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This Genius SAVED Lockheed Martin

Kelly Johnson: Michigan Aircraft Designers Innovations Transform the Skies

  • Clarence L. Johnson (known as Kelly) was a talented aircraft designer from Ishpeming, Michigan
  • He demonstrated his skills at a young age and went on to win prizes for aircraft design
  • Robert E. Gross purchased the bankrupt Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in 1932, and Kelly worked as an assistant for the head of the University of Michigan’s Aeronautical Engineering Department
  • Kelly was instrumental in the creation of Lockheed’s Model 10 (the “Super Electra”), which was used for record attempts and praised by the British Royal Air Force
  • Kelly was promoted to Chief Research Engineer due to his impressive designs.

Forktailed Devil: A Look at the Success of the Lockheed P-80

  • The Lockheed P-80 (nicknamed the “Lightning”) was a successful twin engine interceptor aircraft developed in 1938 as part of an initiative by the US Air Force
  • Kelly Johnson, an engineer for Lockheed, solved the challenge of supersonic air flow to prevent nosedives at high speed and altitude, resulting in increased performance
  • This success marked a turning point for prop driven aircraft and inspired Johnson to pursue jet propulsion
  • In 1943, General Harry Hap Arnold commissioned Johnson to develop a jet fighter prototype in just 150 days which eventually emerged as the P-80
  • The P-80 was so successful that it destroyed more enemy aircraft in WWII than any other Allied Fighter and became known as the “Forktailed Devil” by Nazi forces.

Americas Innovative War Technology: The P-80, U-2 & MIG-15

  • Kelly Johnson and his team at Skunk Works developed the P-80 Shooting Star, America’s first true fighter jet, in an astounding 150 days
  • The U-2 spy plane was designed to fly beyond Soviet radar, missiles and fighters, but the CIA and Air Force could not agree on a design
  • Kelly Johnson eventually convinced them to choose his CL 282 design, which was built in secret and delivered within 8 months
  • Lieutenant Colonel William Miller became the first person to shoot down a MIG-15 with a Shooting Star during the Korean War.

US Missile Program Unveiled: The Hard Data Behind the U-2, A12 and SR-71 Blackbird

  • Tony Lavere’s test flight of the U-2 aircraft gave the US hard data on the Soviet Union’s missile program
  • Kelly Johnson and his team at Lockheed Skunk Works created the a12 that could fly higher and faster than the U-2
  • Kelly Johnson faced enormous logistical challenges
  • He solved them by finding titanium suppliers, machining fillets, and creating its curved shape to reduce its radar cross-section
  • The Air Force created SR-71 Blackbird as an improved version of the a12 with more practical capabilities serviceable for longer missions
  • It flew four times faster than Lockheed’s first fighter jet, was never lost or damaged due to hostile action, and inspired its pilots while unnerving enemies
  • Kelly Johnson was forced out of Lockheed in 1975 but continued serving as a board member until 1980 and replaced himself as head of Skunk Works with Ben Rich.

Revolutionizing the World Through Secret Development: Kelly Johnsons Legacy Lives On

  • Kelly Johnson created the Skunk Works culture and process, leading to the development of secret divisions such as Google X, Amazon Lab 126 and Steve Jobs’ Macintosh computer team
  • Today’s startups like Boom Supersonic and Hermius have the potential to revolutionize high-speed aircraft and potentially change the world
  • The legacy of Kelly Johnson began in Burbank California with the SR-71 Blackbird, which was later replaced by unmanned spy satellites.

