Three Air Force F-105 Thunderchief aircraft, en route to bomb military targets in Vietnam, “pull up” to a flying Air Force “gas station.” The refueling aircraft is an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker, January, 1966.
Let me just make a quick summary, from the perspective of the people at Lockheed:
“Hey, remember when took a ground-based bomber and tried to turn it into a carrier-based interceptor?”
“Yep, it was an expensive piece of crap that never properly worked, and was cancelled after millions of dollars where wasted on it”
“And remember when we took a purebred attack plane with just one engine and forced it into the fighter-bomber role?”
“Oh yes, it got shot down so much while attempting to dogfight that eventually the USAF forced her retirement, as she was no longer considered combat-effective”
“Well, hear me out of this: What if we combine both ideas, add Stealth, and sell it to all american aerial branches and mayor allies! I mean, two negatives make a positive, right?”
“AND add VTOL!”
“Joe… YOU’RE A GENIUS!”
And so, the most expensive military development program was born, it’s years late and still not ready, it has made Lockheed literally a mountain of cash, and pretty much chained america’s air power to it for the next 30 years.