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Lockheed Corporation

Lockheed Corporation

4500 Park Granada Boulevard
Calabasas, California 91399-0610
U.S.A.
(805) 572-2974
Fax: (818) 876-2329

Public Company
Incorporated:
1916 as Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company
Employees: 83,500
Sales: $13.07 billion
Stock Exchanges: New York London Amsterdam Zurich Basle Lausanne Geneva

SICs: 3761 Guided Missiles and Space Vehicles; 3812
Search and Navigation Equipment; 3663 Radio and TV
Communications Equipment; 3721 Aircraft; 8711
Engineering Services; 3760 Guided Missiles, Space
Vehicles, Parts; 3670 Electronic Components and Accessories

One of the leading three defense contractors in the United States during the 1990s, Lockheed Corporation was responsible for producing the F-16, the F-117A stealth fighter, and the U-2 spy plane, among other military aircraft and hardware for the U.S. Department of Defense. In the pernicious economic climate characterizing the aerospace industry in the post-cold war era, Lockheed emerged as one of the strongest manufacturers of its kind, intent on becoming the largest defense contractor in the country.

The Lockheed Corporation has its origins with two brothers named Allan and Malcolm Loughead. Allan, an auto mechanic, first learned to fly in Chicago in 1912. When he returned home to San Francisco later that year, he decided to build his own airplane. He and Malcolm spent their evenings in a garage, engineering and constructing a small ultralight seaplane they called the Model G. This airplane was one of the first tractor designs with a forward-mounted engine enclosed in the fuselage.

During this time, Allan flew as a barnstormer, but later gave it up after some powerlines ensnared his Model G. The brothers established the Aleo Hydro-Aeroplane Company with financial backing from Max Mamlocks Aleo Cab Company and concentrated on building airplanes. Unfortunately, they couldn t sell the airplanes, and the company was dissolved the following year.

In 1916, the brothers started another new venture, the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company, based in Santa Barbara. Apparently tired of having their last name mispronounced as lug head, Allan and Malcolm changed the spelling to match the pronunciation, Lockheed. Likewise, the companys name was changed to Lockheed. Malcolm left the company three years later to sell hydraulic brakes. Still employed, however, was a young engineer named Jack Northrop (later the founder of the Northrop Corporation) who helped the brothers to develop their twin-engine F-l flying boat.

Northrop started a tradition of naming Lockheed airplanes after celestial bodies. In 1927, he helped develop the Lockheed Vega which became widely known as an explorers airplane. When Amelia Earhart crossed the Atlantic, she flew a Vega. In June 1928, Northrop left Lockheed to work for Avion, a subsidiary of William Boeings United Combine.

Lockheed was acquired by the Detroit Aircraft Corporation in July 1929. An infuriated Allan Lockheed, who had little control over the turn of events, resigned his post and sold all his holdings in the company. Under new management, Lockheeds engineers produced a number of new airplanes. Most notable among them was a popular passenger transport called the Orion.

While Lockheed was still operating profitably two years into the Depression, its parent company, Detroit Aircraft, was in poor financial condition. When it went into receivership in 1932, Lockheed was put up for sale. A group of investors, Robert Gross and Lloyd Stearman among them, purchased the company for $40,000. The new owners wasted no time in developing a new airplane. In 1933, they introduced the Model 10 Electra. The Electra flew in the shadow of Douglas DC-3, but was still popular with Northwest and Pan Am as a complement to their fleets of larger airplanes.

The following year, airmail legislation and other subsequent congressional acts forced the breakup of a number of powerful aviation combines. Lockheed, however, was small enough that it remained largely unaffected.

One month after Germany annexed Austria in March 1938, a British delegation toured the United States with the intention of purchasing airplanes for the Royal Air Force. Lockheed engineers were given only five days notice to design the reconnaissance bomber in which the British were interested. They presented the Hudson, a modified Model 14 Super Electra fitted with more powerful engines, a bomb bay, and guns. For unknown reasons, the Hudson retained the Model 14s cabin windows.

The British agreed to buy at least 200 Hudsons for $25 million. It was the largest military contract awarded before the war and marked a turning point in Lockheeds business. The Hudsons were to be built by Lockheeds Vega subsidiary, predominantly a manufacturer of military airplanes. By May 1943, Vega had manufactured over 3,000 Hudsons.