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this is the SR-71 Blackbird it's one ofthe most incredible achievements ofmodern engineering it can fly more thanthree times at the speed of sound butmore than twice the altitude of acommercial airliner it's built frommolded titanium and coated in specialpaint that makes it almost invisible toradar and even if it did get picked upon enemy radar the Blackbird could justoutrun any incoming missiles it'sbasically Top Gun in real life justthink about it it flies in Mach 3 so youcan be anywhere in the world in just afew hours but who designed thisincredible plane why was it made in thefirst place and how can technologycompanies harness that same Spirit todaythis is the story of lockheed's SkunkWorks Division and the man who made itpossibleforeignOur Story begins in the 1920s in asleepy Michigan mining town namedishqerman the town is named after theOjibwe word for in the air this wouldprove to be a good omen World War onewas over and this small community whichhad proudly sent its men to the front aspart of the 32nd red arrow division wastrying to get back to what it knew bestnormality Ishpeming was home to theJohnson family Peter and Christine hadmigrated all the way from Sweden theysettled down and had nine kids one ofthem Clarence is the hero of this storyfrom an early age Clarence loveddesigning and Building Things he wouldspend hours on end at the local librarydevouring books like the Rover boys andthe Tom Swift series by the time he was12 Clarence had already designed hisfirst model airplane he called it theMerlin one battle plane a year later hewon his first prize for aircraft designspoiler alert it wouldn't be his lastClarence had found his calling noteveryone however understood this quietdetermined boy at grade school Clarencewas bullied other boys teased him theycalled him Clara one morning after theusual routine started up again Clarencefought back there was a scuffle and thebully ended up with a broken leg thatwas the last day he was ever calledClara from then on Clarence had a newnickname Kelly from a popular song ofthe day called has anyone here seenKelly he must have liked it because itstuck with him for Life by the timeKelly entered the University of Michiganchildhood curiosity had matured intoBrilliance he won two Scholarships in asingle year and worked as an assistantto the head of the University'sAeronautical Engineering Department hewas still just as passionate aboutairplane design as the day he won hisfirst prize and his passion was about tofind a perfect Outlet on the morning ofJune 21st 1932 a neatly dressed Harvardgrad stood in a courtroom in LA Holdinga single white envelope the judge on theother side of the bench was responsiblefor selling off a bankrupt company yetanother victim of the Great Depressionhe asked if there were any bidders onlythe Harvard grad stepped forward he slidthe white envelope onto the judge'sbench it contained forty thousanddollars money cobbled together from aConsortium of investors it was all hehad but it was enough the judge said tohim I hope young man that you know whatyou're doing that young man's name wasRobert E gross the company he bought wasthe Lockheed aircraft Corporation and hewould spend the next 28 years of hislife proving that he did know exactlywhat he was doing gross's first bet toresurrect Lockheed was an all-metalpassenger plane called the model 10.models of the design were sent to theUniversity of Michigan's AeronauticalEngineering Department which happened tohave a talented grad student by the nameof Kelly Johnson Kelly conducted thewind tunnel tests for the model 10.although his faculty advisors gave thedesign a passing grade Kelly wasn'timpressed he took his concerns straightto lockheed's Chief design engineer HalHibbard by then Kelly had impressed thepeople at Lockheed enough to be hired asa tool designer he was just 23 years oldbut he was confident enough to tell thechief design engineer that the aircraftwhich was supposed to save the companywas unstable instead of telling him toknow his place Hibbard gave Kelly achallenge go back into the wind tunneland improve the design after 72 testruns Kelly came up with the solution anunconventional twin tail that would goon to become a Lockheed Benchmark themodel 10 put Lockheed on the map as afirst-class aircraft manufacturer and inthe middle of it all was Kelly Johnsonand his 72 test runs with his work onthe design Kelly was promoted and becamethe sixth member of lockheed'sengineering department the model 10better known as the Elektra was a greatplane in its own right but it was amodified version of this plane thatbecame even more significant to thisstory the successor in question was themodel 14 the super Electra the superElectro was a great passenger plane andits size and speed made it the aircraftof choice for some audacious recordattempts in May of 1938 a team ofaviators from the Polish nationalairline used a model 14h for anexperimental three and a half day flightfrom LA to Warsaw via South America andAfrica while the notorious and reclusiveHoward Hughes used a super Electra forhis own global navigation flight themodel 14's Innovative features intriguedthe British royal Air Force they thoughtthat with a redesign it would make agood anti-submarine Patrol plane andwith