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lack of public acceptance are: (1) Lack of utility, (2) they are difficult to operate, (3) high cost. '
Of these factors, the first and second can be remedied only by further technological advances in the art of flight. Once an aircraft of widespread utility and relative simplicity of operation has been produced, great demand and the attendant advantages of large volume production will permit manufacture at cost within the range of large segments of the population.
Except for sport and certain restricted industrial uses, the lack of utility of contemporary small civil aircraft is due essentially to their inability to fly to points close to the desired destination with ease, convenience and safety, in all but the severest weather. The means of solving many of the problems involved in the production of an aircraft having these desirable characteristics are unknown, either in theory or practice, at present. On the other hand, there are some improvements in the flying characteristics of small aircraft which could be made by applying existing aeronautical knowledge and which await only some energetic developmental work for realization. In some respects, radical changes from existing designs are indicated and therefor extensive, careful and costly experimentation will be required to obtain the desired results. But in the opinion of the writer, if a hypothetical aircraft incorporating all the best features obtainable in the light of present technology were to be constructed, regardless of cost, it would fail to meet the specifications required to gain popularity as a mode of private transportation. Therefor, the portion of the aircraft industry in the United States devoted primarily to the production of light aircraft has been hesitant to embark on long and unremunerative development programs which would yield a product with extremely limited markets, and it has been content to make trivial, inconsequential changes in existing designs. Current research and development in aircraft falls in general into one of two categories:
(1) Projects carried out under contract with the Government. These tend to be highly specialized weapons and other military vehicles not adaptable to private use.
(2) Projects undertaken by small groups or individuals. While some of these may be inherently valuable efforts, they are usually ineffective due to the inadequate facilities and poor resources available.
It should be emphasized that although a long-range program of research will be required to provide a truly useful vehicle for private air travel, any improvement in the flying characteristics of aircraft will find immediate and important application in military uses. It is in the public interest to encourage the light-plane industry to exploit to the fullest extent the means available to enhance the flying characteristics of small aircraft and to promote further investigation leading to the eventual acceptance of air travel as a common method of private transportation.
The writer believes that bill S. 2984 if enacted would provide the assistance needed to stimulate this development and urges its passage by the Congress of the United States. Respectfully submitted.
MARIO A. GUERRIERI.
THE AMERICAN LEGION,
Washington, D. C., May 10, 1950.
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: In connection with the hearings before the Senate Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, on bills providing for prototype aircraft development (S. 237, 426, 2301, 2984, 3504, and 3507), we shall appreciate if you will be good enough to include this communication as a part of your printed hearings on this subject matter.
The American Legion at its national convention held at Philadelphia, Pa., August 29-September 1, 1949, adopted the following resolutions:
[Resolution No. 663] “Whereas current information indicates that the British and Canadians are far ahead of us in the field of jet propulsion for commercial aircraft; be it
“Resolved, That in order to regain American leadership in this field, we recommend and urge the Congress to enact legislation for the development of prototype cargo and transport aircraft by an interdepartmental board of the Government
primarily for commercial use but suitable for military use in the event of an emergency."
(Resolution No. 668] “Whereas, a healthy stabilized aircraft industry is essential during time of emergency and most desirable in time of peace; be it
“Resolved, That the American Legion recommends and urges that the Congress immediately enact legislation to authorize a succession of 5-year programs, reviewable yearly, for research, development, and procurement of aircraft for the Air Force and naval air arm for the purpose of maintaining the industry in a state of production capable of rapid expansion.”
In presenting its report to the Philadelphia National Convention, the convention committee on national security, under the subtitle of “Aeronautics” had the following comment to make:
“Air power is everything within the Nation that has to do with air. It includes air education, commercial transport, private flying maintenance facilities, research laboratories, and the Military Establishment for Air. No nation that merely has airplanes in the hands of professionals can be said truly to possess air power. A nation must also understand air power and its significance.
"The job of the American Legion is to develop that statesmanship of the air within our own ranks. We must recognize that without a healthy aircraft manufacturing industry, a financially stable air transportation industry, and a genuine research program, military aviation cannot be supported.”
In view of the official action taken by our national organization at its last convention, I shall appreciate very much having this letter appear in the permanent records of your committee, in connection with the hearings on the measures above referred to. Thanking you for your courtesy in this matter, I am Very sincerely yours,
Miles D. KENNEDY, Director.