As the United States became more involved in World War II, Vega produced a number of new airplanes for the allied armies, including the Ventura, the Harpoon, and variations of Boeings B-17 bomber. Lockheed also introduced the P-38 Lightning, an effective and versatile triple hull interceptor. The company produced about 10,000 of these airplanes and its variations.

Because the War Department required so many different types of airplanes, Lockheed converted a number of commercial designs to perform military duties. Perhaps the most impressive among these conversions was the four engine C-69 Constellation. Originally, this airplane was secretly developed by Howard Hughes and Lockheed engineers for civilian service. However, after Pearl Harbor the government prohibited further production of commercial airplanes. Nevertheless, only 15 of these planes were delivered before the war ended.

When the war finally came to a close late in the summer of 1945, Lockheed had produced 19,297 aircraft for the military-nine percent of the total U.S. production. After the war, the company concentrated on meeting the demand for commercial airplanes caused by the various airlines expansion plans. Thus, Lockheed resumed the civilian 049 Constellation project. Variously described as beautiful or romantic, several versions of this distinctive triple-rudder airplane were manufactured. It was a commercial success for Lockheed; virtually every major airline in the world ordered at least one. Lockheed also remodeled its Electra, designated L-188, and fitted it with prop-jet engines.

After the war, Lockheed maintained numerous military contracts, many of them secret. One such project which the company and the armed forces had an interest in keeping quiet was the development of a jet fighter. Conventional piston-driven airplanes had propellers which simply pushed the air behind the airplane. Jets, on the other hand, sucked air into a chamber where at high pressures a spray of jet fuel was detonated. The rocket-like explosion of the fuel generated a powerful thrust. That thrust enabled an airplane to fly twice as fast as conventional airplanes. The newly created Air Force, now involved in the beginnings of the cold war, expressed great enthusiasm for the project.

Lockheed had become interested in developing a jet during 1939, the year the Germans first tested one. Two years later, the British designed and successfully built a jet. In 1943, Bell Aircraft built a jet called an Airacomet. All were test models and only Messerschmitts Me.262 and Britains Gloster F. 9/40 engaged in combat during World War II.

Kelly Johnson, the companys chief designer, led Lockheeds jet project at the secret Ad need Development Products (ADP) division. On January 8, 1944, the XP-80 Shooting Star was successfully flown over Muroc Dry Lake, Nevada. It later served as a prototype for more than 1,700 improved variations.

The XP-80 model jet arrived too late for World War II but was used when the Korean War broke out in 1950. Other Lockheed aircraft in action over Korea were the Neptune reconnaissance airplane, the F-94 Starfire interceptor, and the Constellation transport. Korea, it was said, was a Lockheed war.

The 1950s were a period of growth and innovation at Lockheed. With a steady flow of lucrative military contracts, the company expanded existing plants and built several new ones. It tested a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) airplane, as well as a ramjet, widely regarded as the propulsion mechanism of the next century. Lockheed even made plans for a nuclear-powered aircraft. In 1953, the company established its missiles and space division which produced satellites and submarine-launched missiles.

Lockheed built a number of variously designed fighter jets for testing and use by the Air Force. Their one failure was the F-104 Starfighter, which was sold to the West German Luftwaffe in 1959. The Germans called them widowmakers and flying coffins. 175 of these jets crashed, killing a total of 85 pilots. Lockheed, which initially refused to acknowledge the design problems with Starfighter, paid the pilots widows $1.2 million in compensation during 1975.

In the commercial market, Lockheed responded to Douglas new DC-7 with an altered version of its Constellation, including new wings and a new namethe Starliner. Two years later, in 1957, the company produced a small jet called Jetstar. These were to be Lockheeds last commercial ventures for 15 years.

In the early 1960s, Lockheed was closely associated with the Department of Defense. Robert and Courtland Gross, the companys chief executive officer and president, respectively, maintained low profiles and delegated much of their responsibility to subordinates. Even after Robert died in 1961 and Daniel Haughton was named president, the direction of the company remained the same.

In military ventures, the company developed transports such as the C-130 Hercules, the C-141 Starlifter, and the C-5 Galaxy, the largest airplane in the world. During this period, Lockheeds military products were consistently chosen over those of Boeing and Douglas for the award of Pentagon contracts.

In the 1960s, Lockheed developed two very important jets, the U-2 spy plane and the SR-71. The U-2 flew at altitudes over 70,000 feet loaded with remote sensing electronic equipment. After the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, Senator Barry Goldwater credited the U-2 alone, with its reconnaissance abilities, for providing President Kennedy with precise and accurate information regarding the location of missile sites in Cuba.

