McLaren Partner with Skunk Works Supersonic Jet Manufacturer

The partnership between the pair will supposedly focus on aviation development systems and applying them to commercial automotive design....

McLaren have teamed up with supersonic jet manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, to use their technology on their upcoming supercars. 

Skunk Works is the advanced engineering branch of Lockheed Martin which has designed numerous military aircraft, including the SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117 Nighthawk “Stealth Fighter”. Not only those, but Skunk Works are responsible for NASA’s recent Orion spacecraft, the F-35 Lighting and F-22 Raptor fighter jets. 

The project will supposedly focus on Skunk Works’ aviation development systems and applying them to automotive design. As McLaren put it, “[Skunk Works’] pioneering software sets the parameters for high-speed systems more accurately and swiftly than traditional design methods.”

So McLaren and Skunk Works scientists and engineers will work together to test how their software could be used commercially in automotive design. 

Chief Technical Officer of McLaren Automotive, Darren Goddard, said, “Working alongside an iconic company such as Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, renowned for their visionary focus on the future, is a natural fit. We hope this is the start of a longer and deeper collaboration that will benefit our customers in the long-term.”

Additional benefits are theorised to include innovative aerodynamics, the use of composite materials and lightweight alloys, digital pilot displays, and drive-by-wire controls. 

You may have seen Skunk Works conceptual Darkstar hypersonic aircraft in Top Gun: Maverick. In the promotional images for the partnership, you can see the Darkstar behind the McLaren Artura. 

Maybe we will see a supercar with wings? 

For more, check out the world’s first hydrogen powered jet engine from Rolls-Royce.


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