dark storm clouds gathering overEurope they needed it sooner rather thanlater so they gave Lockheed just threedays to rework the model 14. thatwouldn't be the last time that agovernment gave Lockheed a super tightdeadline picture the scene a 28 year oldFarm Boy from Ishpeming Michigan isholed up in a London hotel room withjust three days to design a new aircraftone that the British Air Force neededfor a war that was looking moreinevitable by the day Kelly Johnsonworked Around the Clock barely stoppingto eat let alone sleep and he deliveredit on time the model 14 became known asthe Hudson bomber a plane which would goon to play an important role in WorldWar II where it would be praised bypilots for its superb maneuverabilityofficials at the British Air Ministrywere so amazed by Kelly's new designthat they asked Lockheed managers ifthey could really entry such animportant aircraft to someone so youngthe response was unequivocal Lockheedhad complete faith in Kelly Johnson andthey proved it by promoting him to Chiefresearch engineer the Hudson was a hugeturning point for Lockheed now when theU.S government needed a new aircraftdesign they knew who to call just intime too because war was now on thehorizon and it was approaching rapidlyin early 1938 the U.S Air Force issued aproposal for a twin engine Interceptorwhich could operate at high altitude theaccompanying specifications were thetoughest they had ever put out theaircraft had to maintain a maximumairspeed of at least 360 miles per hourand climbed to 20 000 feet in just sixminutes Kelly Johnson believed Lockheedcould do it and he was right but thedesign process was the most complexchallenge of his young career he quicklynoticed that at speeds of more than 500miles per hour air flow over certainparts of the plane was reachingsupersonic velocity that caused theplane to violently shake and nose overinto dangerously steep Dives at altitudeturning the model 14 into the Hudsonbomber took a Herculean work ethicsolving this problem needed all of thatwork ethic plus tons of problem solvingKelly Johnson's eventual solution was toinstall a dive flap that restored liftthe product of all this tinkering wasthe Lockheed P-38 nicknamed lightningthe lightning excelled in combat it wenton to destroy more enemy aircraft inWorld War II than any other AlliedFighter the Nazis called it the forktailed devil but Kelly still wasn'tfully satisfied it had taken him yearsto iron out that persistent nosediveproblem next time he told himself he'ddo it a different way next time as itturned out would arrive very soon hisexperience designing the lightningconfirmed Kelly suspicions the days ofprop driven aircraft were numbered andlike all good Engineers Kelly hadalready acted on his suspicions he hadspent three years trying to crack a codeof jet propulsion so when the USgovernment needed a jet fighter Lockheedwas in a strong position turning themodel 14 into the Hudson bomber took aHerculean work ethic powered by twoturbo Jets it could reach speeds of morethan 600 miles per hour surprisinglythough the design was rejected insteadthe Air Force opted for the p-59 eraComet designed by Bell aircraft this wasa big moment Bell was one of lockheed'smain competitors they were applyingpressure and now they were winningcontracts from right under lockheed'snose Kelly Johnson was angry at theperceived snug he knew this was make orbreak for Lockheed but then fateintervened the air comet's performancewas so underwhelming that it was deemedunfit for service and half of theoriginal order was canceled Bell triedto revise the design but they werealready swamped with the responsibilityof manufacturing other planes and bythen the pressure to produce was reallyon because in the spring of 1943 theAllies discovered something thatterrified them intelligence showed thatthe Germans were conducting Advancedtest flights for an aircraft that couldhave changed the course of the war theculmination of top secret work thatGermany started before the war broke outthe Messer Schmidt was the world's firstfighter jet and the Allies knew that ifthey entered the battlefield without aworthy rival then Germany could gain airsuperiority over the Skies of Europethat wasn't a scenario that anyone onthe Allied side was prepared toentertain the chief of the Air ForceGeneral Harry Hap Arnold was dismayedthat America had been caught on the backfoot he knew that choosing the mediocreBell era Comet was a mistake and heunderstood that a second mistake couldprove disastrous so in his hour of needhe turned to the Air Force's mostreliable manufacturing partner LockheedKelly Johnson promised delivery of anaircraft in just 180 days but he toldhis staff that they had only 150 daystheir success in meeting this insanedeadline would change Aviation foreverand it would Mark the birth of thelegendary Skunk Works Lockheed wasswamped with wartime manufacturing worktheir plants were churning out P-38Lightnings Around the Clock turned outto be a blessing in disguise because itgave Kelly Johnson the opportunity totest out an idea he'd been toying withfor years he went to Robert E gross thesame man who bought Lockheed for fortythousand dollars a decade earlier and hepitched his proposal Kelly wanted toround up a small group of talentedEngineers designers and Shop people putthem