The SR-71 was designed in the early 1960s and has required no further improvement since; its aerodynamics were regarded by most engineers as nearly perfect. Called the blackbird because it was painted black, the SR-71 had a cruising speed of over 2,100 miles per hour and was able to fly at an altitude of over 85,000 feet. The SR-71s large engines created pockets of extremely low air pressure in front of the air intakes, drawing the aircraft forward. Acting like vacuums, the engines contributed to the forward motion of the airplane in this way.

In 1967, Courtland Gross stepped down as chairman, ending a 30-year era in the history of Lockheed. Daniel Haughton was promoted and Carl Kotchian was named president. These two men continued the conservative management tradition of the Grosses, but made one uncharacteristically risky venture in the commercial airline market. When Boeing announced the development of its 747 and Douglas its DC-10, Lockheed responded with a commercial wide body jetliner of its own, the 1011 TriStar. Lockheeds new jetliner first flew in November 1970.

However, the TriStar program was plagued with several major problems. Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer of the 101 Ts engines, went into receivership during February 1971. Several airline companies, principally Eastern, experienced numerous equipment failures with their TriStars. Sales of the airplane began to drop, and the company faced a liquidity crisis. Even after important modifications in the design of the aircraft and increased sales, production of the L-1011 continued to lose money for Lockheed.

Lockheeds decision to compete with the new generation of commercial jetliners nearly ruined the company. By 1971, Lockheeds financial position became so grave that it required a guaranteed government loan to remain financially afloat. After producing a total of about 250 TriStars, Lockheed discontinued the program in 1981.

Lockheed, like many of its competitors, always had a difficult time selling its jetliners in foreign markets. Their competitors were known to use bribery to procure lucrative contracts. Lockheed made no secret that it intended to challenge its competitors on similar terms when it informed the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1975 that it would resist that agencys efforts to halt Lockheeds sales incentives. The SEC withheld any action against Lockheed because the guaranteed loan gave the government an active interest in the companys quick financial recovery.

Lockheed was accused of bribing officials in Iran, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands, and Japan. In 1976, a series of arrests in Japan culminated in the detention of the former prime minister, Kakuei Tanaka, whose government was brought down in the controversy. A month later, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was implicated in accepting Lockheed bribes. Questionable payments were made to officials in several other nations. Lockheed was successful in selling its planes, but now it was at the center of an international scandal.

The two men most closely associated with Lockheeds questionable practices were the companys president, Carl Kotchian, and chief executive officer, Daniel Haughton. Both men were compelled to resign in 1976 after details of the $30 million improprieties were publicized. Haughton, who consistently answered no comment to inquiries from the press, resigned peacefully. Kotchian had to be removed from his position during a four-hour board meeting.

The board named an interim chief executive officer, Robert Haack, to preside over a restructuring of the company. A former president of the New York Stock Exchange, Haack deserved much of the credit for rectifying Lockheeds management and marketing problems. At the same time, Lawrence Kitchen, a former vice-president, was promoted to president following the departure of Kotchian. His task in this position was less to administer than to improve the damaged reputation of the company. Eighteen months later, Lockheeds chief financial officer, Roy A. Anderson, replaced Haack as Lockheeds new chief executive officer.

By the late 1980s, Lockheed conducted its business through 18 subsidiaries in four principal divisions: the missiles, space and electronics systems group; the aeronautical systems group; the marine systems group; and the information systems group. Its major projects for the 1980s were primarily military hardware. They included building the F-19 stealth bomber and the Trident II submarine-launched missile, as well as maintaining the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations space shuttles. Because of its involvement in manufacturing so much military equipment, the company was regarded by the U.S. government as indispensable to the countrys defense.

As Lockheed entered the 1990s, however, its future role as a primary supplier of military hardware and aircraft became an increasingly untenable position to occupy. With the end of the cold war and a dwindling defense budget promising little hope for robust growth, Lockheed entered into a new era for U.S. aerospace manufacturers that demanded sweeping changes to enable survival. The company gained new leadership to effect these changes in 1989, when Daniel M. Tellep was named chief executive officer and chairperson after managing the companys missile and space division for the previous four years. Under Telleps stewardship, Lockheed initiated a diversification program to wean the company away from its overwhelming dependence on government-funded contracts. However, a more pressing problem also faced the new leader, as he fought to protect Lockheed from a hostile takeover.

