Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson
"Be quick, be quiet and be on time."
Kelly Johnson is credited with designing the first 400 MPH aircraft -- of course, our beloved P-38. At the remarkably young age of 33 he drew the preliminary sketches (see right) for what would ultimately become the most maneuverable -- and we believe the most beautiful airplane --in the Army Air Corps.
Johnson received an incredible number of awards during his career (listed at left), after emerging from a childhood of poverty and obscurity to make his mark on the aviation world in a BIG way!
Here's a fun bit of trivia...Kelly Johnson's student pilot's license.
Designer of almost every outstanding Lockheed aircraft from the P‑38 to the awesome Blackbirds, Kelly Johnson emerged from a childhood of poverty and obscurity to make his mark on the aviation world. His A‑12/YF‑12/SR‑71 was secretly flying at Mach III+ long before other designers even admitted it was possible.
Joining Lockheed as a tool designer, Kelly Johnson became one of America's foremost aircraft designers. He developed more than 40 aircraft and was the head of Lockheed's advanced development projects, known as the "Skunk Works."
If you'd like to find out more about Kelly Johnson, here are a couple more resources: