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Closing Keynote: Skunk Works

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thank God ball and and and and they are a very pleased introduce our 1st evening here over rails count this year and Nicholas means it's hot at Ruby comp last year was called how to crashing airplanes and I remember looking at this is a came to see if you happened thing here is to be the most depressing topic over uses a talk about an airplane crash in 1989 in which uh 111 out of like to 139 people were killed and the minute the amazing breadth 1st being that not all 239 were killed um but it turned out to be a really really interesting meditation on how people and computers interact job anyway so I saw this type come through this year the Perales have this year that this is a topic is a wider audience maybe as very pleased when uh when it was agreed to do this as a keynote so please join me in welcoming the quiz means few
and so I hope you guys have seen a lot of really great talks today and a lot of really interesting people 0 that I gave a talk at Ruby come this
fall about United Flight 232 and in the intro that talk I said that I was a student plane crashes that's true I am a student plane crashes I I'm very fascinated by what goes on in the cockpit what watching chain of events causes a plane to crash was not the whole story about my interaction aviation I'm actually a huge aviation buffs in general and I have been as long as I can love planes as long as I can remember I think it all started when I was 8 or 9 years old
and my parents took me to an air show adviser for space in Abilene Texas now the featured attraction and they were the Thunderbirds their forces of 16 demonstration team and they did all sorts of high-speed acrobatics they flew in tight formations it was amazing it was it was incredibly impressive but as great they were they want the thing that captured my imagination the thing that really stuck in my mind was standing nose to nose with this amazing machine yes sir
71 Blackburn my favorite plane I'm sure there's 20 people the audience is your favorite plane to it's an amazing machine the news look at and tell how fast it wants to go it's got those razor sharp leading edges smooth curves that the engines are every bit as large as a few slides can we tell from this single the scene this plane see it up close and find hearing about what this plane could do started a lifelong obsession with aircraft for me I was back home I was in elementary school the time this was before the internet so I went to my school library have a library and pull every book she could find even mention the SR 71 for me and I started reading about this place and I really haven't stopped since years later my Prius decidedly non
aviation turn I am the VP of Engineering I triage and well match and I spend my days leading teams of suffer engineers but I'm still fascinated by airplanes and by stories from the world of aviation sometimes even find wisdom in the stories about how we practice our craft and how we are teams as for United 232 was very much 1 of the stories from in this is 1 of those as well so if you see an SR 71 in a
museum somewhere you should look for this logo on the tail it's not always there but sometimes it is the reason for this is that the SR 71 was designed by Lockheed Martin's Advanced Projects Division better known as the skunk works and companies use the phrase skunk works for all sorts of things usually some top-secret project where they need a bunch of innovation during the Lockheed's Skunk Works was the original 1 and today I would tell you the story of some of skunk works most iconic planes in the amazing engineers built
it is that I have to start with Clarence Kelly Johnson the without him there would be no spam works Kelly graduated from Michigan in 1932 applied for work at Lockheed and was turned down you back to Michigan to get his master's degree in aeronautical engineering and after he got his degree he went back to locking in use hired not as an air nautical engineer but as a tool designed 4 83 bucks a month slowly but surely Kelly worked his way up the ranks and the 1st point you design that you would probably know of is the p 38 like have you studied World
War 2 additional or the dividend World War 2 edition using this line it's plum most famous planes of world war 2 and also a pilots favor planes to fly it was very successful and dogfighting so Kelly so busy working on that and so intelligent started to come and that the Germans had developed a new
playing Mr. ME 262 that what made this plane remarkable is it's the 1st jet fighter that was ever placed in the service the was faster than anything the allies had the Germans had invested in Jet Propulsion far earlier than anybody else in the way far ahead of the American now
the British had offered to have 1 each 1 the dominant engine to the US the Air Force held a meeting with Lockheed and asked if they would be interested in designing a plane around around center the the Air Force proposal what build a single prototype and the designated at the X pt although all on telly Johnson had been pestering his bosses Lockheed serpent Experimental Aircraft division where he could let engineers and designers in mechanics working close proximity German communicate directly not have to go through the bureaucratic channels what he and this seems to the higher brass that lucky to be perfect opportunity could Kelly Johnson the only problem was
what he had no factory space available this was in the middle of World War Two all of the facilities are busy manufacturing the P. 38 lining and so Kelly Johnson's 1st order of business was to rent a circus tent the
