Triple lines for Lockheed Lightnings

Overall view of Lockheed's new mechanized P-38 line.

Moving continuously, slowly, yet as surely as the hands of a watch, these three mechanized conveyor lines at the Lockheed Aircraft Corp. more than double the daily output of the old assembly line.

The P-38 "Lightning" fighters come down the line at the right and are shunted over to the middle line where they grow their wings and engines.

They then move backwards to the far end of the huge Final Assembly Hangar to go out the door and into a nearby paint hangar where they are camouflaged.

Working exactly as an automobile assembly line, this mechanized line at Lockheed is notable not only because it is the first continuously moving final assembly line for combat aircraft in the West but, it also does what many experts said couldn't be done by putting twin-engined "Lightnings" on a full production basis.

The room shown here was completely emptied of airplanes, which meanwhile were completed on an impromptu outdoor line.

In eight days, the new mobile line was set up ready to receive its new quota of airplanes.