EASTERN AIR LINES, INC.,
New York, May 16, 1950. Hon. EDWIN C. JOHNSON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR: I have received your request to testify before your committee with respect to S. 3504, the prototype development bill submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of Commerce.
It is with regret I am unable to testify before the committee but, as has already been reported to you, I am now engaged in an inspection tour of all the stations on Eastern Air Lines, for which arrangements were made many months ago.
However, I would like to take this opporutnity to give you my views on S. 3504, because as you know, I have been greatly interested in prototype legislation.
This interest has grown out of my concern that the United States not lose its present predominant position in the development and manufacture of transport aircraft.
Developments by foreign manufacturers with which you are familiar should give all of who are interested in this subject a great deal of concern.
I hope your committee will report favorably on S. 3504, and that the bill will pass the Congress during the present session.
In my opinion, the provisions of the bill which authorize the testing of an existing jet aircraft in simulated airline operations! would make a valuable contribution to the eventual design of a good jet air transport.
Also, the funds provided to aid the manufacturers in testing new aircraft will aid in their efforts to develop turbo-prop aircraft. Both of these things are good, and should be done.
We should recognize, however, that the program provided in the bill is so limited that it is unlikely to inspire any manufacturer to gamble the large sums of money required to produce a jet transport prototype, or even a prototype cargo or feeder-line airplane. To that extent, the bill probably does not constitute a complete solution.
Nevertheless, I think that S. 3504 should pass as a good first step; but that the Congress may have to consider this prototype problem again before long. Sincerely,
EDDIE RICKENBACKER, President and General Manager.
STATE OF VERMONT,
Montpelier, May 15, 1950.
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR JOHNSON: I should like to record my personal support of the principles proposed in S. 2984, the Senate prototype bill for light planes.
In common with what I believe to be a vast majority of persons in this country, I am opposed to the general premise of putting the Government at any level in commercial competition with private industry. However, as one who has been familiar with light plane design, use, and operation for many years, I have come to the conclusion that the aircraft'industry of its own initiative is unlikely to deviate significantly from current design, even though no important changes have been made for 20 years.
Since it appears that light plane use will be limited for an indefinite time unless the vehicle itself is improved in its performance characteristics, there now seems to be no alternative from the viewpoint of the user than to turn to new sources for such improvement.
It would appear that the principles incorporated in S. 2984 have taken into consideration the fact that restrictions or limitations to Government activity in this field are necessary, and have thereby limited these operations to those of initial design. This does not appear to be entering a dangerous area of government competition with private industry.
Futhermore, since the desired characteristics of a personal plane are very close to the recognized military requirements for light plane use, such a design would contribute greatly to military adequacy as well as civilian utility.
I trust that this bill will have the advantage of your personal support as well as that of the Committee. Very truly yours,
Edw. F. KNAPP, Director.
STATE OF ILLINOIS,
Springfield, II., May 16, 1950. Hon. Edwin C. JOHNSON,
United States Senator, Senate Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR JOHNSON: I am taking the liberty of submitting to you for consideration, insofar as it may be relevant to action to be taken on S. 2984 (H. R. 7870), industrial and personal aircraft prototype bill, the position of the Department of Aeronautics, State of Illinois, thereon.
This department heartily endorses S. 2984, and earnestly recommends its being reported favorably by and out of the Senate Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee and its subsequent passage.
This endorsement and recommendation is made with the full realization that this bill is not the complete answer to the problem to which it is directed; neither are they predicated on any idea that by virtue of the operation of the provisions of the bill would private design and engineering, initiative and enterprise be supplanted by and centered in the council. Rather, it is conceived that the bill would make it possible for privately conceived design and engineering ideas to be submitted to the council for such testing, findings and conclusions as would otherwise, from the standpoint of the individual financial ability, be precluded.
Only as so conceived and administered does the bill have the endorsement and recommendation of this department, and as so conceived, and administered it has the unqualified endorsement and recommendation of this department. Very respectfully submitted,
JOSEPH K. McLAUGHLIN,
CONSOLIDATED VULTEE AIRCRAFT CORP.,
San Diego, Calif., May 17, 1950. Hon. Edwin C. Johnson,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR JOHNSON: Regarding your letter of May 13, 1950, on the subject of pending prototype legislation, this company is in complete accord with Admiral Ramsey's statement on behalf of the Aircraft Industries Association in support of Senate bill 3504.