is that the circus stand up next an existing building a lucky grounds in sulphones air-conditioning everything you needed to make an office the building set up next to was a plastic factory and apparently it smelled terrible so the STAT was was a top secret the team had been briefed to not reveal to anybody what their work and even when answered the phone and so because of the smaller of Culver 1 of the structural engineers and a project with reputation is a bit of a cut tipped answering the phone skunk works how can I help you and the name stuck so that's how skunkworks became skunk works the contract for
the the ex was signed on June 24th of 1943 and the team and then given 180 days to build this place the only concrete information they had was the dimensions of the engine they never markup and build that themselves in house from the blueprints and they designed the play around this engine no that would mark that the whole plane before they started on building the production aircraft but not this time Kelly Johnson decided that the plane itself would be their marker that they would mark the plan ahead of time is engineers would be free to design and manufacture parts on the spot to fit this point he also decided to do away with Lockheed's normal drawing approval process is that it is there to bring this plane on time they had worked fast that meant doing away with all the formalities nearest working with so we cut all the style rules and approval chains would normally applied to the airplane drawings Lockheed and
worked by November the 13th they were done just 243 days from when they started their complete plane they took that plane part created it up a little of flatbed truck and drove it 70 miles east America for space in the Harding and wonder they do that because they needed lots of room for this thing to crash had no idea how to perform but it performed beautifully
after new years it took flight for the 1st time it flew like a dream the prototype the food that they were actually going to be the 1st American plane to fly 500 miles an hour in level flight the fastest when built to that day the production version the PAT shooting
star would going to be the 1st jet deployed by the Air Force In a flu well into the eighties so they completed their mission in an unrealistic amount of time and they deliver this plane but as started look like maybe that would be the end of stuff works this was the end of World War Two there was a lot of money available for developing new aircraft the undecided they really didn't need any new airplanes with with no war going on but that stance to last a very
long this pick this pictures of Winston Churchill FTIR edges of Stalin at the Yalta Conference in February 1945 this is 1 of the 3 conferences that the Big Three World War Two allies had to determine how they in govern Europe after the war this this particular conference is the 1 where they decided they would split Germany down the middle and split Berlin with that these 3 superpowers had united against the Axis powers the world war 2 but that alliance didn't last very long after world war 2 American Russian ambitions were too much in conflict and they quickly began ramping up military spending to make sure they kept up with each other we then the Cold War it is generating a military spending the
other thing ramped up was reconnaissance activity are the sign you have to understand 55 per cent of the American population but that it was more likely that they would die from thermonuclear war than old age and those fears were unfounded both sides need to know what the other was up to and they were willing to spend a ton of money trying to figure it out the CIA was desperate in particular for information on this place Kapustin Yar this is Rush's primary secret missile development area it's it's a canned Area 51 in the United States near force considered the Air Force considered an over 5 Kapustin Yar to be far too dangerous to do with any of the aircraft they had at the time it was very heavily defended they know other they knew there was no way they could get and take pictures and get back
so the CIA needed a different answer their intelligence indicated that Russian radar couldn't see of about 65 thousand feet so they decided to spec out of plane that would fly 70 thousand feet you know nothing ever flown before but they requested bids and if they had no means are cousins of Russian so this plane was ready they needed this plane in a hurry the the did request they put out a call for this plane to be ready in 8 months so skunk works to complain that they had earlier
developed the F 1 0 4 star which coincidentally is the 1st plane ever built that went market to you could do 2 times the speed of sound fine level they took this plane and propose that they they modified by dumping as much weight as they could stretching the wings out to be as wide as they could and changing just something that would function at 70 thousand feet is nothing ever from high for the notability attention would 570 70 thousand feet because the proposals based on existing plane along with skunkworks proven capability on the PAT and the F. 1 affordable runtime on tight deadlines it 1 over the manufacture the other manufactured proposals of new planes the plan they built of course is the you to the they started working November
of 1954 they took the U 2 and they lost as much weight as they could take the fuselage made as thin as they possibly could made of wafer thin aluminum the was so that in fact there's a story that an interaction we bumped into this point of the toolbox and no normal plane that would be no big deal but the you 2 left a four-inch dent in the fuselage then found out there's some concern that this plane would never be strong enough to fly out they months later in July
1955 right on time a plane ready they created uploaded in the belly of a cargo plane and flew out to a purpose built near field in the middle of a dried out lake bed Nevada desert why the Nevada desert because they were true displaying would flying in many lots of places to land at this
