Burbank Lockheed Aircraft Factory
|Historical Name of Location||Burbank, California, United States|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseThe Lockheed Aircraft Company, in existence under various names since 1912, relocated to Burbank, California, United States in 1928 next to the Union Airport (which the company would purchase in 1940). In 1929, the company was sold to Detroit Aircraft, but Detroit Aircraft's bankruptcy during the Great Depression led to it becoming independent once again in 1932, emerging as the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. From the 1930s and into the war, the Plant B-1 complex (which were the first buildings set up when Lockheed relocated to Burbank in 1928) at the eastern side of the Lockheed complex in Burbank built the pre-war Vega transports, Hudson bombers (which was based on Lockheed's Model 14 Super Electra civilian transport design), and P-38 Lightning fighters. The Plant A-1 complex to the west and near the airport built 2,750 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers during the war; the B-17 bombers were built under license from Boeing. The Plant B-6 complex to the north supported manufacturing efforts during WW2, and would later gain greater fame as the location of the assembling area for U-2, SR-71, and F-117 aircraft of a later era. During the war, fearful that the Burbank facilities would come under Japanese air attack, the entire area was camouflaged under a very large burlap tarp. An intricate scene of suburban life, complete with painted homes, false trees, and even fire hydrants. When the war ended in 1945, Lockheed (including its Vega subsidiary, which was merged into Lockheed in 1943) had built 19,278 aircraft, which was about 6% of the total American aircraft production between 1941 and 1945. After the war, the Lockheed facilities in Burbank continued to play a role in supporting the US military, including the P-80 (later, F-80) Shooting Star project and the Plant B-6 projects noted earlier. The Burbank facilities stopped producing aerospace products in 1992.
Last Major Update: Oct 2013
Burbank Lockheed Aircraft Factory Interactive Map
Burbank Lockheed Aircraft Factory Timeline
|9 Jan 1943||Commandeered for USAAF service as the C-69, the Lockheed Model L-049 Constellation aircraft made its first flight from Burbank, California, United States to nearby Muroc Army Air Field.|
|18 Jun 1943||Aircraft designer Clarence Johnson met with Lockheed President Robert Gross and chief engineer Hal Hibbard at the company's headquarters in Burbank, California, United States. Johnson informed the two that US Army Air Force representatives from Wright Field had requested Lockheed to design a jet fighter.|
|20 Jul 1943||Lockheed and USAAF began a three day evaluation of a full scale mock up of a XP-80 jet fighter.|
|22 Jul 1943||Lockheed and USAAF completed a three day evaluation of a full scale mock up of a XP-80 jet fighter.|
|20 Oct 1944||Test pilot Milo Burcham was killed when the YP-80A jet aircraft he piloted crashed shortly after takeoff in Burbank, California, United States.|
|6 Aug 1945||Major Dick Bong, with 40 kills to his credit over the Pacific and his country's top scoring fighter ace of the war, and the holder of the Medal of Honor, was killed at the age of 24 when the Lockheed Shooting Star in which he was carrying out test flights stalled on takeoff and crashed in Burbank, California, United States.|
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|WW2-Era Place Name||Burbank, California, United States|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945
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