar Infante and Martin Prado as options, but an outfield addition would...
Play by play - USA Today
Out: Kelly Johnson lined out to first. None on with one out and Yunel Escobar due up. Out: Yunel Escobar grounded out short to first. None on with two outs and Chipper Jones due up. Single: Chipper Jones singled to right. Runner on first with two outs...
Play by play - USA Today
Out: Kelly Johnson flied out to left. None on with one out and Yunel Escobar due up. Single: Yunel Escobar singled to right. Runner on first with one out and Chipper Jones due up. Single: Chipper Jones singled to left. Runners on first and third with...
Johnson fights slump by platooning -
By Mark Bowman / PHILADELPHIA -- While spending the past two weeks in a platoon role with Omar Infante, Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson has attempted to take advantage of the opportunity to evaluate the aggressive approach that he was...
Div. III Norwayne Sectional: Lamb takes bite out of Smithville - Wooster Daily Record
She singled to start the fifth, moved up when Smithville misplayed Alyssa Baumgartner's sacrifice bunt attempt that went for an error, and scored when Kelley Johnson's sac bunt was thrown away at first. Johnson later scored on little sister Maggie...

Kelly Johnson (figure skater)

Kelly Johnson (born September 27, 1961 in Willowdale, Ontario) was a Canadian ice dancer. In 1981 and 1982, she won the silver medal at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships with partner Kris Barber. In 1983 and 1984, she added two more second place finishes with partner John Thomas.

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Kelly Johnson (guitarist)

Kelly Johnson (20 June 1958 – 15 July 2007) was an English guitarist.

She attended Edmonton County School in Edmonton, which is in North London, and part of the London Borough of Enfield.

Kelly Johnson was one of the original members of the heavy metal rock band Girlschool, when it was formed from the group Painted Lady in 1978. She was a songwriter, playing lead guitar and singing both lead and backing vocals on the group's first four albums, before leaving in 1983 to live and work in Los Angeles. Johnson rejoined Girlschool in 1993, remaining until 2000 and playing on one further studio album and a live album.

Kelly Johnson died on Sunday 15 July 2007, aged 49, after a six-year battle against spinal cancer. The fact she had this disease was not widely known outside her close circle of friends and family.

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Kelly Johnson (baseball)


Kelly Andrew Johnson (born February 22, 1982 in Austin, Texas) is a Major League Baseball second baseman and left fielder with the Atlanta Braves.

Johnson was drafted in the first round (38th overall) of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft by the Atlanta Braves. Johnson made his Major League debut with the Braves on May 29, 2005 and became a regular outfielder, due to the many injuries that plagued the Braves early in the 2005 season. Johnson was named the National League Player of the Week for the week of June 13 after batting .417 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 24 at-bats.

An elbow injury sidelined Johnson for the entire 2006 season. He was placed on the disabled list during spring training after experiencing pain while making throws from the outfield, and had Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews on June 1. During the offseason, Johnson spent many hours with Braves first base coach Glenn Hubbard at Turner Field to learn how to play second base effectively. Johnson earned the starting position at second base and as the leadoff hitter for the Braves for the 2007 season. He has exceeded all expectations as a second baseman defensively, and has proved to be one of the majors' most productive hitters at his position. On April 8, 2007 Johnson hit the first leadoff homer of his career in a 3-2 win against the New York Mets. In late June, Johnson lost his position as the leadoff hitter in the Braves lineup. In the 48 games Johnson played in May and June, his on-base percentage was .325, well below the acceptable rate for a good leadoff hitter. Willie Harris, who took over the role as primary leadoff hitter, had an on-base percentage of .440 prior to June 22 (Johnson's last game as the leadoff hitter), prompting Braves manager Bobby Cox to make the change. (As of August 10, Johnson had an on-base percentage of .419 since June 22.) In addition to being demoted from the top of the order, Johnson's offensive struggles motivated Cox to move Johnson into a platoon at second base with Yunel Escobar. He capped off his year with 16 homers and a .276 batting average.

With Escobar taking over full-time at shortstop, Johnson began the year as the Braves second baseman for the 2008 season.

Johnson had the longest hitting streak in the National League of the 2008 season, hitting in 22-straight games. He hit .398 with 19 RBIs in 25 games in September. Johnson ended the 2008 season with a .287 batting average, 12 homers, 69 RBIs, 86 runs, and 11 stolen bases.

