- Upon graduation with a master's degree in thermodynamics
from UCLA, Ben Rich was hired by Lockheed. In December 1954, Rich was
sent to the secret research and development Skunk Works section run by
Lockheed. Later was program manager for the SR-71 Blackbird propulsion
system. The idea to paint the high-speed aircraft's skin black, to help
dissipate the tremendous frictional heat, was Rich's. He championed the
early prototypes of stealth technology and led the development of the
F-117 stealth fighter.
- Ben Rich, stated during a 1993, Alumni Speech
- "We already have the means to travel among the stars,
but these technologies are locked up in black projects and it would take
an Act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity...Anything you
can imagine, we already know how to do."