Starting in 1988, a Dallas billionaire named Harold Simmons began amassing Lockheed stock, gaining control, by 1990, of slightly under 20 percent of the company. Simmons then waged a proxy battle that year, which failed but stirred shareholder unrest and diverted managements attention away from forging a new future for the company in the rapidly changing defense market. Lockheed lost the development contract for the U.S. antisatellite program during its struggle with Simmons, after spending the previous decade conducting much of the preliminary research, the fruits of which went to Rockwell International and left Lockheed with empty hands.

Simmons again initiated a proxy battle in 1991, but, as he had the year before, failed to muster the necessary support. Meanwhile, against the backdrop of this contentious struggle between Tellep and Simmons, Lockheed had begun to trim its operating expenses and diversify. Tellep cut Lockheeds work force by 9,500 during his first two years of leadership, transferred hundreds more from California to Georgia, and spearheaded the companys diversification. In 1990, he increased Lockheeds involvement in commercial aircraft maintenance, then maneuvered the company into conducting nuclear waste cleanup work for the Department of Energy and dismantling nuclear warheads in the United States and in the former Soviet Union.

By 1992, however, many of Lockheeds efforts at diversification had proven to be disappointments, unaided by a debilitative national economy. That year, Tellep changed course, moving away from the companys diversification program and toward further involvement in defense-oriented projects. Instead of moving away from manufacturing military hardware and aircraft, as many aerospace manufacturers were doing during the early 1990s, Tellep rushed toward acquiring additional defense-related assets, theorizing that with fewer manufacturers competing for government contracts, greater revenues could be gained by a select few companies.

Reflective of this corporate strategy, Lockheed gained an enviable asset in early 1993, when it concluded a deal to acquire General Dynamics Corporations fighter aircraft division, maker of the high-performance F-16 fighter aircraft. In beating out Northrop Corporation for the coveted fighter aircraft unit, Lockheed executed a masterstroke, paying $1.5 billion for an additional $3 billion in sales and $13 billion in backlog orders, as well as adding the F-16 and the F-22 program to the companys established contracts to manufacture the F-117A stealth fighter, which was bolstered by the aircrafts laudable performance in the Persian Gulf two years earlier, and the U-2 spy plane.

The acquisition of General Dynamics aircraft division fueled Lockheeds growth for the year, driving up its net income 21 percent from 1992s total and swelling revenues from $10.1 billion to $13.1 billion. As the company entered the mid-1990s, it continued to face the challenges of a leaner defense budget, but determinedly pursued its goal to become the largest defense contractor in the United States.

Principal Subsidiaries

Lockheed Air Terminal, Inc.; Lockheed Missiles & Space Company, Inc.; Lockheed Finance Corp.; Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Co.; Lockheed

Space Operations Co.; Lockheed Support Systems, Inc.; Lockheed Canada, Inc.; Lockheed Commercial Electronics Co.; Lockheed Information Management Services Co.; Lockheed Sanders, Inc.; Mountaingate Data Systems, Inc.

Further Reading

Banks, Howard, Distracted, Forbes, November 26, 1990, p. 39.

Bilstein, Roger E., Flight in America 1900-1983: From the Wrights to the Astronauts, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.

Blay, Roy, editor, Lockheed Horizons, Burbank, Calif.: Lockheed Corporation, 1983.

Boulton, David, Lockheed: The Grease Machine, New York: Harper, 1978.

Collingwood, Harris, Now, Lockheed Is No. 2, Business Week, December 21, 1992, p. 42.

Lockheed Buy Fuels 1993 Net, Sales Gain, Electronic News, February 14, 1994, p. 28.

Montgomery, Leland, Lockheed: Still Climbing, Financial World, June 22, 1993, p. 16.

Newhouse, John, The Sporty Game, New York: Knopf, 1982.

Schine, Eric, Lockheed: Oh, What a Difference a Year Makes, Business Week, February 25, 1991, p. 37.

updated by Jeffrey L. Covell

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Lockheed Corporation

Lockheed Corporation

2555 Hollywood Way
Burbank, California 91505
U.S.A.
(818) 847-6121

Public Company
Incorporated:
1916 as the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company
Employees: 81,300
Sales: $10.27 billion
Market value: $3.411 billion
Stock Index: New York London Amsterdam Zurich Basle Lausanne Geneva

None of Lockheeds troubles ever seems to be a little one, noted The Economist magazine in 1981. However, after emerging from a financial crisis and a scandal that nearly ruined the company, Lockheed is more successful than ever before. Today Lockheed is one of the most important manfacturers of weapons and related systems in the United States.