Johnson is married to Lauren Thacker. They got married on January 26, 2008 and reside in Atlanta, GA.

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Kelly Pavlik

Kelly Pavlik.png

Kelly Johnson Pavlik (born April 5, 1982) is an American professional boxer. He is The Ring, WBC, and WBO middleweight champion, defeating Jermain Taylor to earn those titles. He has twice successfully defended his titles.

Known as "The Ghost", Pavlik grew up on the south side of Youngstown, Ohio, in the traditional ethnic neighborhood of Lansingville. He graduated from Lowellville High School and Mahoning County Joint Vocational School in 2000. Pavlik has been trained by Jack Loew of Youngstown's South Side Boxing Gym for his entire career. His loyalty to his neighborhood and his unassuming, unglamorous lifestyle have earned him praise inside and outside the world of boxing.

Pavlik turned pro in 2000 and won his first 26 fights before stepping up in competition on October 7, 2005 to face Fulgencio Zúñiga for the vacant NABF middleweight title. Zúñiga scored a knockdown with a left hook in the first round, but Pavlik recovered quickly and dominated the rest of the fight. Zúñiga was cut over his right eye by a clash of heads, and his corner stopped the fight after the ninth round.

On July 7, 2006, Pavlik defeated former WBO junior middleweight champion Bronco McKart by sixth round TKO in his first defense of his NABF middleweight title. McKart scored a knockdown when both of Pavlik's gloves touched the canvas in the fourth round. Pavlik knocked McKart down twice in the sixth round before the referee stopped the fight.

Pavlik headlined in his hometown at the Chevrolet Centre on November 2, 2006 and put on a dominant performance against Lenord Pierre. Pavlik scored a knockdown with a right hand late in the first round, and rocked Pierre repeatedly in the second and third rounds. Pavlik knocked down Pierre again with a left hook in the fourth round and the referee stopped the fight.

On January 27, 2007, in Anaheim, California, Pavlik defeated Jose Luis Zertuche by eighth round knockout in his second and final defense of his NABF middleweight title. It was a fast-paced, exciting fight that concluded when Pavlik landed a right hand that froze Zertuche in his tracks and then landed an uppercut that dropped him face-first to the canvas.

Pavlik defeated Edison Miranda on May 19, 2007, by TKO in the seventh round. The fight was a WBC eliminator bout. This fight established him as the #1 middleweight contender. Prior to the fight, Miranda seemed to ignore Pavlik, choosing rather to lob challenges at champion Jermain Taylor, who was fighting Cory Spinks on the same card. Meanwhile, Pavlik contended to sports journalists who would listen that he would "back Miranda up".

When the opening bell rang, Pavlik immediately charged Miranda and kept the contender backing up and on the defensive. During the sixth round, Pavlik knocked Miranda down to the canvas twice. After the first knock down, Miranda spat out his mouthpiece, causing referee Steve Smoger to deduct a point. As the sixth round ended, Miranda seemed unable to continue, but came out nonetheless. In the seventh round, Pavlik trapped Miranda in a corner with a barrage of vicious shots, forcing Smoger to stop the fight.

In Atlantic City, New Jersey, in front of a pro-Pavlik crowd (approximately 6,000 Youngstown natives made the trip), Pavlik defeated Jermain Taylor on September 29, 2007. In the pre-fight build-up, Taylor's trainer Emmanuel Steward went on record as calling Pavlik "overrated" and promising a knockout win for his boxer. It nearly happened, as Pavlik was knocked down in the second round and tossed about the ring for much of that round.

However, using his reach advantage and ability to trap opponents in the corner, Pavlik slowly turned the tide on Taylor. By the sixth round, many at ringside such as HBO commentator Larry Merchant saw the fight even. HBO's unofficial scorer Harold Lederman even had Pavlik leading the fight at the halfway point. Despite this, he was trailing on all three official scorecards. In the seventh round, Taylor appeared desperate as he was throwing power punches that mostly missed the mark. Pavlik took advantage with several power shots to the head, culminating with an overhand right which sent Taylor stumbling back into Pavlik's corner. With trainer Jack Loew encouraging him, Pavlik lit into Taylor until an uppercut followed by a slashing left hook sent Taylor crumpling onto the canvas. Referee Steve Smoger immediately waived off the fight, giving Pavlik the TKO win. With the victory, Pavlik became The Ring, WBC, and WBO middleweight champion. After the fight with Taylor, Pavlik and his father, Mike Pavlik Sr., accidentally left their paychecks in their hotel room. He was subsequently named The Boxing Times Fighter of the Year in 2007.