picture taken by Kelly Johnson himself as of the actual 1st flight out of the 2 on August the 4th just a hair over 8 months from the 1st medals cat a month after the 1st flight pilots for breaking altitude records in secret almost daily over the Nevada desert by the time they were done flight testing this plane and minute 74 thousand 500 feet well above its operational ceiling and floor over 5 thousand miles over 10 hours on a single tank of gas now they do it and despite the ability to fly
3 minus 5 3 miles higher than any other plane built to that point you to is remarkably simple plain weight was everything every pound cost the plane about a foot of altitude so they cut way where they cut this is a picture of the internal wing structure of the 2 it weighs about 4 pounds per square foot most airplane wings way about 12 pounds per square foot so this is the 3rd the weight of a traditional air aircraft wing to me it looks like a cheap metal on English is not a lot of material there the course this introduced a lack of rigidity and so the U 2 is known for when it hits turbulence the weasel flat like a single the scare the pilots to death but the wings never broke off the
U 2 was also designed with tandem bicycle landing here if you look closely at this picture there's no wheels under the wings there's only to set the wheels under the center of the fuselage the combined weight of this linear your mechanisms 200 pounds it's the lightest landing gear that's ever been deployed on a jet aircraft it's easier just to show you how this works so were riding on a chase carrier
behind you to and the reason they have the chase parsers because the pilot is amenable the pressure suit and literally can't see where they are in relation the ground so the driver in the Chase cars constantly calling out the altitude to them telling how close to get the ground in the plane you can't landed it wants to fly so badly you literally have to stall it into the ground you have to bring in under about a foot and installer and pilot has to fly down the runway is literally flying the plane balancing on 2 wheels down the runway until finally bleeds enough speed off to tip the plane over onto its wings and then they have to but
landing gear under the wings of the it taxi the rest of the way into the hangar now look at these guys pull an ongoing on on your left here look how much this wing is bending as the polling 20 together when off the ground just ridiculously flexible that may finally get the pogo gear under the wings in this is takes off as well believe there were these under the wings and nose fall off as it reaches speed and finalists off the ground to toll hack and the reason is that every part of the
you to serve only 1 purpose the purpose of this plan was to get this payload 270 thousand feet over Russian this payload which is currently in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington is a high resolution camera with 36 inch focal they could resolve an object that was to have the across from 70 thousand feet keep in mind this is the 1950's this is the highest resolution camera that has ever been built In because
that's what they can but they had the rest they can make the wings rigid so that flat they could but different landing gear on so that it would be easier to land it didn't matter this is actually a modern day you to this point is still in operation it still has the same linear configuration the wings at 23 feet wider has 30 % more payload capability but they never change that crazy when you're configuration is works need to but there problem the operating
assumption that Russian radar couldn't see above 65 thousand feet turned out to be incorrect almost from the 1st flight you to took over Russia MiGs were chasing 15 and 20 thousand feet below they were firing missiles at nothing could get to its altitude but the CIA was afraid that they only had 18 months to 2 years of operational viability of this point for Russia figure out a way to shoot it down and so they needed another answer they needed a
replacement for the to almost as soon as they put in the service and so they they designed plane that would be faster higher and they want a plane would fly at 100 thousand feet and cruise at least not to which a crazy numbers In so response network started working on the Archangel series of design studies this is an early model of the Archangel by the 11th design revision it's
starting to look a little bit more familiar brother think I'm about to tell you that the SR 71 but your wrong the plan about to tell you about is Lockheed 12 this plane is the predecessor to the
SR 71 most people don't know existed the technological leap the display represents is almost impossible to comprehend it's designed a fly 5 miles higher than the you to it 90 thousand feet and it's designed to fly 4 times faster than the you to mark 3 . 2 5 now the fastest plane Americans built this state is still the of 104 stock and it can fly at not to for about a minute and a half before it runs out a gasoline engine start here this plane was intended to fly at Mach 3 . 2 5 for an hour and a half to 2 hours at a stretch now performing those extremes in almost everything that he knew about traditional airplane designed and apply and the CIA generously gave him 22 months to figure it out to coincide with the expected end of operational viability of the you 2 no luminal was the
