I had to get a work permit to begin nights and weekends at Krohn's Standard service. Krohn had been a carpenter and now had his own business. His previous assistant had helped him change tires on gravel trains to augment his business. The company expected a routine gasoline retail growth with seasonal traffic to the lake 15 miles North.
At last I had a real professional job in California. I was given a seat with a reliability engineer who was a close associate of Donald Douglas Jr and a partner in a 35 foot catmaran with it's designer and the DC-9's chief designer,, Harold Roberts. While waiting to begin work as an operational analyst on military DC-9 applications I was assigned to a USAF support program for project Apollo. A winner. The DC-9 Aeromedical Evacuation application renamed C-9A "Nightingale".was also a winner. Then came suppression of a study of simulation and training for Navigator training and navigator/bombardier training I was cut lose and the program was lost to the boeing T-43 (737). Only Combat Systems had an opening and it was a a bean counter calculating pipeline and attrition for the TA-4J "Skyhawk" Old Don Douglas was ready to call it quits. The company had outlasted the 6 months prediction in 1965 but now it was finished..
The "Skyhawk" was still in production but was going to move to Palmdale. I had no access anymore to the C-9. A new hire hidden in our group to give marketing an extra body began to tutor me about Mechanized warfare. Soviet doctrine was observed in vast array. One weekend we boosted the Hawker-Siddeley based on a UK team that had been working in secret on the floor below. A winner that went to St. Louis and led to the ski-jump carrier..Several boxes of IBM 80 column cards came from St. Louis planning with classifed decks included. This program or model along with the dat had been generated as part of a competitive win on the FX program. McDonnell still had to win the Contract Definition competition to be given a go ahead on the FX. Someone broke into the safe containing the classified decks by prying open the face of a drawer. The programmer accused me of using a crow bar. Nothing was missing. I consulted with the Quickturn project at Huntington Beach as it prepared for a competition called AGILE..Huntington Beach got their deck running first on a CDC-6500. It was about a year later when Long Beach's deck ran on an IBM 360/85. The AGILE was a loss. I really never was able to drop back to support missile test using a DC-10. Large aircraft was going to be the future at long Beach. The AMST was the focus for a clean sweep of Engineering and Production Engineering.
I had hoped to work on the Pegasus license but that was silent. A chance meeting with a female math aid on the shuttle bus to the main plant driven by a pair of Czech refugees led to a all night visit to the test area to witness a J-52-P6 endurance test with a water-cooled camera videotaping the flame. Broad brush studies of various cores applied to reengining of the KC-135 and B-52 led to a loss. I got to see the STABLEMATE documents. An offer came to transfer to Product Support and become a Field Service Representative on the F-100. I took it. That led to intensive workbook and then hands on disassembly and assembly of an (2) at Edwards AFB. A minor dustup about an oversize rivet for the Woensdrecht depot in the Netherlands found me back in the Operations Analysis part of New Engines and this time the work led to the production version of the AMST/ YC-15 being sized and a clipped fan non-optimum JT-9D being seen as best. The only thing left was to prove using a TI-42 with ROCK to upgrade my TI-37 programmable that a supercruiser was not going to intercept supersonic targets at high altitude from ground scramble. Thus I missed out on the much later lift fan work and the JSF engine.