LOCKHEED AIRCRAFT CORPORATION IN 1975
Lockheed today is a company with long and broad experience in
science and engineering, and with technical and management
competence across a wide range of defense systems and industrial
Its interests include missile, satellite, and space exploration
and communication systems, military and civilian aircraft,
electronics, propulsion, shipbuilding, ground support, heavy
construction, air, ground, and shipboard materials handling,
underseas warfare, ocean systems, bionics, nuclear products and
services, military base operation, maintenance, and servicing,
airport management, international business developments,
tracking base operations, and general industrial development and
But it wasn't always this way.
More than a half century ago two brothers, Allan and Malcolm
Lockheed, began building the first aircraft bearing the Lockheed
name. It was a tractor type seaplane that carried three persons
and flew 60 miles an hour.
The Lockheed brothers successfully flew their hand built
seaplane over San Francisco Bay in 1913. Three years later they
founded a company in Santa Barbara, Calif., to manufacture a
twin engine, 10 passenger flying boat, two seaplanes for the
Navy, and a small sport biplane.
In the late 1920s Allan Lockheed formed a company to build the
advanced Vega monoplane. The firm prospered, and in 1928 moved
to larger quarters in Burbank, Calif. From this plant came
record setting aircraft - Vega, Air Express, Sirius, Altair,
Orion. Flown by famed pilots like Lindbergh, Wilkins, Amelia
Earhart, Wiley Post, and many others, they made aviation history
in a time when speed was king.
Came the depression years. In 1931 Lockheed - then part of
Detroit Aircraft Corp. - went into bankruptcy with its parent
company. In 1932 a group of investors purchased assets of the
Lockheed firm and formed the present corporation. The new owners
staked their limited funds to develop an all metal, twin engine
transport, the Model 10 Electra. It first flew in 1934 and
quickly gained world wide fame.
By 1938 Europe was on the brink of war. Lockheed’s expanding
production, aggressive management, and eagerness to take on
challenging jobs won it a huge order to build needed bombers for
embattled Britain. Almost overnight Lockheed converted its Model
14 transport into the rugged Hudson bomber for the RAE and
during the war years built 3000 of them for Britain, the U.S.,
and allied nations.
Lockheed’s first operational fighter, the twin boomed P-38
Lightning, began production in 1939. When the U.S. entered World
War II, P-38 manufacture was in full swing and hit a 15 a day
peak. Employment climbed above 93,000. From Lockheed factories
poured more than 19,000 military planes — Hudsons, P-38s, PV-1
Venturas, PV-2 Harpoons, Lodestar and Constellation transports,
and Boeing designed Flying Fortresses.
Near war’s end Lockheed began building the F-80 Shooting Star,
first U.S. operational jet fighter and forerunner of the T-33
trainer, F-94 interceptor series, and T2V-1 Navy trainer.
After World War II the commercial Constellation, its three
vertical tails an unmistakable trademark, became a global
Lockheed symbol. In 15 years some 35 airlines bought more than
500. Around the world, Connie advanced air travel to spectacular
heights of luxury, speed, and operating efficiency.
Lockheed expansion and growth stepped up rapidly in the 1950s.
It began operating the government aircraft factory in Marietta,
Ga., now Lockheed-Georgia Company. It formed a division, now
Lockheed Missiles & Space Company, in Sunnyvale, Calif., to
handle these growing programs. Before the decade ended, Lockheed
established Lockheed Electronics Company in Plainfield, N.J.
Lockheed purchased Puget Sound Bridge & Dry Dock and Colby Crane
& Manufacturing in Seattle, now Lockheed Shipbuilding and
Construction Company, and also acquired foreign industrial
interests. Lockheed's corporate organization,
Lockheed-California Company, and Lockheed Air Terminal, Inc.
that operates Hollywood-Burbank airport are all in Burbank.
Lockheed Aircraft Service is in Ontario, Calif.
In the mid 60's, Lockheed anticipated the market for a new
passenger transport to serve the world's most heavily traveled
air routes. Result: the advanced technology L-101 TriStar
wide-bodied transport. More than 100 TriStars had entered
airline service by the spring of 1975. In their first three
years of service, the TriStars flew 325,000 flight hours,
carried 16 million people, and flew some 17 billion passenger
Some 200 additional TriStars are forecasted to enter service in
the next several years. The TriStar program is expected to
extend through the 1970s and beyond.
Lockheed facilities in early 1975 covered more than 25 million
square feet. Assets totaled above $1.6 billion. Employment was
approximately 60,000 people. The organization chart below shows
the corporation's makeup and areas of interest.
Next: Lockheed Companies in 1975
All information on
this page is from a Lockheed Aircraft Corporation brochure of 1975.