The brief paperwork of the film the transfer of the SR-71 to the galleries of the Science Museum of Virginia and the story of the record-breaking aircraft’s innovation.
Also in 2015, he was determined to move the SR-71 Blackbird on display at the Virginia Aviation Museum, which was about to close a year later, to the all-new gallery at the Science Museum of Virginia to “inspire the future of l ‘invention’. The history of the Blackbird is, in reality, nonetheless taught at this time as a roadmap to true innovation.
Producer Todd Hervey, after studying the plans for the museum, decided to document the transfer and inform the story of the innovation introduced by the SR-71 and the Skunk Works. The self-funded film “Blackbird: Legacy of Innovation” premiered two years later, in 2017, at the museum. Unexpectedly for Hervey, the documentary immediately gained traction and was shown on numerous stations across the United States, earning it essential awards as well.
“I’m really lucky. It created other possibilities, and it got a lot bigger than I expected. A big part of making something this big is also thanks to the existing Blackbird community. It’s Elon Musk’s favorite plane, ”Hervey said.
The film begins to talk about the choice of maneuvering the Blackbird and how innovation runs deep in today’s world. Sean Roche, deputy director of affiliation on the central Intelligenceligence Company (CIA) for Digital Innovation, also associated the deep connection between innovation and the Blackbird: “For something that was not incremental, it fundamentally changed not only the way we thought about collecting recognition, but it actually changed what we knew at the time about aerospace design and aerospace dynamics. A lot of young people were shocked to learn that this thing was designed and built in the 60’s. It’s the thing that still amazes and inspires people today. It inspires them, it teaches them, and all the people who worked there are gone, but they really left us an incredible legacy ”.
The documentary continues to be about Clarence “Kelly” Johnson and how he graduated in the whole new discipline of aeronautical engineering, just 30 years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight, then affixed Lockheed in 1935. His genius was clear to everyone since he began committing to the P-38 Lightning and L-049 Constellation, each representing technological advancements for their period.
Right below you can watch your entire hour-long documentary. When you can’t see the embedded video, here is another hyperlink to the movie.
Shortly after Johnson applied a first variation of his Skunk Works concept, an experimental store where a small group of engineers, mechanics and contractors were co-located to solve a problem in a short period of time with minimal sources and with a tight schedule. This is precisely what happened when work began on the P-80 Taking Pictures Star, with Lockheed in the midst of wartime fabrication, and Johnson and his group built a facility using engine cases. and a circus tent, promising a plane prepared in 180 days and delivering it as an alternative in just 143 days. Johnson mainly based his work on 14 simple guidelines, which you will find intimately on the Lockheed Martin website.
Quickly, the experimental store created by Johnson took on its nickname which is still used today by Lockheed Martin Superior Growth Applications. Steve Justice, who previously worked at Skunk Works, told the story behind the well-known nickname in the film:
“Summers in Burbank can get pretty hot so it could be pretty scorching there. It was pretty tough working situations and all along the railroad this operation, which was known as the Experimental Store at the time, was a plastics manufacturing plant. Plastics create a lot of odors as you move them away and winds would blow the odor into that tent space.
Irv Culver, certainly one of Kelly’s designers, was a huge fan of the Al Capp Li’l Abner cartoon, and in Li’l Abner there was this build-up on a hill, known as Skonk. Works, the place where this elixir known as Kickapoo Pleasure Juice was brewed. He was using a myriad of issues, but it was unusual, smells were coming out of the place and it was very secretive, and it reminded Irv of the atmosphere they had been in. One day he picked up the phone and answered “Skonk Works”, and Kelly fired him.
Kelly told him he had to be back at work the next day because they were on schedule, they had a plane to build, but the title grabbed. Al Capp did reach out to Lockheed and said it was a copyrighted title. It was modified into Skunk Works and a Skunk mascot was developed for it.
In 1954, Kelly’s group won a secret contract to build a high-flying reconnaissance aircraft for a brand new buyer, the CIA. It was the start of the U-2 program and the Skunk Works became a support group, hired on a secret plane that was to keep it a secret. For this reason, it could not be examined on the regular locations used by Lockheed and this led Johnson to study various locations and select a dry lake, more often known as Groom Lake, with the approval of the CIA and atmospheric pressure and the decision to build what is now often known as Space 51 there.
When Francis Gary Powers was shot down in his U-2 over the Soviet Union, the need for an alternative began to arise, requiring a maximum altitude of 80,000 feet, low radar part (RCS). and a successful cruise to Mach 3. Kelly Johnson greeted the problem of innovating once again and creating a whole new type of plane that was almost untouchable. This began an improvement enterprise known as “Gusto”, with the Skunk Works engaged on many stealth and traditional designs, but the stealth design was not capable of the excessive speed and altitude required. Johnson ended up offering the 11th Model, a standard aircraft capable of assembling what was needed, but was rejected by the CIA because it was not stealthy. Starting work on another variant, Johnson designed the A-12 Oxcart, the first step towards the SR-71 Blackbird. The rest is historical past.