After the defeat, Taylor activated his clause for a non-title rematch, which was held on February 16 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight was a more tactical duel, with Pavlik wearing Taylor down with continual jabs, while Taylor scored with more flashy, sporadic bursts. Pavlik won the last two rounds on all three cards on the strength of two body punches acknowledged as the best shots of the fight, one of which hurt Taylor. Pavlik won the fight by unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112, 115-113), handing Taylor his second defeat.

In 2004 Bernard Hopkins unified all 4 of the Middleweight World Championship title belts, WBO, WBC, WBA and IBF. He lost to Jermain Taylor. Jermain Taylor lost to Kelly Pavlik.

Because it is difficult to appease Four #1 contenders, Jermain Taylor had been stripped of the IBF and WBA belts. When Pavlik beat Taylor he captured 2 belts and the Linear/Universally Recognized Middleweight Crown. The other two belt holders are widely considered high ranked contenders to Pavlik's Crown.

Pavlik made his first title defense of the Middleweight Crown against WBO #1 mandatory challenger Gary Lockett on June 7, 2008, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Pavlik defeated Lockett by third round TKO after Enzo Calzaghe, Lockett's trainer, threw in the towel after Lockett was down for the third time in the fight.

On October 18, 2008, Kelly Pavlik fought Bernard Hopkins in a 170lb catch weight contest. Despite stepping up in weight, Pavlik was widely regarded as favorite. However, Hopkins defeated Pavlik by unanimous decision. After the fight, Pavlik stated that he would return to middleweight.

On February 21, 2009, Pavlik defeated Marco Antonio Rubio in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio at the Chevrolet Centre by ninth round technical knockout. Pavlik dominated the fight, forcing Rubio's corner to concede the bout prior to the start of the tenth round.

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Castaway Entertainment

Castaway Entertainment is a video game developer. It was established by former employees of Blizzard Entertainment's Blizzard North division, the studio responsible for creating Diablo and Diablo II. It is based in Redwood City, California. The company signed a publishing agreement with Electronic Arts in March 2004, but has yet to produce any products.

Former Blizzard North members who joined Castaway Entertainment include Michael Scandizzo, Stefan Scandizzo, Alan Ackerman, Steven Woo, Rick Seis, Ted Bisson, Bruno Bowden, Peter Brevik, Michael Huang, Kelly Johnson (artist), Michio Okamura, Tom Ricket (Shirt Guy Tom, of Sluggy Freelance fame), and Fredrick Vaught (after whom the halls of Vaught in Diablo II were named).

Other notable employees include game designer Bill Dunn and art director Rick Macaraeg.

On April 4, 2008, Michael Scandizzo announced that Castaway is suspending operations due to financial problems.

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Lockheed D-21/M-21


The Lockheed D-21 was a Mach 3+ reconnaissance drone that began development in October 1962. Originally known by the Lockheed designation Q-12, it was intended to be launched off the back of the A-12 for extra-long or very dangerous missions. The A-12 variant developed to launch the D-21 drone was designated the M-21. The D-21 was designed to carry its single high-resolution photographic camera over a pre-programmed location, then drop the camera module into the ocean, where it could be retrieved.

In the early 1960s, Lockheed had developed the Mach-3 A-12 spyplane, which quickly evolved into the SR-71 Blackbird strategic reconnaissance aircraft. After the downing of Gary Powers' U-2 in 1960, concepts for an A-12 drone were proposed. Kelly Johnson, in charge of Lockheed's secret Skunk Works that had built the A-12, thought the A-12 itself would be too big and complicated to make a useful drone, but felt that the design and technology could be used to build a smaller aircraft that could perform the same mission. The ideas congealed into a formal study for a high-speed, high-altitude drone in October 1962. The study was financed by a special US Air Force black projects fund. The Q-12 design was finalized in October 1963. Its double-delta wing was similar to the A-12's outer wing design. The Q-12 was to be air-launched from the back of an A-12, and used key technology from the A-12 project, including titanium construction.