under one roof where they couldcollaborate closely and have completeauthority over everything fromprocurement to flight testing gross knewbetter than to doubt Kelly Johnson so heagreed and told Kelly to go pick hispeople Kelly Johnson tapped about twodozen engineers and 30 Mechanics for thetop secret work now he just needed alocation he found an old circus tentnear a Lockheed terminal in BurbankCalifornia after the team moved in theyencountered an unforeseen problem thefactory stank the smell got so bad thatone of the engineers jokingly showed upto work one day wearing a gas maskanother engineer Irv Culver startedsaying that the smell reminded him ofthe Skunk Works a moonshine Distilleryfrom the popular comic strip littleAbner that made moonshine from thingslike dead skunks and old shoes one daysomeone from the Navy called to see howthe Messerschmitt killer was comingalong the project was top secret so teammembers were warned to be careful on thephone the call ended up beingaccidentally transferred to Culver'sdesk in a flash of wit he picked up thephone and answered Skunk Works InsideMan Culver the person on the other endof the line didn't know what to sayKelly Johnson wasn't happy about it butjust like a bad smell the name hungaround it was changed to Skunk Works atthe request of the little Abnercopyright holders in the 1960s but inspirit it stayed the same since that dayin the summer of 1943. the new team hada hell of a job on their hands they hadto design an aircraft which had neverbeen designed before they had to deliverit in 150 days and they couldn't ask forany outside help the project was sosecretive that you could count thenumber of people who knew they weredesigning the first true Americanfighter jet on your fingers leading themall was Kelly Johnson who it was thebiggest challenge of his career for allhe knew this could determine the outcomeof World War II and it would be thebiggest Triumph on November 16 1943 just143 days after work began the firstprototype of the p80 appeared on therunway at murrock Air Force Base inCaliforniadesign centered on a clean fuselagetapered straight tip wings and apressurized cockpit with a bubble canopyit was nicknamed Lulu Belle afterassembly the new plane was put throughits paces and almost immediatelydisaster struck there was a huge Roar asthe inlet Ducks collapsed sending debrisinto the british-made h-1 goblin engineand cracking the impeller the engineneeded replacing but that was mucheasier said than done because there wereonly two of them in the whole world ittook six weeks of paperwork andtransport until the p80 had another oneinside finally on the morning of January8 1944 Lulu Bell was ready for her firstMaiden test flight Kelly Johnson toldthe pilot to find out if she's a lady ora witch at 10 o'clock after one falsestart Lulu Bell took off and put on adazzling 20-minute display the pilotconfirmed that she was indeed a lady sojust how was America's first truefighter jet created in less than 150days unquestionably the biggest Factorwas Kelly Johnson he had begun thinkingabout jet propulsion years before thep80 entered service he possessed acommanding grasp of the technicaldetails and could seemingly solve anyproblem he trusted and respected hispilots in fact he logged 2300 hours as aflight test engineer himself and inSkunk Works he devised a method ofworking on top secret projects thatmaximized focus and efficiency whileminimizing red tape and politicalinterference having Kelly on your teamwas like a cheat code and now thanks tohim the United States had the p80 it wasdubbed the shooting star in honor of itsspeed and streamlined shape iteventually reached speeds of more than500 miles per hour despite earlytechnological challenges the shootingstar was an amazing piece of engineeringthat it was developed so quickly made ita near miracle in the end the shootingstar wasn't needed in World War II bythe time it was ready the Allies hadfull control of the skies and the warwas almost over but it would figureprominently in the early days ofAmerica's Next conflict after World WarII America and the Soviet Union'sreluctant Alliance became anall-encompassing rivalry known as theCold War thankfully the two superpowersactually never faced each other directlyon the battlefield instead they wouldcompete on the basis of Technologyideology and through their proxies thefirst time the U.S and the Soviet Unionfound themselves on opposing sides wasin Korea and it was there that ashooting star piloted by an AmericanLieutenant Colonel won history's firstever jet to Jet dogfight by shootingdown a mig-15 what went through KellyJohnson's mind when he got that news inmany ways that moment was theculmination of his life's work a planehe designed with his own specialprojects team shot down an enemyaircraft generally regarded as Best inClass and gained an advantage for theUnited States and its allies he was thebest aircraft engineer in the world andhe had helped drag Lockheed from theedge of disaster to what it consideredits rightful place at the heart of theAmerican defense establishment but therewas no time to reflect or celebratebecause a new adversary presented newchallenges for the United States and thenext one arrived almost right awayAmerican intelligence had revealed thatthe Soviet Union had made rapid progressin