The Lockheed Corporation has its origins with two brothers named Allan and Malcolm Loughead. Allan, an auto mechanic, first learned to fly in Chicago in 1912. When he returned home to San Francisco later that year he decided to build his own airplane. He and Malcolm spent their evenings in a garage, engineering and constructing a small ultralight seaplane they called the Model G. This airplane was one of the first tractor designs with a forward-mounted engine enclosed in the fuselage.

During this time Allan flew as a barnstormer, but later gave it up after some powerlines had ensnared his Model G. The brothers established the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company with financial backing from Max Mamlocks Alco Cab Company and concentrated on building airplanes. Unfortunately, they couldnt sell the airplanes, and the company was dissolved the following year.

In 1916 the brothers started another new venture, the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company, based in Santa Barbara. Apparently tired of having their last name mispronounced as lug head, Allan and Malcolm changed the spelling to match the pronunciation, Lockheed. Likewise, the companys name was changed to Lockheed. Malcolm left the company three years later to sell hydraulic brakes. Still employed, however, was a young engineer named Jack Northrop (later the founder of the Northrop Corporation) who helped the brothers to develop their twin-engine F-1 flying boat.

Northrop started a tradition of naming Lockheed airplanes after celestial bodies. In 1927 he helped develop the Lockheed Vega which became widely known as an explorers airplane. When Amelia Earhart crossed the Atlantic, she flew a Vega. In June of 1928 Northrop left Lockheed to work for Avion, a subsidiary of William Boeings United combine.

Lockheed was acquired by the Detroit Aircraft Corporation in July of 1929. An infuriated Allan Lockheed, who had little control over the turn of events, resigned his post and sold all his holdings in the company. Under new management, Lockheeds engineers produced a number of new airplanes. Most notable among them was a popular passenger transport called the Orion.

While Lockheed was still operating profitably two years into the Depression, its parent company, Detroit Aircraft, was in poor financial condition. When it went into receivership in 1932 Lockheed was put up for sale. A group of investors, Robert Gross and Lloyd Stearman among them, purchased the company for $40,000. The new owners wasted no time in developing a new airplane. In 1933 they introduced the Model 10 Electra. The Electra flew in the shadow of Douglas DC-3, but was still popular with Northwest and Pan Am as a complement to their fleets of larger airplanes.

The following year airmail legislation and other subsequent congressional acts forced the breakup of a number of powerful aviation combines. Lockheed, however, was small enough that it remained largely unaffected.

One month after Germany annexed Austria in March of 1938, a British delegation toured the United States with the intention of purchasing airplanes for the Royal Air Force. Lockheed engineers were given only five days notice to design the reconnaissance bomber in which the British were interested. They presented the Hudson, a modified Model 14 Super Electra fitted with more powerful engines, a bomb bay and guns. For unknown reasons, the Hudson retained the Model 14s cabin windows.

The British agreed to buy at least 200 Hudsons for $25 million. It was the largest military contract awarded before the war and marked a turning point in Lockheeds business. The Hudsons were to be built by Lockheeds Vega subsidiary, predominantly a manufacturer of military airplanes. By May of 1943 Vega had manufactured over 3000 Hudsons.

As the United States became more involved in World War II, Vega produced a number of new airplanes for the allied armies, including the Ventura, the Harpoon, and variations of Boeings B-17 bomber. Lockheed also introduced the P-38 Lightning, an effective and versatile triple hull interceptor. The company produced about 10,000 of these airplanes and its variations.

Because the War Department required so many different types of airplanes, Lockheed converted a number of commercial designs to perform military duties. Perhaps the most impressive among these conversions was the four engine C-69 Constellation. Originally, this airplane was secretly developed by Howard Hughes and Lockheed engineers for civilian service. However, after Pearl Harbor the government prohibited further production of commercial airplanes. Nevertheless, only 15 of these planes were delivered before the war ended.