Kelly Johnson wanted to power the Q-12 with a ramjet engine built by Marquardt for the Boeing BOMARC long-range surface-to-air missile. Marquardt's plant was close to Lockheed's, helping ensure security, and the two companies had already collaborated on several programs. Marquardt engineers indicated that the BOMARC ramjet could be used, though the engine, ultimately designated the RJ43-MA-11, needed some work, since it wasn't designed to burn for much longer than it took a BOMARC to hit a target a few hundred kilometers away. In contrast, the Q-12's engine was to operate for at least an hour and a half, much longer than any ramjet at that time. The engine also needed to be modified to burn the same JP-7 fuel used by the mother plane.

A mockup of the Q-12 was ready by 7 December 1962. Radar tests indicated that it had an extremely low radar cross section. Wind tunnel tests also indicated the design was on the right track. However, the CIA was not enthusiastic about the Q-12, mostly because the agency was overextended at the time with U-2 missions, getting the A-12 up to speed, and covert operations in Southeast Asia. In contrast, the Air Force was interested in the Q-12 as both a reconnaissance platform and a cruise missile, and the CIA finally decided to work with the USAF to develop the new drone. Lockheed was awarded a contract in March 1963 for full-scale development of the Q-12.

The reconnaissance payload and guidance systems were carried in a "Q-bay" about 1.9 meters (six feet) long. These systems were built into a module that plugged neatly into the bay and was known as a "hatch". As per the original design concept, the hatch would be ejected at the end of the mission, and the aircraft would then blow itself up with a self-destruct charge. The hatch would be snagged out of the air by a C-130 Hercules, a technique that had been refined by the Air Force to recover film canisters from reconnaissance satellites.

In late 1963, the project was named Tagboard; the Q-12 was re-designated D-21 while the A-12 became M-21 (D- for "daughter" and M- for "mother"). Two production slots from the original 18 A-12 units were designated for the M-21, serial numbers 60-6940, and -6941. The M-21 was a two-seat version of the A-12, with a pylon on the fuselage centerline between the tailfins to carry the drone in a nose-up attitude. A periscope allowed the back-seater, or "Launch Control Operator (LCO)", to observe the D-21. Two M-21s were built, along with an initial batch of seven D-21s for test flights. The major initial problem was launch of the D-21 from the M-21 mother ship. There was an uncomfortably small clearance between the M-21's fins, and the potential for disaster during separation of the drone from the mother ship was obvious.

The M-21/D-21 combination began captive flight-testing on 22 December 1964, continuing through 1965. Aerodynamic covers that were in place over the intake and exhaust were removed after the first few tests, as it was unable to drop them at Mach 3 without damaging the M-21 and/or D-21. Increased drag caused by the removal was overcome by using the D-21's ramjet as a third engine, drawing fuel from the M-21's tanks until the drone was released.

The first launch of the D-21 from the back of the M-21 occurred successfully on March 5, 1966. The release was successful, though the drone hovered above the back of the M-21 for a few seconds, which seemed to one of the flight crew like "two hours". Kelly Johnson called it "the most dangerous maneuver we have ever been involved in, in any airplane I have ever worked on." The D-21 itself crashed after a flight of a few hundred kilometers. As a result, the CIA and the Air Force were still not very enthusiastic about the program. Kelly Johnson conferred with Air Force officials to see what he could do to tune the project more closely to the service's needs. Among other things, Johnson suggested launching the D-21 from a larger aircraft and using a solid rocket booster to get the drone up to speed.

A second successful launch took place on 27 April 1966, with the D-21 reaching its operational altitude of 90,000 feet (27,400 m) and speed in excess of Mach 3.3, though it was lost due to a system failure after a flight of over 1,200 nmi (2,200 km). This was regarded as very satisfactory progress. The successful tests sharpened the interest of the program's government backers, and by the end of the month a contract for 15 more D-21s had been placed. A third successful flight took place on 16 June 1966, with the D-21 flying through its complete mission, though the hatch wasn't released due to an electronics failure.

However, the fourth and final launch a month later on July 30 ended in disaster. The D-21 struck the M-21's tail immediately after separation, destroying both aircraft. The two crewmen ejected safely and landed at sea. The pilot, Bill Park, survived, but the LCO, Ray Torick, drowned when his pressure suit leaked. As a result, Kelly Johnson immediately ended launches from the M-21. However, he felt that the B-52 launch scheme was still practical, and the D-21 program remained alive and well.

