Colt and the SR-71
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    Colt and the SR-71

    NOT two things I thought had any relation but... this came up on Facebook from"Vault of the Atomic Space Age"

    57154309_2215949558484331_8270376307779436544_n.jpg

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    Who would have thunk? I guarded them for many years wearing a colt.
    bmcgilvray likes this.

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    C. L. "Kelly" Johnson at Lockheed was the man behind that airplane and many others. My wife has a picture of the SR-71 autographed by Kelly hanging on the wall near our computer. She interacted with him and his organization in the 1990's.

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    Thanks to the political climate under Bill Clinton, the board of Colt Industries eventually threw its parent, Colt Firearms under the bus.
    Ugly likes this.

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    Colt Industries dumped the Firearms Division before Clinton was elected...not that I care to defend him. Penn-Texas, which purchased Colt in the 1950s eventually changed their name to Colt Industries to capitalize on the name recognition. They were a holding company with a number of businesses under the Colt name umbrella...of which Colt Firearms Division was a part as was Holley Carburetors and other companies.

    During the Vietnam War and the Cold War in general, Colt Firearms was a cash cow for Colt Industries even though they bled the Firearms Division of money outside of the military contracts for the M16. The commercial side suffered...little R&D and investment was done...S&W was allowed to capture the law enforcement market...it was a bit of a miracle Colt was able to fund the Mark III series to stay at least somewhat current in civilian and law enforcement sales. After the Vietnam War and Cold War ceased and the strike during the '80s, Colt Industries dumped the Firearms Division's carcass to someone who would take it off their hands and there's been turbulence in the company's fortunes ever since.
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    Sam Colt and his Yankee mechanics actually invented much of the machinery that went on to fuel the industrial revolution.
    As example Colt and his men invented modern high speed rifling machines that were used by gun makers through WWII.
    Many of the WWII rifling machines are still in use by high end barrel makers today.
    It was Colt invented machine tools that first made guns, then bicycles, then farm equipment and typewriters and eventually cars and airplanes by other companies.

    Colt's gun company was the base for many industrial manufacturing companies owned by Colt that grew out of the gun company.
    By the 50's Colt firearms was a tiny component of a huge corporation that made an astounding number of products, most not related to guns or even machines.

    That was when Colt's real problems started.
    Every year or two a new president for the firearms division was sent down from corporate to run the company.
    Most of these men knew nothing about guns or gun buyers and didn't care to learn.
    Many didn't like guns and it was obvious.
    All they wanted was to make a splash to gain recognition in the corporation and move up the ladder.
    Most of them couldn't shake the dirt of the firearms component off their shoes fast enough.

    In order to make the needed splash models were discontinued and new models introduced. The next president discontinued the new models and brought back the old ones in a dizzying cycle.
    This resulted in distributors, Dealers, and customers not knowing what was available or what to plan on.

    The corporation largely ignored the firearms component as long as it showed a profit the next quarter.
    The problem became critical when the then-new Master of Business MBA graduates began taking over American businesses.
    They had been taught to ignore production and the production floor and focus on the financial end.
    As long as a profit was shown the next quarter.... everything was good.
    This practice often lasted right up to the day the Marshals put locks on the doors.
    Incredibly, these same MBA's were hired by other companies and ran them too into the ground.
    As a result the Colt Firearms company foundered and almost sank.

    In the end, Colt Firearms was an embarrassment to the huge corporation who didn't like being associated with icky guns, and the company was kicked out of the giant corporation it had built.

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    That "MBA scenario" was the death of many companies, and still is in effect today. Operating a company driven only by quarterly profits is just plain stupid.

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    It is cool that Chandler Evans helped the skunk works program. But the absolute master mind behind it all was Kelly Johnson. He also developed the U2. When it was shot down by the Soviets he vowed that he would produce a plane that could never be shot down. Flying as fast as a 30'06 bullet and at a altitude were you could see the curvature of the earth the plane was shot at many, many times by surface to air missals and it out ran them.

    The plane got so hot that all sort of things had to be a "Invented" not designed to make it all work. the plane carried no weapons because it needed none. It did carry cameras that today are still classified (The only part of the plane that still is) and the two pilots wore Gemini space suits to help with all the violent changes that the body took while flying this marvel.

    Its hard to believe that this plane was being designed in the late 50''s and first flew in the early 60's.

    sr712.jpg

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    Monsai52, scstrain and old tanker like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pullstart View Post
    Cool link, thanks!

    Best regards,
    pullstart likes this.
    My opinion is free, and worth every penny of it.


 
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