Skonkwerks Ultralight Research, Development, Design and Flight Facility
Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects.
The name “Skunk Works” was taken from the moonshine factory in the comic strip “Li’l Abner.” Where it was originally spelled “Skonkworks” and their swill was made from old boots and dead skunks.
The original spelling is currently being used in Winchester Township Wi. Where a hanger was dubbed “The Skonkworks” by a neighbor in the early years. Used by a loosely knit informal organization of like minded engineers/designers/tinkerers/builders/neighbors and fliers known as the “Lone Buzzerds” an ultralight club, operating out of the “Winchester Skonkworks” or sometimes “Squirrelworks” hanger in Larsen, Wi.
To avoid copyright infringement “Kelly Johnson’s” serious looking “skunk” was changed to a comical, whimsical black and white squirrel looking mascot wearing a red crash helmet and giving a smiling “thumbs up.”
The designation “skunk works”, or “skunkworks”, is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy, unhampered by bureaucracy; tasked with working on advanced or secret projects. In this case the spelling “Skonkworks” but in most cases; “Skonkwerks” is being used in jest to project an aura of something outside of the norm being worked on, developed or flown; while staying in touch with meager roots. The term fits well within the ultralight community as there is no direct oversight by any government organization, in addition ultralighters generally operate at the bottom of the aviation financial food chain. Not unlike “Li’lAbner” making “moonshine” from an odd variety of items, or what ever they had on hand. Adventure Aviation or the sport of Ultralighting is also, often reduced to.. “screwing what you have on hand together and making it fly.”