developing bombers and ballisticmissiles that could strike targetsthousands of miles away if the Sovietscould achieve this what else could theybe doing this vulnerability wasexacerbated by the fact that the bestintelligence the U.S government had onthe Soviet Union's facilities werephotos taken by the German luftwaffeduring the war that was 10 years agovirtually a lifetime the conclusionclear the United States was committed toFlying reconnaissance missions over theSoviet Union but they had to improvetheir capabilities so the Air Forcecreated a design competition for areconnaissance aircraft that could flyat 70 000 feet beyond the reach ofSoviet Fighters missiles and radar butsurprisingly Lockheed wasn't invited tosubmit a proposal the Air Force decidedto only solicit designs from smallercompanies that could give this urgentproject their full attention thisdecision must have come as a shock toKelly Johnson and it doesn't look anybetter in hindsight the spy planerequired secrecy Innovation andprecision Manufacturing in other wordsit was tailor-made for Skunk Works KellyJohnson thought the same thing so hewent to Robert Gross and convinced himthat Lockheed should submit a proposaland that it should be run out of SkunkWorks Kelly got to work combining hisengineering skills with the lobbyingskills he had honed from years ofworking closely with Washington hisdesign named the cl282 could operate at73 000 feet and had a 1600 mile radiusto save weight and achieve the desiredaltitude it stripped out allnon-essential components Kelly promiseddelivery within eight months but themilitary rejected the design theythought the cl282 was too lightweightand that one engine wasn't enough CurtisLeMay even walked out of one of KellyJohnson's presentations muttering thathe wasn't interested in a plane thatdidn't have wheels or guns thankfullythat's not where the conversation endeda panel of experts advising the AirForce and CIA on the project told themthat the chosen design wouldn't meet thealtitude requirements they thought KellyJohnson's cl282 was the superior optionand the CIA agreed they were determinedto win the internal battle they evenroped in President Eisenhower who agreedthat responsibility for the spy planeshould sit with the CIA in the end theCIA and Air Force came to a compromisethey would go with Kelly Johnson's cl2282 design but the project would bejointly managed by the two agencies inMarch of 1955 Lockheed received a 22million contract to deliver 20 CL 282sthe spy plane was made in the shadows itwas given the vague designation of U2partly because the U1 and u3 alreadyexisted procurement of componentsoccurred secretly when Kelly Johnsonordered altimeters calibrated to 80 000feet from a company whose instrumentsusually only went up to 45 000 feet theCIA made up a cover story aboutexperimental Rockets shell had to inventa new type of jet fuel that wouldn'tevaporate at ultra high altitude makingit caused a nationwide shortage of acertain kind of insecticide yet despitethese hurdles in July just four monthsafter receiving the contract Skunk Worksdelivered the Prototype Kelly Johnsoncaptured the mood in his logbook entryon July 15th airplane essentiallycompleted terrifically long hourseverybody almost dead the YouTubecouldn't be tested at a regular facilityso the CIA developed a top secrettesting site right by the Groom LakeSalt Flat better known today as area 51.after completing the first successfulTest Flight of the YouTube legendaryLockheed test pilot Tony Lavere reportedthat it climbed towards the heavens likea homesick Angel Kelly Johnson and histeam had done it again what's more theydid it 3.5 million dollars under budgetand built an additional six airplanesout of spare parts the world's firstultra high altitude aerialreconnaissance aircraft brought back thefirst hard data on the true extent ofthe Soviet Union's missile programphotos captured by the U2 alerted theUnited States that the Soviet Union wasdeveloping an unmanned Satellite by thename of Sputnik which changed the worldwhen it launched on October 4th 1957 andit was a U-2 flight over Cuba whichconfirmed the existence of Sovietmissile launch sites the U2's Pilotscalled it the Dragon Lady because itreminded them of a beautiful seriouscharacter from a popular cartoon stripthe Dragon Lady flew with almostcomplete impunity until Francis GaryPowers was shot down by a Sovietsurface-to-air missile that incident andthe ripples it caused around the worldtaught the United States that even highaltitude aircraft were suddenlyvulnerable to Soviet missiles in thatway it accelerated the development ofSuperSonic flight technology but it alsogot Kelly Johnson thinking if thecombination of high altitude and lowspeed was no longer the answer whatabout a plane that was harder to detectand could fly both higher and faster theanswer to that question was the Lockheeda12 codenamed Archangel by the SkunkWorks team because it could climb evenhigher than the home sick Angel the a12could fly at more than three times thespeed of sound and as high as 95 000feet developed by the Skunk Works injust 20 months in absolute secrecy itwas made of titanium alloy andsupplemented with radar absorbingcomposite materials to make it harder todetect by radar the a12 was so Advancedthat in the words of Kelly Johnsoneverything