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It is noted that the word “therefore” in line 7, page 4, of the bill, apparently is intended to be “therefor.” Section 5 refers to a consulting committee of 12 members but it provides for the appointment of 13 members. In line 2, page 12, of the bill, the words “36 periods” presumably are intended to be “36-month periods." Sincerely yours,
LINDSAY C. WARREN, Comptroller General of the United States.
STATEMENT OF E. BURKE WILFORD IN SUPPORT OF S. 2984 Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is E. Burke Wilford, and I was chairman of the Convertible Aircraft Congress held in Philadelphia, December 9, 1949. At that time about 150 engineers representing all phases of the aircraft industry were present, and a resolution was passed as follows:
“Whereas, fixed wing airplanes can fly fast, far, and carry heavy loads, and the helicopter can take off and land in any kind of weather and in restricted areas, but lacks high speed performance, and
“Whereas an efficient combination of the flying qualities of the two types would be of great use to the armed services and to the commercial aviation of the United States, and to safety and usefulness of flying in general, the First Convertible Aircraft Congress feels it to be its duty and
“Resolved, To call attention of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the Armed Forces, the Research and Development Board, the NACA, the CAB, and the CAA to the need of the immediate development of this type, and recommends to the President, the Budget Bureau, and Congress that at least $10,000,000 of the national research development funds be allocated to private experimenters, universities, and industrial organizations who can devote their main energies and the greater part of their time to perfecting the most promising configurations of this type of aircraft."
It is to be noted that $10,000,000 of the national research development funds was estimated to be necessary to bring convertible aircraft through its development period. The time element was not included in the resolution but would require from 3 to 5 years. It was therefore suggested that bill S. 2984 be used to bring about this fundamental improvement in the art of flight.
It is the writer's belief that not only would the commercial and private flying interests in aviation be enthusiastic for such a program, but would also have the support of all the Air Services of the Department of Defense.
It is also to be noted that in the combining of the helicopter and the airplane, it can be done most reasonably under the auspices of the Civil Aeronautics Administration. When machines have been developed of sufficient size for private flying, they will find ready use in the liason work of the Army, the Air Corps, and the Navy. It is of the utmost importance that this work be started this year, and bill S. 2984 appears to be a good way of accomplishing this important inprovement.
BOEING AIRPLANE Co.,
Seattle, Wash., May 31, 1950. Hon. EDWIN C. JOHNSON, Chairman, Committee on Foreign and Interstate Commerce,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR JOHNSON: This will acknowledge and reply to your letter of May 19, 1950, to Mr. William M. Allen, relative to the position of the Boeing Airplane Co. on several aspects of the various proposed legislative bills now being considered in connection with accelerating development and availability of advanced type United States aircraft.
As a member of the aircraft manufacturing industry, we endorse the statement of Admiral DeWitt C. Ramsey given before your committee on May 9, 1950. Of all the spccific bills which have been proposed, S. 3504 shows the best promise of offering immediate and constructive action. However, we wish to reaffirm Admiral Ramsey's views that “we should not hold any extravagant hopes for the accomplishments of S. 3504. It is only a partial solution to the challenge of the British. This challenge can be met fully only by a comprehensive prototype procurement program.”
I have just returned from a visit to Europe during which I contacted several British aircraft manufacturers and most of the European airlines and it is my opinion that the British aircraft industry are ahead of us and will capture some of our foreign transport airplane market because they have turbine-powered airplanes developed and available and not because of superior design.
While the provisions of S. 3504 are acceptable as a limited-purpose program, it cannot hope to achieve the full measure of results necessary for reestablishing American leadership unless a fully considered procurement program is integrated as a part of the over-all process.
Regarding your inquiry whether or not our company will seek and accept Government funds for the operation, testing, or modification of aircraft in the event this program is adopted, this will depend upon specific circumstances. If future business prospects leading toward firm production orders are developed by our company for a type of airplane design eligible in one of the specific categories defined in S. 3504, we would expect to request participation in one of the test programs being considered by the bill.
The reference letter also requested comment on the specific budgetary requirements set forth in the attachment furnished therewith. The allocation outlined therein appear to be reasonable for the purpose intended.