macula they would usually build an airplane out of it's it's still 1 of the most common materials for frames problems aluminum is that it loses its structural integrity at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit the calculations that they did indicated that this plane would be a hundred degrees Fahrenheit at the nose and 1200 degrees Fahrenheit at the engine cowlings so the aluminum if they built the play of aluminum the aluminum and literally just fold up it would have no structural integrity those temperatures they considered building of a stainless because that's the obvious option you need steel that's gonna hold up under high heat but that would make the point to heavy get the altitude needed to get to as of Henry comes the primary structural engineer on May 12 project suggested they consider taking him now he built the engine exhausts of the F 1 for annotating and it works great the only problem with building taking him is that nobody knew how to build something this big after the biggest thing that they had manufactured out of that was engine nozzles still Kelly Johnson was was favorable on the proposal is that any material that can cut are grossly by half is damn tempting universe and drivers in the process the and he was right about driving them nuts they were the 1st batch of Thai team and to see what they could do with that and they realize they have no idea how extruded they had no idea how well that they had no idea how to read it they had no idea how to drill the drill bits that they use on aluminum would literally shatter when they tried to drill through titanium on top of that the US applied the order these preliminary matches from didn't have enough capacity to supply them quantities the need for the number of airplanes the thought they were gonna build so they asked the CIA for help and the CIA through a series of dummy companies anonymous third-party set up a supply chain from the leading exporter of titaniumIV of the day yeah the Soviet Union I so the very metal to build the 812 came from the same country was intended to spy on and the same operating
environment required adaptation everywhere in the plane early calculations that it also indicated the plane when it got to cruise altitude increase temperature would stretch by 2 to 3 inches would literally get longer because how fast it was going so everything the plane had to cope with that the control cable cables remain of elderly which is the will use to make watch springs because it maintains its tensile strength at very high temperatures the engine nozzles were made of Hastelloy X which is a nickel alloy and they chose Hastelloy X because they knew it could withstand the 34 100 degree Fahrenheit that die afterburners are expected to produce in it could withstand the structures for the hour after 2 hours that they would be running on afterward off the shelf electrons would function because the temperature in the Greece's boils hydraulic fluids even fuels bad come up with new answers for all of these things because of the operating environment this plane that custom field developed that wouldn't volatile the expected operating expected range of operating temperatures in problem was he can get the stuff the bird it had such a high flashpoint that it literally wouldn't ignite so you have to do this inject the engine was travel boring which is really really nasty stuff this spontaneously combusts with this bright green flash when you expose it to the atmosphere that was the only way to get this height height flashpoint temperature fuel to 2 9 the biggest challenges was propulsion
and that's why Kelly Johnson put 32 year-old than rich as elite prep propulsion engineer on this plane young guy and a lot of experience the Kelly Johnson trust and this is 1 of the places they would that they actually were able to adapt something off the shelf for this plane they pick Pratt Whitney J. 58 turbojet engine and Pratt Whitney had built this engine from Oct 2 Navy fighter that and canceled and Pratt Whitney had about 700 hours of testing on this engine and really want to find a place to users so they were willing to go to the extremes of skunk works needed them the go to make it work in this plane they had to modify the engine to make it be able to operate continuously on after burn in the thin air at 9 thousand feet but that wasn't the major innovation of the propulsion plane major innovation is the color that you see right there that can't actually moves back in the body of the engine by about 26 inches when it gets up to cruise velocity finish line yet understand how jet engines work jet engines work on compression there's a wide opening at the front of the Internet's groups inasmuch possible on over a series of compresses a compress it into a very compact streams that pushes the plane as fast as possible you can think about what happens when you put your thumb over the nose on a garden hose has the same effect so these engine comes as a got up to 2 March 3 would move back and the engine 26 inches and they were responsible for 70 per cent of the thrust of this engine increase velocity the afterburners contribute another 25 % the engine itself only contribute about 5 % thrust so this engine essentially converted from standard jet to ramjet in the middle of operating air entering this engine at minus 65 and 90 thousand feet would be a hundred degrees fahrenheit before it hit the combustion stage of the engine this is a crazy amount of innovation but what just as interesting to me about
this plane is the things that skunkworks chose not to solve the there was no fuel sealed fuel tanks C 1 that would work over the entire operating range expected of this aircraft and so this plane would literally sat on the tarmac dripping fuel you can see the public display that's jet fuel vision care and in matter they got to supersonic speed the fuel tanks with seals nobody'll yeah the the the other interesting
