Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lockheed Hot on the Cleantech Trail

Not long ago a Google search for "Lockheed" and "energy" most likely would have produced hits related to airborne lasers and other direct energy weapons. In early 2009, things have surely changed. In fact, I didn't even have to search; the Lockheed "Special Innovation Symposia" found me in an email this morning with a message of support for solar, smart grid and storage R&D. (BTW, if you want to participate in the symposia, you'd better get a move on. Deadline for submissions is 6 March 2009.)

A little searching ensued and I quickly found the obligatory green-branding material on the corporate site. But what I'm far more interested in, is the potential of this historically great company, home of the fabled Skunk Works, to innovate new energy solutions for DOD and perhaps the nation. This is the company, after all, that gave us the P-38, the U-2 and the SR-71, each an engineering miracle.

In particular, would like to see Lockheed turn up the volume on aircraft R&D, to squeeze much more bang out of every JP8 buck, and to imagine flying systems that don't use conventional jet fuel at all. Now that would be impressive.

Photo of U2: Wikimedia Commons

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