Secrets of the Skunk Works

Exclusive photographs of once-classified inventions from Lockheed’s famous brain trust.

(Chad Slattery )
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XST Experimental Survival Testbed Progress Report

Dated March 1976, this 250-page document gave the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency a technical summary of the XST, the design that evolved into the Have Blue flying prototype and eventually led to the F-117. It showed program personnel that every stealthy configuration choice involved tradeoffs, affecting radar signature, flight stability, cost, and performance. Crammed with engineering data, it was not declassified until 2012—and there are still pages off-limits to the public.

About Chad Slattery

Based in Los Angeles, Chad Slattery is a freelance photographer (and occasional writer) who has specialized in aviation and aerospace subjects for the past 20 years. He regularly flies air-to-air photo flights in a specialized Learjet. A longtime Contributing Editor at the magazine, his hobby is collecting the vintage desktop models distributed by aircraft factories.

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