When the war finally came to a close late in the summer of 1945, Lockheed had produced 19,297 aircraft for the militarynine percent of the total U.S. production. After the war, the company concentrated on meeting the demand for commercial airplanes caused by the various airlines expansion plans. Thus, Lockheed resumed the civilian 049 Constellation project. Variously described as beautiful or romantic, several versions of this distinctive triple-rudder airplane were manufactured. It was a commercial success for Lockheed; virtually every major airline in the world ordered at least one. Lockheed also remodeled its Electra, designated L-188, and fitted it with prop-jet engines.

After the war Lockheed maintained numerous military contracts, many of them secret. One such project which the company and the armed forces had an interest in keeping quiet was the development of a jet fighter. Conventional piston-driven airplanes had propellers which simply pushed the air behind the airplane. Jets, on the other hand, sucked air into a chamber where at high pressures a spray of jet fuel was detonated. The rocket-like explosion of the fuel generated a powerful thrust. That thrust enabled an airplane to fly twice as fast as conventional airplanes. The newly created Air Force, now involved in the beginnings of the Cold War, expressed great enthusiasm for the project.

Lockheed had become interested in developing a jet during 1939, the year the Germans first tested one. Two years later the British designed and successfully built a jet. In 1943 Bell Aircraft built a jet called an Airacomet. All were test models and only Messerschmitts Me.262 and Britains Gloster F. 9/40 engaged in combat during World War II.

Kelly Johnson, the companys chief designer, led Lockheeds jet project at the secret Advanced Development Products (ADP) division. On January 8, 1944 the XP-80 Shooting Star was successfully flown over Muroc Dry Lake, Nevada. It later served as a prototype for more than 1700 improved variations.

The XP-80 model jet arrived too late for World War II, but was used when the Korean War broke out in 1950. Other Lockheed aircraft in action over Korea were the Neptune reconnaissance airplane, the F-94 Starfire interceptor, and the Constellation transport. Korea, it was said, was a Lockheed war.

The 1950s were a period of growth and innovation at Lockheed. With a steady flow of lucrative military contracts, the company expanded existing plants and built several new ones. It tested a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) airplane, as well as a ramjet, widely regarded as the propulsion mechanism of the next century. Lockheed even made plans for a nuclear-powered aircraft. In 1953 the company established its missiles and space division which produced satellites and submarine-launched missiles.

Lockheed built a number of variously designed fighter jets for testing and use by the Air Force. Their one failure was the F-104 Starfighter which was sold to the West German Luftwaffe in 1959. The Germans called them widowmakers and flying coffins. 175 of these jets crashed, killing a total of 85 pilots. Lockheed, which initially refused to acknowledge the design problems with Starfighter, paid the pilots widows $1.2 million in compensation during 1975.

In the commercial market Lockheed responded to Douglas new DC-7 with an altered version of its Constellation, including new wings and a new namethe Star-liner. Two years later, in 1957, the company produced a small jet called Jetstar. These were to be Lockheeds last commercial ventures for fifteen years.

In the early 1960s Lockheed was closely associated with the Department of Defense. Robert and Courtland Gross, the companys chief executive officer and president respectively, maintained low profiles and delegated much of their responsibility to subordinates. Even after Robert died in 1961 and Daniel Haughton was named president, the direction of the company remained the same.

In military ventures the company developed transports such as the C-130 Hercules, the C-141 Starlifter and the C-5 Galaxy, the largest airplane in the world. During this period Lockheeds military products were consistently chosen over those of Boeing and Douglas for the award of Pentagon contracts.

In the decade of the 1960s Lockheed developed two very important jets, the U-2 spy plane and the SR-71. The U-2 flies at altitudes over 70,000 feet loaded with remote sensing electronic equipment. After the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, Senator Barry Goldwater credited the U-2 alone, with its reconnaissance abilities, for providing President Kennedy with precise and accurate information regarding the location of missile sites in Cuba.

The SR-71 was designed in the early 1960s and has not required any further improvement; its aerodynamics are regarded by most engineers as nearly perfect. Called the blackbird because it is painted black, the SR-71 has a cruising speed of over 2100 miles per hour and is able to fly at an altitude of over 85,000 feet. The SR-71s large engines create pockets of extremely low air pressure in front of the air intakes, drawing the aircraft forward. Acting like vacuums, the engines contribute to the forward motion of the airplane in this way.