thing is the plane you can even start itself the set these massive jet engines IRI told about the travel boring but the other thing that you have to do to get combustion to be self-sustaining is you have to get the turban spending 40 500 rpm you do that before you inject the travel boring at the fuel burning what I thought about adding a starter motor to the plane that it would take a very large starter motor to get the turban turning as fast as it needed to so they did this instead this is the AG 330 stockpot or the Buick as a ground crews and the reason they call that that is because contained in the stock car to Buick V 8 wildcat engines and they would've physically couple this thing to the starter shaft of these massive turbans crank the 2 V 8 engines up to full throttle it the turban turning 40 500 rpm online off and this is a crazy AC the ground truth said that the hangar literally would sound like a stock car race when they were starting this plane up but in Costa many altitude the only 2 things that mattered in building a
12 new go very fast and needed to do so very high you want 5 miles past 5 miles higher and 4 times faster than you to on April 30th 1962 1 year and 100 per cent over budget skunkworks give the CIA what they want and this is a picture of the 12th 1st flight drip fuel could start the engines that crazy chemicals in a couple of the 8 engines Mexican even take off with a full load of fuel added a tanker almost as soon as it took off because those tiny wings would generate enough lift if you put a full load of fuel on the plane been matter they spend their money in their time on the things that did not the tag team construction the propulsion system is half the way around the rest this final at Mach 3 . 2 5 and 90 thousand feet and overflew every hostile territory in the world In it
holds the distinction of being the only merit military aircraft never to have been shot down despite 30 500 missions over some of the most contested territory in the world having hundreds of missiles launched at it after building 15 the tool for the CIA the Air Force requested a two-seater variant with twice as much payload that claim was the tools far more famous younger brother the 71 it holds about every speed and altitude record there is it all the record for sustained altitude
85 thousand 969 feet the now keep in mind these are official records determine over an official cost the plane almost certainly flew higher than this and in combat record of
sustained speed 2 thousand 193 . 2 miles an hour about Mach 3 . 3 the brain Schule in his book Sled Driver when he said he tells a bunch of stories about flying this plane and 1 of the tells is out running missiles Olivia market off you had launched everything is battery at Brian's plane just kept pushing the plane faster and faster and faster casino think it does make it too is turning get out of the country he could miss these muscles while his his causes systems after in the back seat once they made this term had to remind and slow the plane back down when the when you look at the speedometer they were going over Mach 3 . 5 so we know this plane would go well faster than the speed limit the reason context on just how fast this is the muzzle velocity the 22 caliber
rifle bullet is 2046 miles an hour so at cruise speed the SR 71 blackbirds can literally claimed to be faster than a speeding bullet but also said a bunch of speed records over courses they could fly from New York to London an hour
and 55 minutes the Concorde on a good day with the heavy tail and to do and 252 it could fly from Los Angeles to
Washington in 1 hour and 4 minutes and over the course of setting that record is another 1 that's 1 of my favorites is it's really easy that to wrap your head around it flew from St. Louis the Cincinnati in 8 minutes and 32 seconds nephew dry that your card will take you about 5 hours and 16 minutes just incredibly fast when is probably a whole these records forever with the invention of high resolution satellite photography an unmanned aerial vehicles is really no reason 1st ever build point like this again this is a crazy man of innovation especially when you consider was built in the sixties it would be an innovative point to built it today we assess 71 was Kelly
Johnson's crowning achievement in 1975 he at Lockheed Martin's mandatory retirement age of 65 and pass the reins on this man his protege Ben
rich this is the same then wretch better designed the propulsion system for the 12 at 32 years of age now been took over skunkworks a kind
of a tumultuous time in the US appetite for defense spending was an all-time low after vietnam just wasn't much much energy to spend money on on new technology Lockheed had attempted in the wake of history in the commercial aviation market with this plane Neil 1011 try start and lost about 2 billion dollars in processed it and keep in mind is user 1975 dollars yeah the so rich had defined significant new working and defined faster it was gonna have to let go most of his most expensive and most experienced engineers meanwhile the
cold war continued Leonid Brezhnev had been the Russian premier from us of cold war would be in power for another 8 years or so the setting invested around 300 built in 3 billion rubles in developing radar and surface-to-air missiles like this essay 5 there were far more advanced than any attack capability the Americans had we couldn't fly against the CD some context on this in that they 18 beyond the for war which was largely a proxy war between the US and Russia Israel lost 109 US-built US trained pilots aircraft against these that's a 5 missiles that were operated by largely untrained largely in disciplines Syrian Egyptian troops the city technology was so good meaning require an experienced operator to be Alicia our best technology and maintain the mutually assured destruction that it kept the US and Russia from all-out nuclear war throughout the Cold War the US needed develop something that could pierce these differences but ideas were in short supply until then this overall search a
