Lockheed Martin

It seems quite fitting that I write about the company I work for because I am currently at work. Today is Black Friday, so while all Government employees are out shopping, the contractors have to take a day of leave or show up to work. However, I am with a good company and in celebration of that I want to go into some of the amazing things that Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin) has done since it's creation in 1912. Below is MY top ten list of the coolest things that Lockheed has put into production, enjoy.

10. F-16 Fighting Falcon
Picked this because it's America's premier interceptor. The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multi-role jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. Designed as a lightweight, daytime fighter, it evolved into a successful multi-role aircraft. The F-16's versatility is a paramount reason it has proven a success on the export market, having been selected to serve in the air forces of 25 nations.

9. P-80 Shooting Star
This jet brought in the jet fighter age. The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter used operationally by the United States Army Air Forces,[2] and saw extensive combat in Korea with the United States Air Force as the F-80. As one of the world's first successful turbojet-powered combat aircraft, it helped usher in the "jet age" in the USAF and other air forces worldwide.

8. IX-529 Sea Shadow
One of the coolest ships I've ever seen, even though it ended up being just a concept. Still, it's a STEALTH ship. Sea Shadow was built in 1985 and used in secret but normal service until her public debut in 1993, to examine the application of stealth technology on naval vessels. In addition, the ship was designed to test the use of automation to enable the reduction of crew size. The ship was created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Navy and Lockheed.

7. Hubble Space Telescope
This "small" telescope has brought us deep space images for years now. Can't really argue the impact this has had on our scientific research efforts. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by the space shuttle in April 1990. It is named after the American astronomer Edwin Hubble. Although not the first space telescope, the Hubble is one of the largest and most versatile, and is well-known as both a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy.

6. F-22 Raptor
Our first mass produced fighter aircraft that is completely stealth. Unfortunately the cost to build and the fact that President Obama is moving to get rid of it, lands it as #6 on my list. The F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.

5. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
The cost effective fifth-generation fighter that is being built in three variants that includes a VTOL version that allows it to take off and land vertically. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine, stealth multi-role fighter, that can perform close air support, tactical bombing, and air defense missions.[7] The F-35 has three different models; one is the conventional takeoff and landing variant, the second is short takeoff and vertical-landing variant, and the third is a carrier-based variant.

4. F-117 Nighthawk
Named the stealth "Fighter" to throw off the Soviets, this is probably the coolest looking aircraft. This was also the only aircraft that was authorized to attach downtown Baghdad during the first Gulf War. The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk is a stealth ground attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force. The F-117A's first flight was in 1981, and it achieved Initial Operational Capability status in October 1983.[1] The F-117A was "acknowledged" and revealed to the world in November 1988.

3. The Space Shuttle
This is the current crown jewel in United States Space operations. The video below speaks for itself. The Space Shuttle, part of the Space Transportation System (STS), is a spacecraft operated by NASA for orbital human spaceflight missions. Operational flights began in 1982 following four test flights. The system is scheduled to be retired from service in 2010 after 134 launches.

2. SR-71 Blackbird
At speeds above Mach 3, this aircraft remains the fastest manned aircraft. The Lockheed SR-71 is an advanced, long range, Mach 3 strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft by the Lockheed Skunk Works as a Black project. The SR-71 was unofficially named the Blackbird, and called the Habu by its crews, referring to an Okinawan species of pit viper.

1. U-2 Dragon Lady
This is my favorite plane as it it practically orbits the earth when it's at crusing altitude. It's both beautiful and an extreme asset as it can take hi-resolution pictures of a country while sitting 200 miles outside of it's borders. The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency. It provides day and night, very high-altitude (70,000 feet/21,000 meters), all-weather surveillance. The aircraft is also used for electronic sensor research and development, satellite calibration, and satellite data validation.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars." - Henry Van Dyke
Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin Reviewed by Joe Burlas on November 27, 2009 Rating: 5