The modified drone was designated D-21B (although there was no -21A version) and all D-21s on order in mid-1966 were completed as D-21Bs. Two B-52Hs were modified to carry two drones each and were given two large underwing pylons to carry the drones, replacing the smaller pylons used for the B-52's Hound Dog cruise missiles. Two independent LCO stations were added at the rear of the bomber's flight deck, along with command and telemetry systems; a stellar navigation system to ensure that the drones were launched from well-defined coordinates to reduce flight guidance error; and a temperature control system to keep the drones at a stable temperature before launch.The B-52Hs could communicate with the D-21Bs, which had improved remote control links that remained active up to 10 minutes into the mission.

The booster was a solid-fuel rocket with a length of 44 feet 4 inches (13.5 m) and a weight of 13,290 pounds (6.025 tonnes), making it longer and heavier than the drone itself. The booster had a single small tailfin on the bottom to ensure that it flew straight. The tailfin folded to ensure ground clearance. The booster had a burn time of about a minute and a half, and a thrust of 27,300 pounds (121 kN).

Initial testing began in September 1967 and went on until July 1969. The first attempted launch of a D-21B was on 28 September 1967, but the drone accidentally fell off the B-52's pylon. Its booster fired but the D-21B went straight into the ground. Kelly Johnson called the incident "very embarrassing". Three more launches were performed from November 1967 through January 1968. None were completely successful, so Johnson ordered his team to conduct a thorough review before renewing launch attempts. The next launch was on 30 April 1968, and was also a failure. The Lockheed engineers went back to the drawing board once more, and on 16 June 1968 they were rewarded with a completely successful flight. The D-21B flew a test mission at the specified altitude and course over its full range, and the hatch was recovered successfully, though it didn't have a camera payload.

The troubles were not over yet, however. The next two launches were failures, followed by another successful flight in December. A launch near Hawaii in February 1969 to simulate an actual operational flight was a failure as well, but the next two flights, in May and July, were both successes.

Four operational missions took place under the name SENIOR BOWL, from November 9, 1969 to March 20, 1971, all over the People's Republic of China to spy on the Lop Nor nuclear test site. On the first mission, the Chinese never spotted the stealthy drone, but it disappeared and was not recovered. Once again, the Lockheed engineers went back to the drawing board. Another test flight was conducted on 20 February 1970, and was successful. However, the second operational mission was not until 16 December 1970. The D-21B made it all the way to Lop Nor and back to the recovery point, but though the hatch was dropped as planned, it did not deploy its parachute and was destroyed on impact.

The third operational flight, on 4 March 1971, was even more frustrating. Once again, the D-21B traveled to Lop Nor and back, and properly discarded the hatch. The hatch deployed its parachute, but the midair recovery failed, and a destroyer that tried to retrieve the hatch from the sea ran it down. The hatch sank and was lost. The fourth, and last, flight of the D-21B was on 20 March 1971. It was lost over China on the outbound leg, apparently having been shot down.

In July 1971, the D-21B program was cancelled, due to a combination of the poor level of success and the introduction of a new generation of photoreconnaissance satellites, as well as President Richard Nixon's rapprochement with China.

When Ben Rich, Kelly Johnson's successor at the Skunk Works, visited Russia in the 1990s after the fall of the USSR, a contact gave him a package that contained parts of the D-21 that had disappeared on the first operational flight. It had crashed in Siberia. The Soviets had apparently been puzzled as to what it was, but it appears that they also obtained the wreckage of the D-21 lost on the fourth operational flight. The Tupolev design bureau reverse-engineered the wreck and came up with plans for a Soviet copy, named the "Voron (Raven)", but it was never built.

In the end, 38 D-21/D-21B drones were built with 21 expended. The other 17 were put in mothballs at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base "boneyard" near Tucson, Arizona and redesignated as GTD-21B. Since the base is open to the public, the exotic D-21s were eventually spotted and photographed, leading to speculation as to their nature, speculation that was inflamed by misinformation from the Air Force. For example, they were described as test machines used in development of the A-12 / SR-71.

The mothballed drones were passed off to NASA, which took four. In the late 1990s, NASA considered using their D-21s to test a hybrid "rocket-based combined cycle (RBCC)" engine, which operates as a ramjet or rocket, depending on its flight regime. This idea was abandoned, with NASA preferring to use a derivative of the agency's X-43A hypersonic test vehicle for the experiments. Other D-21s have been released to museums for display.

