Inside the Issues

Issue 21 - Lockheed Martin: Accelerating tomorrow – there's no easy way

Issue 21 - Lockheed Martin: Accelerating tomorrow – there's no easy way

24 October 2013

As anyone who reads this page knows, it’s the one I have trouble with. Yep, this is the 24th draft, so I am not doing well. As usual, it was an influence completely outside the research that gave me the key to how to begin this issue, how to define and distil the towering legend that is the history of this company. With the Mosquito it was Monty Python, with Lockheed Martin it was Gillan, Ian Gillan’s rock band. Again, if you read this page, you will know that I listen to music or comedy while I am writing; it frees the mind and lets the details, the facts, become a story. In this case, I was listening to the excellent Glory Road and was humming along to No Easy Way when I suddenly got it.

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Issue 21 - Lockheed Martin: Airliner to submarine hunter

23 October 2013.

Interest in jet and turboprop airliners in the early 1950s prompted a response from the American manufacturers, with both Douglas and Boeing producing jet aircraft. Lockheed, however, was to develop an economic turboprop for between 66 and 98 passengers which would go on to become the West’s most important maritime patrol aircraft from the 1960s right up to today.

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Issue 21 - Lockheed Martin: “It’s not A fighter, it’s THE fighter!”

23 October 2013.

In 1981 the US Air Force began a programme called the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF). This was intended to replace the excellent F-15 and counter the threats posed by the MiG-29 and Su-27, so whatever aircraft was produced in response would have to be of exceptional agility and capability. That is exactly what they got.

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Issue 20 - Alenia Aermacchi

1 June 2013.

In 1912, Guilio Macchi founded Aeronautica Macchi on the shores of Lake Varese in Lombardy. The new company was to produce some of the most unusual fighter aircraft of the First World War as the majority of these were fighter flying boats.

During the interwar years, the name of Macchi became synonymous with high speed racing seaplanes, becoming world famous through its participation in the Schnieder Trophy. Other types of aircraft from airliners to trainers were also produced during this period, as well as the first of a family of fighter designs that were to remain in production throughout the Second World War.

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Issue 20 - Alenia Aermacchi: Legacy, heritage and the future

31 May 2013.

In 1978, one of the finest minds of the 20th century, philosopher, historian and scientist James Burke, wrote and presented a television series called Connections; An alternative view of change. As a teenager I watched this avidly because it showed me a new approach to history. History is not a linear, neatly packaged process the way it is often taught. Random events conspire to affect change. People work motivated by their own reasons, often to solve a particular problem or to make a profit. Earlier work is improved upon or provides a stimulus to become something entirely different. To trace a path through the development of anything can take you to some very surprising places, seemingly unconnected until you understand how you got there. This was a revelation, one for which I have been grateful my entire adult life. In short, the series taught me how to think.

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Issue 20 - Alenia Aermacchi: International programmes and consolidation

31 May 2013.

With the creation of Aeritalia in 1969, Fiat owned a 50% share of a powerful and experienced aerospace manufacturer. This was to find success in international programmes such as the Panavia Tornado and Boeing 767, but was also to produce the last design led by Giuseppe Gabrielli, the G.222 twin turboprop transport.

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Issue 20 - Alenia Aermacchi: Officine Ferroviarie Meridionali and Industrie Aeronautiche Romeo

31 May 2013.

In engineering history, the name of Alfa Romeo will forever be associated with some of the fastest and most elegant cars ever built. What is less well known is that the name Romeo is also associated with railways and aircraft, a series of businesses all founded by one man – Nicola Romeo.

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Issue 19 - Northrop F-5: Contents

31 May 2013.

In this issue of Aviation Classics we move forward into the 1960s with an iconic Cold War jet fighter that was to become one of the most successful and widely used aircraft of the period. The design began as the N-156 of 1959, a privately funded single seat light fighter concept from Northrop, and developed over the next 20 years into a variety of roles, serving with 36 air forces worldwide.

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Issue 19 - Northrop F-5: A fighter for the world

29 May 2013.

While the USAF’s major interest in the N-156 programme was the two seat trainer version, work continued on the N-156F, the single seat fighter intended for the international market. This was to emerge as the F-5, and go on to be used by 37 countries worldwide, a second major success for Northrop which built 847 of the first three models of its lightweight design.

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Issue 19 - Northrop F-5: Ultimate and unusual F-5s

29 May 2013.

The simple and lightweight F-5 airframe also proved to be extremely adaptable to a variety of uses, some of which required extensive modifications to the airframe. The success of the fighter with international air forces also led to the development of an advanced version intended as a replacement. As well as the developments by Northrop, two additional unlicensed life-extension and redesign programmes have been carried out by HESA in Iran to produce a viable fighter bomber for the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF).

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