The video highlights the F-35 and just about every other aircraft Lockheed still has in the air (though the F-22's prospects aren't good, and I'll miss you P-3! Hubby used to fly you).
For those fearing the video glorifies war, there's not a single missile fired or bomb dropped. Go in 35 seconds to see airdrop relief efforts.
We also got a brief glance at some of the UAVs the company has worked on inside its famously secretive Skunk Works. They even threw in a U-2! Though this is one song Bono probably would not sing.
If not Bono, then, who are the musicians? Stephen Trimble, who tweets as "
The DEW Line", calls them "Lockheed Martin's house band 'Into the Blues All Stars'".
Is the guy with the awesome ax an aircraft designer? Software engineer? Stan from I-T?
No. They're professional musicians.
Joe Stout of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics tells me they were all recruited from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to create a marketing video "to inspire our workforce and for use in the local community, in recruiting and in other public venues." Ft. Worth is where the F-35 is based. The musicians in the video aren't really playing the recorded version of the song, either. "The music was from a production music library. We paid for the rights to use it." Stout says the point of the video is not to show how cool the company is—oh, really? Anyone notice that both pilots at the end are women? Instead, the video is meant "to generate excitement about the relevance of our aircraft products as they perform important missions around the world."
Many of the comments on the YouTube page are not flattering: "With Lockheed Martin planes, you can go bomb someone today," "Why is it that almost every project Lockheed embarks on weather (sic) it be the F22 Presidential helo or the F35 come in drastically over budget and behind schedule." Other people love it: "SWEET!"
But what about the band?
Was I disappointed that "house band" was not really an accurate description? Of course I was! I wanted proof that not all of the "cool" engineers coming out of Caltech or MIT are going to Apple or Goldman Sachs. Sigh. "The intent of the video," Stout says, "was to highlight the aircraft, not the band."
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