Burbank Lockheed Aircraft Factory

Type   30 Factory
Historical Name of Location   Burbank, California, United States
Coordinates   34.200556000, -118.358611000


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.


An early, highly polished P-38 Lightning rolls out of the Lockheed hangar in Burbank, California, United StatesVentura aircraft being built for the British Royal Air Force, Vega Aircraft Corporation plant, Burbank, California, United States, Jun 1941A building in the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation complex in Burbank, California, United States, date unknownP-38 Lightning aircraft being built at the Lockheed factory in Burbank, California, United States, date unknown
See all 12 photographs of Burbank Lockheed Aircraft Factory

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Stephen Reiss says:
14 Jul 2017 08:32:20 PM

My father, Irwin H. Reiss, worked at Lockheed Burbank in May 1945 after serving 4.5 years in the US Army. I recently flew on a B17 Bomber built in Burbank in May 1945. It was operated by the EAA on their Aluminum Overcast project. How can I learn what my dad's job was at Lockheed Burbank? I can provide his paycheck stubs. Thanks,
2. Anonymous says:
26 May 2018 06:24:59 PM

I worked at the B1,A1, and B6 plants in the mic 1960's as a blue print deliverer. We rode bicycles and walked to drop off sites, I had a ball and loved every moment of my experience
3. R.Fields says:
27 Nov 2018 09:58:11 AM

my father worked here for 49 yrs. His life Insurance policy went to my mother. There are issues regarding this transaction; who do I contact to get information
4. richard h rosswurm says:
11 Apr 2019 11:30:49 AM

My uncle, Nolon E Zinn, worked at Lockheed Burbank at least from 1940 to his death in October 1947. What year did he start work there? Thanks.
5. Matt says:
7 Jul 2019 02:00:59 AM

Please need assistance on varifying this Lockheed module
6. Anonymous says:
21 Nov 2019 06:44:20 PM

how big was the Burbank plant?
7. magnoliasouth says:
16 Sep 2020 03:55:27 PM

This complex is featured in the film Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) and contains footage that is inside the complex and presumably shows actual workers, working the line. It is a shame that this footage isn't better known because two years later, the men working the line would be fighting for America and one wonders how many of those men came back.

If anyone watches the movie, can you post back sharing what models these planes are? I mean, other than the fake model, of course.
8. Denny says:
1 May 2022 12:32:09 PM

My grandfather William M. McConnell was killed while testing a p-38 at Burbank.I don’t know if he was test pilot
For Lockheed or Army Air Force.
Any knowledge you might share
Would be gratefully appreciated

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Burbank, California, United States
Lat/Long 34.2006, -118.3586
Burbank Lockheed Aircraft Factory Photo Gallery
An early, highly polished P-38 Lightning rolls out of the Lockheed hangar in Burbank, California, United States
See all 12 photographs of Burbank Lockheed Aircraft Factory

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