Lockheed Corporation

The Lockheed Corporation (originally Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company) was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1912 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995. The Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company was established in San Francisco in 1912 by the brothers Allan and Malcolm Loughead. In 1916, the company was renamed the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company and relocated to Santa Barbara, California. 1916 was also the year that then 20-year-old Santa Barbara native Jack Northrop became interested and took his first job in aviation working as a draftsman for the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company. The company proceeded to design and construct the Model F-1 seaplane, which debuted on March 29, 1918, and set the American non-stop record for seaplane flight by flying from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Following the Model F-1, the company invested heavily in the design and development of a revolutionary monocoque aircraft called the Model S-1. However, the asking price of $2500 could not compete in a market that was saturated with post World War 1 $350 Curtiss JN-4s and De Haviland trainers. The Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company closed its doors in 1921. In 1926, Allan Loughead, Jack Northrop, and Kenneth Jay secured funding to form the Lockheed Aircraft Company (the spelling was changed to match its phonetic pronunciation) in Hollywood. This new company utilized the some of the same technology originally developed for the Model S-1 to design the Vega Model. In March 1928, the company relocated to Burbank, CA and by year-end reported sales exceeding one million dollars. From 1926 to 1928 the company produced over 80 aircraft and employed

more than 300 workers who were building five aircraft per week by April, 1929. In July 1929, majority share holder Fred E. Keeler sold 87% of the Lockheed Aircraft Company to Detroit Aircraft Corporation. In August 1929, Allan Loughead resigned stating that It was my conviction at the time that the merger was an unsound move. The Great Depression ruined the aircraft market, and Detroit Aircraft went bankrupt. A group of investors headed by brothers Robert and Courtland Gross, and Walter Varney, bought the company out of receivership in 1932. The syndicate bought the company for a mere $40,000 ($660,000 in 2011). Ironically, Allan Loughead himself had planned to bid for his own company, but had raised "only" $50,000 ($824,000), which he felt was too small a sum for a serious bid. In 1934, Robert E. Gross was named chairman of the new company, the Lockheed Corporation, which was headquartered at the airport in Burbank, California. His brother Courtlandt S. Gross was a co-founder and executive, succeeding Robert as Chairman following his death in 1961. The first successful construction that was built in any number (141 aircraft) was the Vega, best known for its use to several first- and record setting flights by, among others, Amelia Earhart, Wiley Post and George Hubert Wilkins. In the 1930s, Lockheed spent $139,400 ($2.29 million) to develop the Model 10 Electra, a small twin-engine transport. The company sold forty in the first year of production. Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, flew this plane on their failed attempt to circumnavigate the world in 1937. Follow-on designs, the Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior and the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra expanded their market.