had to be invented everythingfor example it was made from titaniumwhich could better absorb the heatgenerated by Mach 3 flight but highlypure titanium had never been used insuch quantities so new forging andMilling techniques had to be inventedone of the a12's most important featureswas its reduced radar cross-sectionphysicists working on a secret CIAproject to reduce the visibility ofAmerican aircraft to Soviet radardeveloped a theory that a continuallycurving airframe would be harder totrack to create the distinctivecobra-like shape of the a12 KellyJohnson added thin curved extensions tothe wings and fuselage however titaniumis brittle it doesn't Bend so much as itsnaps Kelly's solution was simple andingenious he machined small triangularshaped titanium pieces called filletsinto the required shape and then gluedthem onto the underlying frameworksupplies of Titanium Ore were anotherissue lockheed's supplier had onlylimited reserves so the CIA conducted aglobal search for more using acombination of third parties and shellcompanies the United States governmentwas able to buy sufficient quantities oftitanium from one of the world's leadingproducers the Soviet Union now justthink about how crazy this is the UnitedStates is buying titanium from theSoviet Union specifically to build a spyplane to spy on the Soviet Union andthere were literally thousands ofproblems like this that needed to besolved and Kelly Johnson was on top ofall of them the a12 was his greatestChallenge and one of his biggestbreakthroughs so why was it only inservice for one year the answer ispolitics and Technology the Air Forceresented that the CIA had primaryoperational responsibility for the a12if there was going to be a supersonichigh altitude reconnaissance plane theAir Force's leaders decided that theyshould be involved in its developmentand deployment the Pentagon agreed anddecided that rather than shiftresponsibility of the a12 over to theAir Force they would replace it entirelybecause a superior design had emergedthis plane right here the SR-71Blackbird to create the SR-71 KellyJohnson and the Skunk Works team tookthe incredible Foundation provided bythe a12 and built on it the first SR-71took to the skies on December 22 1964and entered service in January of 1966.fundamentally it was a more practicalaircraft its larger size meant that itcould fit a two-person cockpit and abigger fuel tank which enhanced itsability to conduct long-range missionsthe SR-71 also carried an extra thousandpounds of important equipment likesignals intelligence sensors sidelooking radar and cameras which enabledit to conduct reconnaissance withoutstraying as far into enemy airspace butthis was still a blackbird so we couldreally move the SR-71 fluid over 2000miles per hour four times faster thanlockheed's first fighter jet the p80shooting star and it could scan ahundred thousand square miles eightythousand feet above the Earth thesr-71's unique combination ofpracticality and performance meant thateven if it was detected it could justthrow on the afterburners and outrun anymissiles screaming in its DirectionStill clad and heat reducing blacktitanium it inspired its Pilotsdelighted its engineers and unnerved itsenemies with the SR-71 Kelly Johnson andSkunk Works had achieved The Impossiblethey designed an operational aircraftthat flew so high and so fast that itcould neither be intercepted nor shotdown 32 years after it entered servicethe Blackbird was finally retired forgood in 1998. none were ever lost ordamaged because of hostile action noother jet has ever matched itsperformance over such a sustained lengthof time it was Kelly Johnson's greatestachievement America's first true fighterjet the world's first spy plane and aplane that flew so high and so fast thatenemies couldn't see it let alone touchit the three crown jewels of LockheedSkunk Works division all designed byClarence Kelly Johnson as an aircraftengineer he stands alone but he had manyother gifts he was a brilliant salesmanan effective lobbyist and such aninfluential manager that he is oftenreferred to as the inventor of the kissprinciple keep it simple stupid Kellyofficially retired from his role atLockheed in 1975. it wasn't his choicehe was forced by government rules but hestill found ways to make his presencefelt he served on the board of directorsuntil 1980 and made sure he was replacedas head of Skunk Works by his ProtegeBen rich and just one year after Kellystepped down from the board Lockheedintroduced the first ever stealthfighter the F-117 Nighthawk the projecthe'd LED Kelly Johnson passed away fourdays before Christmas 1990 in BurbankCalifornia the same place Skunk Worksbegan the SR-71 Blackbird was phased outin favor of unmanned spy satellites butKelly Johnson's Legacy wasn't just theplanes he designed it was also the SkunkWorks culture and process he createdwhenever you hear about top secretdevelopment divisions like Google XAmazon lab 126 or even the group SteveJobs brought together to create theMacintosh computer you should think ofSkunk Works today startups like boomSupersonic and hermius are building thenext generation of high-speed aircraftif they can harness The Same Spiritambition and positivity as the boy fromIshpeming Michigan did they willcertainly change the world foreverthanks for watching