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Lockheed L-9 Orion


The Lockheed Orion Model 9 was a single engine passenger aircraft built in 1931 for commercial airlines. It was the first airliner to have retractable landing gear and was faster than any military aircraft of that time. It was the last wooden monoplane design produced by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. It was designed and built by Richard A. Von Hake, but an interesting historical note is that Kelly Johnson of SR-71 fame was flight test engineer on the project.

The Orion was the last design using many identical elements from the Lockheed designs preceding it. It primarily used all the elements of the Altair, but included a forward top cockpit similar to the Vega, plus the NACA cowling introduced in the Air Express. Lockheed used the same basic fuselage mold and wing for all these wooden designs (the Explorer wing was unique), hence the close similarities between them. The Orion featured an enclosed cabin with seating for six passengers. The first Orion, tested by Marshall Headle, received its Approved Type Certificate on May 6, 1931.

Although designed with the passenger market in mind, its speed made it a natural for air races. The first Bendix race of 1931 had a showing of two Orions and three Altairs and one Vega in a race that had only nine aircraft competing. On July 11, 1935 Laura H. Ingalls flew a Lockheed Orion, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, from Floyd Bennett Field to Burbank, California, establishing an East-West record for women. Two months later she flew it back to set a West-East record.

The first Orion entered service with Bowen Air Lines at Fort Worth, Texas, in May 1931. Many safe miles were flown in airline service and the headlines won by a few expert speed pilots proved the advanced design and reliability of the "Orion". Those that went into airline use as a passenger transport had their life span limited, however. In 1934 the Civil Aeronautics Authority issued a ruling prohibiting further use of single engine passenger aircraft from operating on all major networks. It also became mandatory to have a co-pilot and thus a two-seat cockpit arrangement on all such flights. The requirements of the ruling brought an end to the "Orion" as a passenger carrying airlines' airplane. They were then used for cargo or mail carrying or sold for private use and charter. Because the aircraft had a complicated wood construction and needed to be sent back to Lockheed in Burbank California to be repaired, they were often disposed of after any type of significant accident. At least 12 of the used "Orions" were purchased for service in the Spanish Civil War and destroyed in use.

The Orion Explorer was a modified 9E. It had a damaged wing replaced with the wing of the Explorer 7 after a crash, and was fitted with a 600 hp (482 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp S3H1 engine. Fixed landing gear and later floats were also fitted. It was used by Wiley Post and Will Rogers for a round-the-world flight attempt, but both men died when the aircraft crashed in Alaska on 15 August 1935.

In all, Lockheed built a total of 35 Orions costing $25,000 each new. It is not known if any survived past the 1940s except the one that survives to the present day. This lone remaining Orion was originally built as an experimental Altair with a metal fuselage. This Altair (built in 1931) was damaged in a belly-landing accident in Columbus, Ohio, in 1933. It was returned to Lockheed where it was converted in 1934 to an Orion 9C configuration by the original designer of the Orion, Richard A. Von Hake, and others who worked for free during a slow period when the Lockheed factory was going into bankruptcy. A valid argument has been raised that since the fuselage, wing and tail of both planes are identical, and that it was also rebuilt by the original designer at the Lockheed plant, it may be considered an actual Orion (#36) instead of a modified Altair. In any case, it was sold to Shell Aviation Corp., painted yellow-orange and red and named "Shellightning." It was used by Shell's aviation manager, James H. Doolittle, on cross-county and exhibition flights. Jimmy Doolittle made hundreds of trips in this Lockheed, and the ship was very much in evidence at air shows, airport dedications, and business meetings across the territories of all three Shell companies in the United States. In 1936 "Shellightning" was again involved in an accident, in St. Louis, and was stored there. Two years later Paul Mantz caught the racing bug in addition to his aeronautical movie work. He bought the damaged "Shellightning" and had it rebuilt at Parks Air College in St. Louis, Missouri with a more powerful Wright Cyclone engine and some streamlining to add to its speed. It re-painted red with white trim and Mantz flew the plane in the Bendix Races in 1938 and 1939, coming in third both times. In 1943 he sold the plane and it went through a series of owners until Mantz bought it back in 1955. He retained ownership until selling it to TallMantz Aviation, Inc. in 1962. In 1964 the plane was sitting out in the open on the flightline at Orange County Airport, now John Wayne Airport, in blue-and-white American Airways trim. Some time in the 1960s it was purchased by Swiss Air and rebuilt to flying status by the famous "Fokker" restoration team and is on display at the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland in the livery of the original Swiss Air Orion.