This company is at the present time engaged in a program of converting the Convair 240 aircraft to turbo prop power and would certainly avail itself of any financial assistance under Senate bisl 3504 that fits into our turbo program. Sincerely,
LA MOTTE T. Coho.
THE GLENN L. MARTIN Co.,
Baltimore, Md., May 18, 1950. Hon. EDWIN C. JOHNSON,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR JOHNSON: Replying to your letter of May 14, 1950, requesting that we state our company's position with respect to the immediate enactment of S. 3504 or other prototype legislation, we are in full accord with the testimony of Admiral Ramsey on May 9, 1950, before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. Thus, we endorse the enactment of S. 3504 in preference to the other prototype legislation proposals which have come to our attention.
The amount of $385,000 tentatively earmarked for conversion of two Martin, or similar, aircraft to turbo prop power would not, in our opinion, be adequate to cover the total estimated costs of such conversion. Since it is not practicable presently to compile such total estimated conversion costs with assurance, we must defer judgement at this time as to whether we would elect to avail ourselves of the financial assistance contemplated by S. 3504, pending such cost projection relative to our over-all fiscal and credit position, probable market prospects, and other significant factors.
We trust that the foregoing presents clearly the position of our company relative to the enactment of S. 3504, and our attitude in the event such legislation should be enacted. Very truly yours,
C. C. PEARSON, President, The CHAIRMAN. The present hearings will terminate tomorrow. The witnesses are Earl Slick, president, Slick Airlines; and Ray Norden, President of Seaboard' & Western Airlines.
The hearing is adjourned until 10 a. m., tommorrow.
(Whereupon, at 11:20 a. m., the committee was adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a. m., May 17, 1950.)
PROTOTYPE AIRCRAFT DEVELOPMENT
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 1950
UNITED STATES SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON AVIATION OF THE
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10 a. m., in the committee room, United States Capitol Building.
Mr. Davis. The statements of Mr. Raymond A. Norden, president, Seaboard & Western Airlines; Earl F. Slick, president of Slick Airways, Inc.; and John F. Budd, publisher of Air Transportation, were submitted for the record.
(The matter is as follows:) STATEMENT OF RAYMOND A. NORDEN, PRESIDENT, SEABOARD & WESTERN
My company specializes in carriage of air freight across the Atlantic.
I am unable to be present today and have had very little time to study the new bills. My off-hand feeling is that S. 3504 is an inadequate measure and I do not think it should be enacted. I feel that the type of airlift needed for national defense would be more likely to result if your Committee sticks to the principles of S. 237 or S. 3507, perhaps with suitable amendments for better administration as outlined yesterday by Mr. L. P. Marvin, Jr.
The important thing to be done is to provide the country with sufficient airlift for defense.
I will need more time to study the transport-plane bills, and I would like a subsequent opportunity, within about 2 weeks, to comment either in person, or by letter, on the testimony which has been given to you by other witnesses and on the bills themselves.
STATEMENT OF EARL F. Slick, PRESIDENT OF SLICK AIRWAYS, INC. . My name is Earl Slick. I appreciate the opportunity of appearing before this committee.
In general we are in favor, and strongly, of some type of prototype legislation in so far as it may constitute a direct step toward filling an almost emergency need in the Nation's security. The uniformly acknowledged deficit in Ď-day or emergency available air transport is serious and could be disastrous. This deficit cannot be made good by the military in peacetime because of shortage of funds, nor in wartime because of shortage of facilities.
The only answer lies in the well-directed encouragement of the commercial operator to make good this deficit, or close this gap, in peacetime, and thus provide, in existence, and so far as possible, in operation, an immediately available, all-purpose, militarily usable, ready-to-go airlift during the early decisive days of any future war. This poses the question, what form should this encouragement take? The bills under consideration purport to provide answers to this question.
At the outset, and before discussing the particular bills, there is one point which deserves clarification. I have stressed immediate availability of all-purpose aircraft. I am referring of course to all-cargo aircraft which can be used in a pinch, without conversion, for cargo, or for troops and their gear. Contrary to common misunderstanding, it isn't a matter of simply pulling out the plush in a