36 year-old math and radar expert on skunkworks staff what and enriches office and past this document that the method of edge weights in the physical theory of diffraction sounds like a really engaging what was so engaging that it actually been published by pure of himself I'm using you was the chief scientist at the Moscow Institute of Radio Engineering nearly a decade earlier before the Air Force finally got around translating it just think there's anything of tactical value and prioritized Over holster however found something on the last page yeah that seems a very substantial to him it was a method for calculating the radar cross section of the edge in the surface of a wing and come up with the accurate number for just how visible that we would be on radar
after understand accurately determining how visible plane would be on radar and this is largely impossible without building a scale model in sticking out of a polar rearrange which you can see a 12 year both like overall certain knew something about the science behind radar could make some educated inferences about what might make a difference to observability but the real hard and fast rules and there was no way to know for certain until you actually tested still for long long been theorized as something that might be possible but was always written office too difficult too expensive to try but of themselves document over LSA was convinced that he had found the formulas that let them predict observability ahead of time empirically designed for I so he has been Richland start on some software 5 weeks later been 5
weeks later Dennis over also walked in been riches office with a sketch of this thing which the lucky technical staff would quickly take the calling the hopeless diamond because they didn't think they never really get fly and the preliminary radar range test that Lockheed didn't Palmdale the radar operator in trying to scope the radar in on this model thought that maybe the model had fallen off of the pull on the test range so we asked enriched to stick his head out the window and see if the plane was still on on top of a pole Sabine did that that time been stuck his head out the door along comes a crowbar and lands on a plane the greater ocurridos undermined I've got it now so you couldn't see the plane but you could see a crow on the radar and that moment than rich new they run on the something big run same darker was holding
a competition for design of the theoretical stealth aircraft Lockheed and Northrop won the 1st phase of the competition were given 1 . 5 million to refine the concepts in build 38 foot models they were that they were then tested the Air Force's most sensitive and sophisticated rearranging White White Sands New Mexico of that's what you see in this picture Lockheed 38 foot model the problem was that when they got this out to the rate arranged to test it the model was so good but the only thing they could see on the radar was the pole and therefore always assume that the poll the arranges was invisible they'd never had this problem before and they didn't know what to do about it so
this over also went to work in about poll to it so that's what you see here in the poll costs around 500 thousand dollars in and of itself but it was no longer visible on radar and they could test the plane they came up with a really interesting way to test the points see just how visible it was on the right are they knew that they could take a ball bearing and calculate the theoretical responsiveness the ball bearing a ball ball-bearing should look like on radar so they decided that they would glue ball bearings the frontal plane and see how small they can get before they saw the R. point this is where they started this is a 2 inch ball bearing they consume point they smaller in smaller and smaller in smaller and we got to this that is a 1 8 inch ball bearing most of you probably can't see that it's smaller than b they still couldn't see the point they only saw the ball bearing yeah so needless to say Lockheed won the competition pretty easily the only thing that was left to be seen as a can you get this thing in here and be you do is it still stealthy once you add things that the model doesn't have liked engines and air takes on a pilot therefore slower to provide planes in 14 months and skunkworks agreed in 14 months later they came up with
this the that have blue that this thing looks like it might flighting you it's just because your brain has been conditioned to think that things that look like this for airplanes his you've seen enough pictures of the stealth fighter over the years everybody a lot he was still sort of in doubt until they actually saw it in the year they how they get this thing built in 14 months well not invented here was not a thing at works this thing is literally off of the surplus shelf he uses the flight control computer from the 16 navigation from the b 52 the pilots Ethernet 16 the heads up display from the uh 18 engines from a T to be trained on the list goes on and on and on the only original thing about this plane is the outer skin the biggest thing that they had to solve obviously is aerodynamics this thing is actually unstable in all 3 axes of flight that means that it is pitch unstable it is you are unstable and its role its role unstable the only point that they had to deployed that was unstable any axis of the the axis of flight was the 16 it was only pitch unstable and and have to contend with all 3 so this at the flight computer up to determine what inputs they needed to send the control surfaces to make this thing fly and they would take the pilots and put in some of the things that the computer knew that it needed to do and that would be what went to the control surfaces at the early nickname for this plane was the wobbling goblin because it took a while to the island that software but true to form they got to
