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Lockheed Aircraft Corporation | Special Collections & Archives

Name: Lockheed Aircraft Corporation
Variant Name: Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company, Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company, Lockheed Aircraft Company, Lockheed Corporation, Lockheed Martin

Historical Note:

Lockheed Aircraft Corporation is an aerospace development company known since 1995 as Lockheed Martin. The history of the company dates back to 1912 with the establishment of the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company in San Francisco. It was renamed the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company in 1916 and relocated to Santa Barbara. In 1926 the company moved to Hollywood and changed its name to the Lockheed Aircraft Company, then relocated to Burbank in 1928. The company changed names again in 1932 and became the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.

In 1943 the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation organized a secret division of engineers under the direction of Clarence "Kelly" Johnson to develop the first American jet fighter for the U.S. Army's Air Tactical Service Command. The covert team adopted the code name "Skonk Works," after the dilapidated factory in Al Capp's comic strip, Li'l Abner. The division has operated under different names throughout the years, including the Lockheed Advanced Development Company, Lockheed Advanced Development Projects, and Lockheed Advanced Development Programs; today it is known officially as Skunk Works and is owned by the Lockheed Martin Corporation.

As an aircraft company, Lockheed's labor and wage issues fell under the jurisdiction of the National War Labor Board during World War II. In an effort to standardize California aircraft plants, the National War Labor Board created the West Coast Airframe Committee, which included the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and was responsible for carrying out the board's directive orders. In 1946, the National War Labor Board was discontinued and labor-arbitration duties returned to the National Labor Relations Board.


"Collective Bargaining in the Airframe Industry." Monthly Labor Review 59, no. 02 (1944): 340-56.

"Skunk Works Origin Story." Lockheed Martin. Accessed January 8, 2016.

Note Author: Christine Hertzel

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