From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 Nighthawk, and the F-22 Raptor. Currently its main project is the F-35 Lightning II, which will be used in the air forces of several countries. Production is expected to last for up to four decades. The name “Skunk Works” was taken from the moonshine factory in the comic strip “Li’l Abner.”
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 and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects.