What Do I See

By MatthewHicks

November Challenge - Black

The November challenge I am doing has a challenge of black today. I am assuming that it is an Americanism relating to Black Friday, which I learnt on Wednesday is the kind of official start of Christmas Shopping in the States.

Well Here is a picture of a book I am re-reading. I first read this book about 15 years ago and since then I have recommended it to every new graduate engineer I have worked with. It is the autobiography of the guy that ran the Skunk Works from the mid seventies to the early nineties.

So what's the connection with black? Well The Skunk Works is the secret facility that the Lockheed aircraft company set up during WW2 to develop the first jet fighter. They built a strong relationship with the US government and the Skunk Works went on to develop America's first supersonic fighter, the U2 spy plane, the blackbird mach 3 spy plane and in the 1970's the stealth fighter. They had a reputation of delivering absolutely cutting edge technology in really short time scales with the highest secrecy possible. Their development of stealth technology was so advanced that the US kept the planes secret pretty much until the gulf war in the early 1990's, they were going to fly them to bomb Gadaffi in Libya but decided against it as they didn't want them seen or potentially damaged, revealing their technology, they weren't publicly shown for almost 13 years since they first flew the prototype.

So the Skunk Works provided the US government, and the CIA with the tools for their 'black' projects.

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