fly most us life at nite to avoid prying eyes so this is 1 of the few pictures we have of this plane in the year that's why it's such a terrible picture but now they could fly they need to see if it could live up to the promise of stealthiness and so they float against
this the target acquisition radar from a Hawk missile battery the most advanced radar technology that the US had at time the plane literally overflew this radar right over top 3 are never picked up the missiles never long into alignment they just pointed lazily that the mountains off in the distance namely that they were that the plane was a success it's about 5
years later that the f the 1st f 117 stealth fighter detachment was in operation at top a test range airport the town apart test range is the massive military complex in the Nevada desert that encompasses Area 51 so there's a pretty good chance that a large number of UFO sightings in the late eighties thing the American public didn't find out about this plane into the 1st nite of Operation Desert Storm therefore sent a total 22 of 117 NRS in Baghdad that nite and privately they calculated that they would lose about 30 % those points the because Baghdad at that point was more well-defended and even Moscow and been at the height of the Cold War but they didn't lose any planes are 1st nite as the as the pilots were flying out of Baghdad and they're established radio contact they realize that every was present accounted for they did lose a single 1 of these planes over the entirety of Operation Desert Storm this whole
plane is 1 big hack they needed to be invisible on radar that's all they needed it and they got there they got really close they get is visible as basically a b by basically not caring about aerodynamics and all and hacking their way around the laws of physics that govern how planes fly the computers of the day was powerful enough to calculate ray of of curved surfaces so that's why this thing is made up of a bunch of angular flat surfaces that had nothing to do with the design of a plane it's not that they didn't have the computers to design still the curved surfaces of it just but the point was Austria services Kelly Johnson had a long-standing saying that beautiful planes fly beautifully nobody it's works but this was a beautiful plane but in that it didn't matter that it was a beautiful plane it did exactly what it was designed to them sadly all
of these amazing planes each which was groundbreaking in some significant way this 1 what we haven't talked about our story ends the same place
it began a scrappy team of at its peak 23 designers and 105 fabricators created the PAT around marked up engine 143 days and that plane was in service for over 40 years not much Kelly Johnson's philosophy of how to build planes change over the years even we pass the reins under been rich His approach was a proponent of prototyping
in learning I tried to find a picture of have blue and the F. 1 17 together on the target figure show it had to be out there but I started looking at the dates and I realize just how much of a throwaway prototype have blue was they had managed to crash both of them before the F. 117 was ever built the want to enter it
this year the a 12 is on the right 71 is on the left itself could go little faster or higher than the SR 71 but it turns out it didn't need to they revise it to two-seater with double the payload capacity for the Air Force gladly trading a bit of altitude and speed for more utility more mission viability Kelly also had some general rules about how to run his organization if you know more about those you can google Kelly's rules and you'll be taken the Kelly Johnson's 14 rules for Lockheed's Skunk Works tape about a couple of of that especially aplicable busses suffer engineers the first one is that the
number of people having any connection with the project must be restricted and almost vicious manner is a small number of good people 10 to 25 per cent compared the so called normal systems at its peak they were 75 design engineers working on the SR 71 you some context that bowling used 10 thousand engineers to build the triple 7 and Boeing had the advantage of computer design software blocking sold another drawings by hand at that point Kelly Johnson hired smart people a news organization you trusted them to do good work
the but lots of companies run the software engineering organisations like Henry Ford ran assembly lines they measure all of the work the way that Henry Ford measured how many cars were produced how effective worker was a set up all sorts of heavy processes to govern what work gets done and when and they had a new process for every little hiccup most process has the desired effect we turn off our brains it we become factory workers for as long as we can stand the border the things we build them have more in common with the planes a skunkworks works built and they do the cars of Henry Ford Ford were knowledge workers building unique software not assembly line workers putting together which widgets how does this work in practice appear Drucker probably the
most prolific writer on management America tells a story of a young infantry captain did the reporter as this inventory Captain how in the fog of war he maintained command of his troops and greater respond around here I'm only the guy who's responsible if these men don't know what to do when they run into an enemy in the jungle I'm too far with its own my job is to make sure they know what to do what they do depends on the situation which only they can judge the decision lies with whoever is on
