페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

planes and executive-type aircraft. The discussion dealt not only with the specific proposals of S. 2984 but with historic efforts by Government to bring about the production of aircraft of improved design. The merits and weaknesses of the aircraft industry in production of better light planes were considered, also the implications of greater Government participation in determination of light aircraft design.

The meeting declined to endorse S. 2984 or any other particular bill, but it was voted unanimously that it was the view of the society that whatever prototype bill may be finally passed by Congress should include provision for personal aircraft.

While we appreciate your kind invitation to appear for 15 minutes of testimony, we do not believe that we should take the committee's time needlessly. We, therefore, wish to limit our comment to the above statement and respectfully request that it be included in the record of the hearings. We undoubtedly could have given a more detailed reply if we had had longer time for study and comment.

However, whenever we can assist you or your committee with data on anything related to aviation training or the sale or repair of aircraft, we shall be glad to try to dig up factual information on any matter within the scope of our members' activities just as completely as time permits. Respectfully yours,

WAYNE WEISHAAR, Secretary. The CHAIRMAN. The next witness is Mr. Joseph T. Geuting, Aircraft Industries Association.

STATEMENT OF JOSEPH T. GEUTING, JR., MANAGER, PERSONAL

AIRCRAFT COUNCIL, AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC.

Mr. GEUTING. Senator Johnson, Senator Brewster, Mr. Sweeney, Mr. Davis, my name is Joseph T. Geuting, Jr., and I am the manager of the Personal Aircraft Council of the Aircraft Industries Association, and I am appearing here today on behalf of that council.

I am addressing myself essentially and only to S. 2984.

The Personel Aircraft Council is composed of those engine and airframe manufacturers primarily concerned with the production of personal or executive aircraft and which, in 1949, produced approximately 80 percent in dollar value of all personal airplanes in the United States.

The engine-manufacturing members of this council produced approximately 85 percent of the engines for this class of airplanes. Our membership has been individually polled and unanimously concur in feeling that bill S. 2984 should not be enacted and that it would do more harm than good in reaching the goals it is intended to achieve.

The proponents of this bill claim that because of (1) lack of sufficient recent technical progress, (2) the unprofitable experience of many companies in the personal-plane business, and (3) the downward curve of annual sales, a new Government board made up of three important department heads not directly interested in the manufacture of personal planes, advised by a committee from some of the existing organizations and the public, will be able to direct the expenditure of Government funds in a manner to provide aircraft which will immediately be purchased in large quantities by the public.

After study, we in the industry feel that à careful appraisal of facts at hand indicate that this line of action will not accomplish the desired aims. The bill at first directs that a survey be made for the requirements for aircraft design for industrial or personal use and

adaptable for military service. A study of past surveys in the aircraft industry is indeed disillusioning as to their value. If desired or if you desire we will be glad to supply the committee with survey after survey conducted in the past 10 years, including the CAA's estimates of the future based on their surveys in 1945 through 1947. - Twice before in our industry history careful studies have been made by leading aeronautical figures and attempts have been made to design the airplane which would immediately receive broad public acceptance. In 1929 the Guggenheim Foundation combined with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics offered a prize of $100,000 for the airplane that would give the best combination of slow-speed and high-speed performance. That competition was won by the Curtiss Tanager, built by one of the largest airplane companies in the United States at that time, and while the airplane did a phenomenal job of flying both slow and fast, it was never successfully marketed.

Senator BREWSTER. Could you give the reasons for that?

Mr. GEUTING. We feel that whereas the requirements that were met were such that the airplane produced much utility, that the cost problems that were involved actually did not make it the useful airplane for the people who could buy it that it was intended to be, in that they were able to satisfy their needs with other types of aircraft which could be produced at much less cost.

The competition is always a large spur toward anything, and public demand, at the såme time, and if the public had really demanded that

Senator BREWSTER. They overestimated the importance of that combination of factors. · Mr. GEUTING. That, I think, is correct.

Again about 1934, Eugene L. Vidal, at that time Director of the United States Bureau of Air Commerce, with the best available technical advice used Government funds to contract and have built the airplane which they envisioned would put the American public in the air. Again history proved the enterprise a dismal failure. The important fact must be recognized that a product does not always make a market, and I think here, Senator Brewster, that emphasizes the question that you asked just before, and we feel a logical examination will convince this committee that the action proposed in bill S. 2984 will not accomplish the aims intended.

