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Additional resources for Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works
Which was the original Skunk Works. Three days later, the XP-80 log noted, "At present, Culver, Holland, and Stewart are on it. Fuselage structure is all rough planned and aft body plan is done. " The exigencies of war slowed work on the Model 75 (the production model designation) but did not kill enthusiasm for the project. By the middle of 1945, the first of two prototypes was entering construction and a second aircraft was planned. Eventually, no less than 189,600 man hours was expended on their design and construction.
And Naval air stations, sales chief Carl Squier acted as an advance man. The aircraft, piloted by Tony LeVier, flew from facility to facility with considerable rapidity and relative ease. and was rarely more than "one jump in advance of LeVier and his mechanic. I was never so tired in my life. I was losing sleep night after night. And Tony maddened me because he'd step out of that jet job at each new stop fresh as a daisy". Following a LeVier demonstration at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station flight test center, Navy interest in the two-seat P-80 was piqued.
34 tation and a first flight that did not occur until over a year after the war had ended. The first aircraft, completed and statically tested during the summer, finally was flown for the first time on November 9, 1946 with Joe Towle as pilot, Tony LeVier as co-pilot, Rudy Thoren as flight test engineer, and Jack Frick and Dick Stanton as assistant flight test engineers. The initial hop, the takeoff of which was observed by nearly 10,000 spectators, provided initial insights into the aircraft's performance capabilities.