In 1967 Courtland Gross stepped down as chairman, ending a 30-year era in the history of Lockheed. Daniel Haughton was promoted and Carl Kotchian was named president. These two men continued the conservative management tradition of the Grosses, but made one uncharacteristically risky venture in the commercial airline market. When Boeing announced the development of its 747, and Douglas its DC-10, Lockheed responded with a commercial wide body jetliner of its own, the 1011 TriStar. Lockheeds new jetliner first flew in November of 1970. However, the TriStar program was plagued with several major problems. Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer of the 1011s engines, went into receivership during February of 1971. Several airline companies, principally Eastern, experienced numerous equipment failures with their TriStars. Sales of the airplane began to drop, and the company faced a liquidity crisis. Even after important modifications in the design of the aircraft and increased sales, production of the L-1011 continued to lose money for Lockheed.

Lockheeds decision to compete with the new generation of commercial jetliners nearly ruined the company. By 1971 Lockheeds financial position became so grave that it required a guaranteed government loan to remain financially afloat. After producing a total of about 250 TriStars, Lockheed discontinued the program in 1981.

Lockheed, like many of its competitors, has always had a difficult time selling its jetliners in foreign markets. Their competitors have been known to use bribery to procure lucrative contracts. Lockheed made no secret that it intended to challenge its competitors on similar terms when it informed the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1975 that it would resist that agencys efforts to halt Lockheeds sales incentives. The SEC withheld any action against Lockheed because the guaranteed loan gave the government an active interest in the companys quick financial recovery.

Lockheed was accused of bribing officials in Iran, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands and Japan. In 1976 a series of arrests in Japan culminated in the detention of the former prime minister, Kakuei Tanaka, whose government was brought down in the controversy. A month later, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was implicated in accepting Lockheed bribes. Questionable payments were made to officials in several other nations. Lockheed was successful in selling its planes, but now it was at the center of an international scandal.

The two men most closely associated with Lockheeds questionable practices were the companys president, Carl Kotchian, and chief executive officer, Daniel Haughton. Both men were compelled to resign in 1976 after details of the $30 million improprieties were publicized. Haughton, who consistently answered no comment to inquiries from the press, resigned peacefully. Kotchian had to be removed from his position during a four hour board meeting.

The board named an interim chief executive officer, Robert Haack, to preside over a restructuring of the company. A former president of the New York Stock Exchange, Haack deserves much of the credit for rectifying Lockheeds management and marketing problems. At the same time Lawrence Kitchen, a former vice president, was promoted to president following the departure of Kotchian. His task in this position was less to administer than to improve the damaged reputation of the company. Eighteen months later, Lockheeds chief financial officer, Roy A. Anderson, replaced Haack as Lockheeds new chief executive officer.

Today Lockheed conducts its business through 18 subsidiaries in four principal divisions: the missiles, space and electronics systems group; the aeronautical systems group; the marine systems group and the information systems group. Its major projects for the 1980s are primarily military hardware. They include building the F-19 stealth bomber and the Trident II submarine-launched missile, and maintaining the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations space shuttles. Because of its involvement in manufacturing so much military equipment, the company is regarded by the United States government as indispensable for the countrys defense.

Principal Subsidiaries

Advanced Marine Systems; Lockheed Air Terminal, Inc.; Lockheed Advanced Aeronautics, Inc.; Lockheed Aircraft International A.G.; Lockheed Electronics Co., Inc.; Lockheed Missiles & Space, Inc.; Lockheed Finance Corp.; Lockheed Western Export Co.; TriStar Parts, Ltd.; Lockheed Engineering and Manufacturing Services, Inc.; Lockheed Georgia International Services, Inc.; Lockheed Shipbuilding Co.; Murdock Engineering Co., CADAM, Inc.; DIALOG Information Services, Inc.; Lockheed Data Plan, Inc.; Lockheed Space Operations Co.; Lockheed Support Systems Corp.; Lockheed Marine Company; Datacom Systems Corp.; Lockheed Jeromod Center, Inc.; Metier Management Systems (U.K.).

Further Reading

Lockheed: The Grease Machine by David Boulton, New York, Harper, 1978; The Sporty Game by John Newhouse, New York, Knopf, 1982; Lockheed Horizons, edited by Roy Blay, Burbank, California, Lockheed Corporation, 1983; Flight in America 1900-1983: From the Wrights to the Astronauts by Roger E. Bilstein, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.

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"Lockheed Corporation." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Lockheed Corporation." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/lockheed-corporation

"Lockheed Corporation." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/lockheed-corporation