the spot is our software teams work readily acknowledge it or not you constantly making decisions as you're writing code managers can choose to either trust the teams to make good decisions or they can smother them of process micromanagement try have hand every decision that the teams make good managers higher smart people and trust them to make good decisions as they write code but they also focus on enabling them to make the decisions by making sure they understand the context in the overall goal of what they're working on Kelly Johnson handled this by
lining up a systems a very simple drawing in drawing release system with great flexibility for making changes must be provided I thought about this earlier on the PAT he got away from the complex drawing systems are apart elsewhere Lockheed because a small things just in the him they didn't need that much process they were able to get the work done with a much lighter lighter amount of documentation them slightly process would work to the Lockheed mainly because they were trying to build house of far higher volume of airplanes with far far less skilled workers but Henry but Kelly Johnson had a small team any trusted them sir may actually a really great to be on the student she said that team pathology is always
either hanging on the process suited to a smaller team or early adopting processes suited to to larger chain teacher 10 years ago a friend of mine I decided to start a boutique software consultancy so so think about the 1st thing that you would do if you were in a stock of boutiques suffer consultancy problem the same thing that we did we went out and spent a thousand bucks your license and spent the better part of a wheat getting it stood up on PSO OK track work and keep in mind it was 2 of us and we had 1 client at the time we illustrate you need enough process so that everyone has the context they need but not so much that people turn off their brains and why we do what they're told your process is there to serve you not the other way around this is what Kelly Johnson got so right he could delivered innovation on it was in his brain but the process he put in place allowed his teams to set the right priorities and make the right compromises at the right point time when they make decisions his most important rule was that there
should be you only 1 object to get a good airplane built on time or mitigate airplane the delivered the value the customer name hit the key suspects and compromise where necessary that those key specs is a pragmatist every
decision he and his team made was right how to deliver the most value in the shortest amount of time for the customer will bringing out the best in his team because of the freedom in the trusted agathist kingdom because how clearly he laid out the goals for each project they were able to deliver some of the most amazing planes ever built the you to land on terrible
landing gear pilots said it was the easiest thing in the world the fly from 60 thousand feet down this extensions hated landing but the team decided it was worth it to save the weight in favor of the altitude the pilots and work around it was a good compromise great hack yes 71 is the
fastest plane ever built but it can even start itself didn't have a starter motor with added to much weight sat on the tarmac dripping fuel they just don't care the teams spend the time how do the important things how to build a plane out of titaniumIV go Mach 3 . 2 5 and they have their way around the other stuff if
1 17 violates every long aerodynamic design and they were trying to make it invisible on radar in bucks conventional wisdom in almost every way possible because of the trust and then rich put and then over Kelly's leaders
bands teams had unprecedented and put into what they were building incredible freedom incredible trust their bosses you should push for that freedom in your job if you don't already have the process that you follow should be the right size for your team and you should know the most important things about what you're building you should know the goals so that you can contribute your project success beyond just writing code that's not the case for you push back hard changes if you're leadership role you have a responsibility to give that freedom your team you pushes many decisions in as much responsibility down your team is you can you make sure your clearly communicating the the 2 or 3 most important things that your team needs to be building at any given time so that like those those frontline soldier in vietnam they can make the right decisions based on what they're seeing in the code they're working on that and you have to give them context to make those decisions and you have to trust them to make the right decisions if you do these things yeah if you trust team to innovate and don't just trust yourself if you trust your co-workers to build amazing things there's no telling amazing stuff available together thanks
like thank you thank you think on the other hand we you would do that if you
Dicke
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Metadaten

Formale Metadaten

Titel Closing Keynote: Skunk Works
Serientitel RailsConf 2016
Teil 02
Anzahl der Teile 89
Autor Means, Nickolas
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Unported:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen und nicht-kommerziellen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen und das Werk bzw. diesen Inhalt auch in veränderter Form nur unter den Bedingungen dieser Lizenz weitergeben.
DOI 10.5446/31504
Herausgeber Confreaks, LLC
Erscheinungsjahr 2016
Sprache Englisch

Inhaltliche Metadaten

Fachgebiet Informatik
Abstract Nickolas hails from the Breakfast Taco Capital of the World, Austin, TX. When he's not busy eating said tacos, he's VP of Engineering at Wellmatch Health , working with an incredibly talented team of engineers to bring transparency to healthcare pricing. He believes that software engineering is mostly human interaction and he's passionate about building empathetic, compassionate teams.

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