Transporting the A-12

This is a fascinating account of just one small part of the cold war: transporting the A-12, a predecessor of my favorite plane, the SR-71 Blackbird, from the Lockheed Skunkworks in Burbank to Area 51 for final assembly and flight testing. This was in the early 60s.

They took over roads, reshaped hills, and made a huge nuisance of themselves, all to transport some carefully-nondescript boxes from Burbank up to Area 51. It’s amazing to think about the conversations they must have had: “Hi California Highway Patrol. Yeah, I need to take over the freeway for a few days. No, I can’t tell you what I’m doing it for. But it’s important.”

I would love to see the project plan for this.

Lockheed moved the skunkworks to Palmdale around 1990, and this part of Burbank is just a bunch of nearly-abandoned buildings and vacant lots now: google maps link. Just north of this is Lockheed Drive.


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