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From Humble Beginnings to Soaring High: The Story of Lockheed

Lockheed, a name synonymous with innovative aircraft, has a rich history that began with a single family's passion for aviation. Allan Lockheed, the visionary behind the company, wasn't just the founder, but an aviator and engineer who played a key role in its success. His wife was Helen Marcella Kundert.



Taking Flight with the Loughead Brothers

 

Born Allan Loughead in 1889, Allan's fascination with flying began early. Inspired by gliders, he and his brothers, Malcolm and Victor, embarked on their aviation journey. In December 1912, having convinced some wary investors to part with their money, Allan and his brother Malcolm started the Alco-Hydro Aeroplane Company, forerunner of Lockheed Corporation. Their initial venture, the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company, focused on seaplanes. While commercially unsuccessful, their designs shattered distance and speed records, showcasing their talent. In 1916, the brothers founded the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California. They designed the F-1 – the first successful ten-passenger seaplane, for their aerial sightseeing business. In April 1918, Allan Loughead and a crew of three flew the twin-engine craft from Santa Barbara to San Diego in a record time of 181 minutes for the 340 km flight. 


A Change in Name, a Change in Fortune

 

Financial struggles forced them to close Loughead Aircraft in 1921. Malcolm, tired of mispronunciations, changed the family name to Lockheed. Allan, reuniting with Jack Northrop, then formed the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in 1926, capitalizing on the established Lockheed name.

 

Lockheed Soars

 

The Lockheed company soared with innovative designs like the Lockheed Model 10 Electra, a commercial aircraft known for its speed and range. World War II saw them create iconic warplanes like the P-38 Lightning, a twin-boomed fighter known for its performance, and the versatile C-47 Skytrain, a transport aircraft crucial to the war effort.

 

A Legacy of Innovation

 

Allan Lockheed was one of those rare persons who without any formal training, exhibited immense natural talent as an aviator. In later life, he was a real estate salesman in California, while also occasionally serving as an aviation consultant with Lockheed. He died on May 26, 1969, in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 80.

 

Merging with Martin Marietta in 1995 to form Lockheed Martin, it remains a giant in the aerospace industry, a testament to the pioneering spirit of Allan Lockheed and his brothers. Their early dedication and technical prowess laid the foundation for a company that continues to shape the skies.



Marriage to Glarus descendant Helen Marcella Kundert

 

Allen Haines (Loughead) Lockheed first married in 1911 Dorothy Watts with whom he had a daughter Flora Elizabeth and a son John Allan. Dorothy died in 1922 and Allen married Evelyn Statt in 1923. The marriage was divorced, and Allen Lockheed married on June 5, 1938 Helen Marcell Kundert (1911-1971) in Lima, Ohio. Helen is the great-granddaughter of Jakob Kundert (1815-1902) who emigrated 1854 with his family from Mitlödi in Glarus to Ohio. Helen and Allen Lockheed have a son, Allan Haines Lockheed Jr. who was born 1944 in Los Angeles.


Allen Lockheed in 1938 Allen Lockheed in 1968 Helen Marcella Kundert


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