In studying the downward sales curve in the years following the war two things have an important bearing on the actual figures and we think should not be overlooked. First, following the war there was a pent-up demand for new airplanes which had been completely unavailable to the public throughout the war period and there was a pent-up purchasing power for those airplanes. Second, the Veterans Bureau advises they spent $233,000,000 $40,000,000, incidentally, of which was for subsistence) for aviation training between the end of the war and December 29, 1947, and shortly thereafter announced drastic reductions in this program. Both of these conditions had a marked effect on total sales of the industry and, combined, we feel they are the honest answer to the sales curve, and I think this is important. Would not these items influence the sales curve in any business?

The proponents of this bill visualize it as able to accomplish fantastic progress indicating its passage would result in the answer to the

[ocr errors]

dream of airplanes that will rise and descend vertically or nearly so and still have excellent forward speed performance and most important, indicating that these could be developed in a relatively short period and at low development cost and to sell within a practical price range for the average citizen. Is it possible that the services, the military services--the Army, Navy, and Air Force-have overlooked these performance goals in their search for the latest and the finest airplanes regardless of price, or is it not true that in years of development they have been unable as yet to accomplish what is visualized by the proponents of this bill? And is it not true that the services have sought these same performance characteristics particularly in connection with ship-based aircraft?

Is it not therefore true that (1) regardless of how much money the CAA might be granted toward this it would be necessary for them to start from the same foundations and with the same aeronautical data now available to industry engineers, (2) would not the CAA have to abide by its own rules and regulations governing design and manufacture else the result could not be certificated by their own organization and, (3) if to achieve something new in design the CAA were to. revise its regulations then could not the same thing be done for the industry without the need of Federal subsidy?

Further, in the opinion of the industry should this bill be approved there would be considerable publicity given to the fact that the Government experts were going to build a phenomenal new airplane: and it is difficult to foresee anything except an immediate and very severe sales slump which would further seriously handicap the industry and do great harm instead of good. In fact, the passage of this bill would mean, in our opinion, virtually the nationalization of the personal aircraft industry in the United States.

So in view of its investigation, therefore, the Personal Aircraft Council, comprised of Beech Aircraft Corp., Wichita, Kans.; Bellanca Aircraft Corp., New Castle, Del.; Cessna Aircraft Co., Wichita, Kans.; Continental Motors Corp., Detroit, Mich.; Lockheed Aircraft Corp., Burbank, Calif.; Lycoming-Spencer Division of AVCO Manufacturing Corp., Williamsport, Pa., Piper Aircraft Corp., Lock Haven, Pa.; and Ryan Aeronautical Co., San Diego, Calif., wishes to go on record as unanimously opposed to the enactment of Senate bill Š. 2984.

Gentlemen, I thank you very much.

Senator BREWSTER. What do you figure operating costs on your twin-engined plane to be?

Mr. ĞEUTING. Sir, I do not understand the question.

Senator BREWSTER. What do you figure your operating costs on your twin-engined planes, in general?

Mr. GEUTING. I do not have them at my fingertips, but I will be glad to send them up to you. I will see that they come up to you promptly.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, sir. Our next witness is Cyril C. Thompson, executive director, Airport Operators Council, Washington, D. C. Mr. Thompson?

STATEMENT OF CYRIL C. THOMPSON, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,

AIRPORT OPERATORS COUNCIL · Mr. THOMPSON. Senator, I am appearing here for Mr. A. B. Curry, who was unavoidably delayed, and who is president of the Airport Operators Council, to make a brief statement on S. 3504. .

The members of the Airport Operators Council feel very strongly that legislation such as proposed in S. 3504 will aid the civil air carriers directly and the civil airport operators indirectly by encouraging the procurement and operating of larger aircraft fleets. Furthermore, larger civil aircraft fleets in day and night operation, testing and proving new types of engines and improved transport aircraft, as well as developing related maintenance techniques, would be a major contribution to pational defense.

