Skunk Works: 70 Years of Cutting-Edge Aircraft

Jun 24, 2013 No Comments by

Think aerodynamics in the animal world, and your mind may turn to the barn swallow and the peregrine falcon, the shark, and the sailfish, perhaps the greyhound. You probably won’t conjure up the image of the zaftig, waddling skunk.

But think aerodynamic designs from hands and minds of humankind, and you can’t help but turn your mind to the legendary Skunk Works.

That pungent nickname surely imparts more character and color to a long-running series of aviation innovations than the bland and anodyne, if accurate, bureaucratic title of the Lockheed Martin unit, Advanced Development Programs. Cutting-edge aircraft that have emerged from the hush-hush environs of the Skunk Works include the U-2, the A-12 (which became the SR-71 Blackbird), the F-117, and the F-22.

For the complete story by Jonathan Skillings of, click here.

Photo by U.S. Air Force via CNET

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About the author

Online Editor I've been around airplanes since I was a kid. That's when my uncle, a professional pilot, showed me how to fly his Cessna 177 Cardinal. l later became a writer and editor, so covering the exciting and ever-changing aviation industry -- which I've been doing in Flight Journal's Flybys since the late '90s -- was a natural fit.
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