Happy New Year

A couple of interesting facts to add to the small amount I knew about Lockheed and the XP-80, which flew for the first time on January 8th, 1944. Here is Lulu Belle aka The Green Hornet at the Smithsonian Institution.

Apparently, at the time that the first Halford Goblin engine was installed in the XP-80 there were only two engines extant in the world. When the intake ducts on the XP-80 collapsed during the first engine run in November 1943 debris was ingested into the engine. The entire project ground to a halt while the second engine was removed from the prototype de Haviland Vampire and shipped across the Atlantic.

I didn’t know the origin of the term “Skunk Works”  which originally described the highly secret development area for the P-80 at Lockheed. I didn’t read enough contemporary comics. “Kelly” Johnson surrounded the development area with crates and a circus tent, and the result was named after the still in Al Capp’s “Lil’ Abner” cartoons.