The owners and operators of the terminal-type airports now serving the Nation's air carriers are trustees of the largest financial stake in air transportation, a public investment of approximately $2,000,000,000. Members of the Airport Operators Council today provide the airport landing, terminal, and hangar area facilities that serve more than half of the Nation's users of scheduled airline service. Council members face the fact that the Federal airport program cannot be carried through to completion unless the State, county, and municipal sponsors of civil airports find a way to provide the millions of dollars in matching funds that make potent the Federal Airport Act.

The adaptation of airport facilities to aircraft is now so costly and complex as to make mandatory the reversal of the time-honored custom of building the airplane and then building the airport to take care of the aircraft. Such limitations as are imposed by the capacity, load limits, approach characteristics, etc., of the Nation's major airports must be considered and reflected along with cruising speeds, climb characteristics, ton-miles cost, and so forth, in the design of future transport aircraft. The ability to design and fully test newly developed transport aircraft so as to reflect such consideration along with others of equal importance would be greatly aided through the enactment of S. 3504.

Municipalities, and other local government organizations, with some Federal aid, provided the landing fields and pre-World War II civil airports by general obligation bond financing and tax levies. The extreme cost of modern airline airports is causing taxpayer resistance to general obligation bonds as a means of financing airport construction and improvement.

It seems obvious that revenue bonds, with debt-service requirements that must be met on time, will be more generally used in airport development financing. Local communities are increasingly considering the creation of airport operating agencies that have a very limited or no recourse to general tax funds. The trend is definitely toward civil airports that are self-sustaining.

The members of the Airport Operators Council believe that it would be good economy for the Federal Government to encourage, through prototype aircraft legislation, the maintenance of improved transport aircraft in larger operating fleets by the Nation's air carriers. The cost of actually creating a new transport aircraft for civil use is prohibitive for most manufacturers and airlines without Government aid. For example, the DC-6, despite its similarity to the Army's C-54, is said to have cost the manufacturer over $13,000,000 in development costs. Furthermore, it is said that in producing 80 aircraft for sale at an acceptable price, the manufacturer spent $42,000,000 more than the amount received from DC-6 sales and it was estimated that the break-even point would not be reached short of the sale of 300 of these aircraft.

Development costs may never cease in our time and if these costs are not spread over a large number of potential sales, both civil and military, the possibility of getting the price down to reasonable levels for the airline operator is very remote. Development, testing, and proving of equipment in daily operations is important for such promising new aircraft power applications as the turbine-jet or turbine-prop power units.

The members of the Airport Operators Council, striving locally to aid the Federal Government in the successful administration of the Federal Airport Act, strongly urge prototype aircraft legislation such as S. 3504 to encourage the expansion of air carrier service.

While outstanding strides have been made by the air carriers in first-class passenger service, air mail and air express, it is believed that a great potential air traffic is still undeveloped in the air coach, cargo, and air freight fields. There is also believed to be an unknown shorthaul potential traffic that will require specially designed aircraft for civil air carriers; aircraft that may also be highly important as airlift equipment in a national emergency. Council members believe that air carriers will increase the sales effort in undeveloped service areas, when technologically up-to-date aircraft with increased pay-load capacity can be secured at prices free of research and development costs. It is believed that a vastly increased air carrier traffic will be generated to put both airlines and airports in a better financial position. It is believed that a growing volume of air carrier business will provide at large airports the aviation and nonaviation revenues so necessary in providing for the debt service in financing the sponsors' portion of costly airport facilities. Quite as important as the revenue from landing rights, hangar, and office space rentals is the airport nonaviation revenues from restaurants and numerous public service concessions that depend upon traffic flow through busy airline terminals.

The members of the Airport Operators Council believe that the Administrator of Civil Aeronautics is well placed to give thoughtful study to both civil and military transport aircraft requirements in the administration of the provisions of.S. 3504.

The following cities are represented in the Airport Operators Council. There are 28 listed. They are: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Newark, New York, Oakland, Omaha, Denver, Honolulu, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, St. Louis, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, Tampa, Țulsa, Washington.

The CHAIRMAN. We thank you, Mr. Thompson.

Mr. Hugh DeHaven? · Mr. DEHAVEN. Could I testify a little later? I am completing my remarks.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Niels C. Beck, dean, Parks College.

« 이전계속 »