***We must report with sadness the death of Eleanor More. We have no details, but will send them along as available.***
EDWARD LOVICK, Jr. at WVRC on August 4th
PP RON LYSTER led the Pledge. Next up was MARK BLOCK, with the Invocation. “Leo Baeck wrote, “One can always find warm hearts who in a glow or emotion would like to make the whole world happy but who have never attempted the sober experiment of bringing a real blessing to a single human being. It is easy to revel enthusiastically in one’s love of man, but it is more difficult to do good to someone solely because he is a human being. When we are approached by a human being demanding his right, we cannot replace definite ethical action by mere vague goodwill”. We are truly blessed that Rotary allows us, through service above self, to provide real, direct help to others in need. So when your committee chair ask you to help with a hands on project - just say “yes”. You’ll be glad you did. Well done, MARK - Thanks.
We had a number of guests. PEGGY was with her helper, and of course SUNNY was with LENNY. David Hawkins was the guest of STEVE PETTICE. PAULINE HARRIS was there on behalf of our Auxiliary, Renato Romulo of Beverly Hills was with us, along with Judith Deutsch. Steve Sann was the guest of MARK ROGO.
There was some minor confusion over fines. Eventually, it turned out that PP GORDON FELL, PP STEVE DAY, and LEO TSENG were each nicked for $25, which so upset PP ED GAULD that he insisted on being fined ten bucks each for his six grandchildren. Gadzooks, I’m glad that got settled!
This brought up PP STEVE DAY in behalf of our Rotary Foundation. He presented five awards to the assembled troops, including BILL EDWARDS with 3 rubies for his 8th contribution, PP DON NELSON with 2 rubies for his 7th contribution, SEAN MCMILLAN with 3 sapphires for his 3rd contribution, and both MARK ROGO and PP GORDON FELL with a sapphire apiece for their first contributions. PP STEVE pointed out that these provide educational opportunities for young people somewhere in the world. They demonstrate your truly selfless actions and your commitment to our common goals of world understanding and peace. We extend our sincere thanks to each of you. And while he was up there, PP STEVE provided some advance notice of the Rotary Foundation Celebration, which will be on Sunday, November 6th at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, starting at noon. Tickets are $65 for adults and $35 for children under 16.
This brought up a flood of further announcements.
PAULINE HARRIS spoke about our Auxiliary Fun Party, which will be at the home of LEO TSENG, on Saturday the 27th of this month. The theme is Carnevale, there will be clowns and costumes - MARGIE DOWNIE will take your checks.
PP PETER MORE reminded us of the upcoming weekend in San Francisco with our sister club, Chinatown Rotary. The date is October 7th
PP SEAN MCMILLAN stepped forward with some more Irish History. The main thought I got out of this was that the population of Ireland declined precipitously after what I think was called the Potato War, with thousands of Irish immigrants leaving for the New World. I’m sorry to provide such a brief review of SEAN’s message.
PP CHRIS BRADFORD introduced our Speaker, Edward Lovick, Jr. He is considered by many to be the grandfather of stealth aircraft technology. Note these models which he helped design - the U-2, A-12 Oxcart, SR-71 Blackbird, and F-117 Nighthawk during his career with Lockheed Aircraft Co’s famous “Skunk Works”. Trained as an engineer and physicist, Mr. Lovick enjoyed a successful 50 year career with Douglas Aircraft, Northrop and Lockheed. He received Lockheed’s Robert E. Gross Award for technical excellence as an outstanding Scientist/Engineer in 1981. He lives in Northridge with his wife Sherre, and his hobbies include flying, travelling and playing trombone in a Los Angeles Valley College jazz Big Band. He is the author of the recently published book, “Radar Man: A Personal History of Stealth”.
Looking back to the end of World War II, we learn that Stalin had big plans to expand their empire, beginning with taking over Europe and even thinking about absorbing the U.S. This was not news, but the problem was that we had very little idea what he planned to do. Our on-the-ground intelligence wasn’t very effective, and it became obvious that we had to expand our aerial surveillance to get a better idea of what the Soviets were planning. We began to develop this idea starting in 1954. Basically, we wanted to overfly Soviet territory, taking off from Turkey, and exiting their airspace in Norway. Naturally, the Russians didn’t want this to happen.
The program of high level overflights was based on flying so high that our aircraft were out of reach of the Soviet air defense system. Our first practical aircraft was the U-2, which was designed to fly up to 2,000 miles per hour, at altitudes approaching 70,000 feet - some 14 miles above the earth. Weight was a major concern, and the preferred material was titanium - the problem being that this material only existed in the USSR. The characteristic of this rare metal was that it was half the weight of steel -and while Mr. Lovick didn’t specify how we got titanium, we did find enough to build a few aircraft.
Naturally, the Soviets began to find ways of reaching us at 70,000 feet, so the next target was an aircraft that could operate at up to 90,000 feet - 17 miles about earth. Among the problems that came up was the huge heat that the aircraft generated - about 640 degrees - which had to be reduced to perhaps 80 degrees in the cockpit itself for the pilot to function. This was solved by providing the pilot with a space suit. At the same time, radar visibility was a major issue, and we eventually were able to design surfaces that caused the silhourette to shrink down to what was described as the size of a ball bearing!
We knew the Russians had atomic bombs, but for some time we were of the opinion that they had a major advantage in delivery capacity by large intercontinental bombers. This eventually became a lesser concern, since we learned they did not have very many large bombers, after all, and this was one of the specific advantages of our overflights. During this period, specifically in 1957, Mr. Lovich was invited to join the team at the Skunk Works. He displayed two models of these high level aircraft which they continued to develop.
Edward Lovich, Jr, we thank you for shedding some light on a very high-tech aspect of the Cold War.