The following three items were written at the height of the YF-17 Prototype design. Walt Fellers was the Chief Designer of, what was then known as the "Cobra". Although the prototype was designed and built by Northrop, the company was forced to become the chief sub-contractor for the final F-18; the prime being McDonell Douglas (the Navy's choice, as Northrop had no Carrier-born experience). The Prototype design phase was performed by a team of Northrop engineers in a particularly intensive effort, (including many Walt Fellers design revisions along the way), prior to the final award of the F-18 contract.



The chief said, “Now, listen up men.
“I’ve made fifty changes, but then -
“If you work six at ten
“I can change it again,
“And again, and again. and again!”

A company man it is said,
Will give of himself ‘til he’s dead.
But this sixty hour shit
Just won’t help one bit!
The company’s gone off its head!

A forty-eight work week is tough.
And at fifty five hours it gets rough.
But with a sixty hour week
You’ve gone past your peak.
Enough is enough is ENOUGH!

We know that the job’s to be done,
And it seems that we’ve not yet begun.
But the management laughed
As they gave us the shaft,
Saying, "Work it for free, and have fun!"


If this project’s not to fade,
Some decisions must be made.
So we’ll DECIDE to set a date
On which we can PROCRASTINATE!

Shall we do it? Maybe yes -
Or maybe no. One can but guess
At the answers we would find
If we took a look behind
The vacilations that are made,
Because his conscience is afraid
To make a stand, come wind or rain
And never change his mind again!


Mr. Fellers, Mr. Fellers!
Just what are you trying to tell us?
Will this super proposition
Ever beat the opposition?
And, if it does, can we expect a raise in pay?

Well, we’ve made all our decisions,
And there’ll be no more revisions.
This aircraft is a winner all the way.
Who cares if the Air Force chose it?
Northrop’s got a way to use it -
(We may build a bigger version some fine day).

This is a work of love,
And ones thoughts should be above
Such things as money and a raise in pay.
For, if you can be inventive
Without a cash incentive,
You may grow to be a Project Chief some day.

Though from O.T. we are tired,
You’ve just made us feel inspired -
For now we see the error of our way.
In order to succeed
We must earn less than we need.
So, Mr. Fellers, can we have a cut in pay?