The definitive information source for these aircraft is: Revolution in the Sky: Those Fabulous Lockeeds and the Pilots Who Flew Them. By Richard S. Allen.

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Skunk Works

Entrance plaza at the Skunk Works in Palmdale, California

Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71, the F-117, and the F-22. Its largest current project is the F-35 Lightning II, which will be used in the air forces of several countries around the world. Production is expected to last for up to four decades.

The roots for the Skunk Works started in Burbank, California when Lockheed was tasked with building a high speed, highly maneuverable fighter to compete with the aircraft coming out of the Messerschmitt factory. Lockheed Model 22 rolled out in December 1938 and had her maiden flight on January 27, 1939. This plane would later be known as the P-38 Lightning, and would be one of the most successful aircraft in the U.S. military for its time.

The Air Tactical Service Command (ATSC) of the Army Air Force met with Lockheed Aircraft Corporation to express its need for a jet fighter. A rapidly growing German jet threat gave Lockheed an opportunity to develop an airframe around the most powerful jet engine that the allied forces had access to, the British Goblin. Lockheed was chosen to develop the jet because of its past interest in jet development and its previous contracts with the Air Force. One month after the ATSC and Lockheed meeting, a young engineer by the name of Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson and other associate engineers hand delivered the initial XP-80 proposal to the ATSC. Two days later the go-ahead was given to Lockheed to start development and the Skunk Works was born, with Kelly Johnson at the helm. The formal contract for the XP-80 did not arrive at Lockheed until October 16, 1943; some four months after work had already begun. This would prove to be a common practice within the Skunk Works. Many times a customer would come to the Skunk Works with a request and on a handshake the project would begin, no contracts in place, no official submittal process. Kelly Johnson and his Skunk Works team designed and built the XP-80 in only 143 days, seven less than was specified as the maximum allowed under the contract.

In 1955, the Skunk Works received a contract to build a spyplane known as the U-2 with the intention of overflying the Soviet Union and photographing sites of strategic interest. The U-2 was tested at Groom Lake in the Nevada desert. The first overflight took place on July 4th 1956. The U-2 ceased overflights when Francis Gary Powers was shot down during a mission on May 1, 1960, while over Russia.

The Skunk Works had predicted that the U-2 would have a limited operational life over the Soviet Union. The CIA agreed. The Skunk Works got a contract in late 1959 to build five A-12 aircraft at a cost of $96 million. Building a Mach 3.0+ aircraft out of titanium posed enormous difficulties and the first flight did not occur until 1962. Several years later, the U.S. Air Force became interested in the design, and it ordered the SR-71 Blackbird, an improved two-seater version of the A-12. This aircraft first flew in 1966 and remained in service until 1998.

The D-21 drone, similar in design to the Blackbird, was built to overfly the Lop Nur nuclear test facility in China. This drone sat on top of a specially modified A-12, known as M-21, of which there were two built. No D-21s were successfully recovered after being launched from M-21s, although a few were deployed and recovered from B-52s.

In 1976 The Skunk Works began production on a pair of stealth technology demonstrators for the U.S. Air Force named Have Blue in Building 82 at Burbank. These scaled down demonstrators, built in only 18 months, were a revolutionary step forward in aviation technology. After a series of successful test fights beginning in 1977, the Air force awarded Skunk Works the contract to build the F-117 stealth fighter on November 1, 1978.

After the Cold War ended in 1989, Lockheed reorganized its operations and relocated the Skunk Works to Site 10 at U.S. Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, where it remains in operation today.

The term "Skunk Works" came from the Al Capp comic strip Li’l Abner, which was popular in the 1940s. In the comic, the "Skonk Works" was a backwoods still operated by Big Barnsmell, known as the "inside man at the Skonk Works". In his secret facility, he made "kickapoo joy juice" by grinding dead skunks and worn shoes into a smoldering vat.

At the request of the comic strip copyright holders, Lockheed changed the name of the advanced development company to "Skunk Works" in the 1960s. The name "Skunk Works" and the skunk design are now registered trademarks of the Lockheed Martin Corporation.

The term "Skunkworks" is a registered trademark of Australian corporation, The Novita Group Pty Ltd; the company holds several URLs including, and Lockheed Martin failed in an attempt to block The Novita Group Pty Ltd from registering the trademark. Lockheed Martin also lost in its attempts to stop The Novita Group Pty Ltd registering the domain in the United Kingdom.

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Source : Wikipedia