In conclusion, I feel that in addition to the provisions of S. 3504 there remains much to be desired in the concept, formation, establishment, and achievement of an assistance program that would adequately insure the desired acceleration of leadership by the American air transport and aircraft manufacturing industries. Very truly yours,
BOEING AIRPLANE Co.,
LOCKHEED AIRCRAFT CORP.,
Washington, D. C., June 1, 1950. Senator Edwin C. Johnson,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR JOHNSON: I want to acknowledge and thank you for your letter of May 20, posing several questions relative to the prototype development and testing legislation currently before Congress. Your letter arrived in Burbank during my absence from the city and has just reached me.
Your first question is whether our company will seek and accept Government funds for the operation, testing, or modification of aircraft in the event the prototype testing bill is adopted.
As stated in my letter to you of May 9 regarding this subject, the Lockheed Co. believes S. 3504, although not a full solution, is a sound approach to the problem of advanced-tv pe prototype development. If enacted, and if our company develops new aircraft of the eligible type, we doubtless would avail ourselves of the aid provided in this legislation. However, our utilization of Government aid must be contingent on the terms under which such aid is offered and since such terms are not defined in the bill, it is not possible for us to give a categorical answer in this respect.
With reference to our views on other prototype bills pending before your committee, I again refer you to my letter of May 9, in which I expressed the conviction that advanced-type transport-prototype development should be undertaken by the military services on the same basis that they sponsor the development of fighters and bombers. I also stated our conviction that unless the development of transports can be justified on a national security basis there is strong doubt as to the propriety of spending public funds for this purpose. To spend Government funds for transport development on any other basis would make the aircraft industry unduly subject to Government controls and even place it in jeopardy of ultimate nationalization. Therefore, to answer your question directly, we do not favor any of the prototype bills currently before your committee except S. 3504.
Inasmuch as comment on the specific budgetary requirements set forth in the attachment to your letter will require careful analysis, I must delay comment until my return to Burbank, at which time I will discuss the subject with our technical people.
I wish again to express my appreciation of your interest in this subject which is so important to the American aviation industry, and to thank you for your courtesy in giving me this opportunity to comment. Very truly yours,
LOCKHEED AIRCRAFT CORP.,
Wood-Ridge, N. J., June 2, 1950Hon. E. C. Johnson, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR JOHNSON: This will reply to your letter of May 19 in which you ask that we advise you for the record whether or not Curtiss-Wright will seek and accept Government funds for the operation, testing, or modification of aircraft as provided in S. 3504 if it is enacted.
You also ask our views on other prototype legislation, mentioning specifically S. 237, S. 426, S. 2301, S. 2984, and S. 3507.
To answer your first question, Curtiss-Wright Corp. and its operating divisions, Wright Aeronautical Corp., Curtiss Propeller Division, and Curtiss Airplane Division, are strongly in favor of the immediate enactment of S. 3504. Our endorsement is based on the conviction that this type of assistance is urgently required if the United States is to retain its competitive position in commercial air transportation, and that the plan of operation contemplated in the bill will be both sound and effective.
We are not, on the other hand, similarly impressed by the other bills, feeling that, while the objectives are worthy, the plans themselves leave something to be desired.
As you have also requested, we have examined the budgetary requirements as set forth in the attachment to your letter and find no important defects in the details of the estimates. It does seem, however, that the scope of the testing program is quite limited and that a great deal more study and discussion will be required to establish what aircraft, power plants, and other features and accessories are to be tested if the benefits of the legislation are to be fully realized. Yours very truly,
R. T. HURLEY.
Indianapolis, May 31, 1950. Hon. E. C. Johnson,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: On May 19, 1950, you wrote to me with reference to bills S. 3504, S. 237, S. 426, S. 2301, S. 2984, and S. 3507, all of which I assume pertain to aircraft as related to interstate and foreign commerce.
I have read Admiral D. C. Ramsey's testimony concerning S. 3504 and concur with it. It should be emphasized that I feel that the passage of this bill will be a constructive measure, but that it is far from a complete answer to the problem or to the competition of the British, whose Government has gone so much further than this bill contemplates.
You specifically asked me to advise whether or not our company will seek and accept Government funds for the operation, testing, or modification of aircraft in the event that the program outlined in S. 3504 is adopted. The Allison Division of General Motors Corp. does a great deal of development and production work for and in cooperation with the armed services. We would not hesitate to cooperate with a Government agency under such a bill as S. 3504, although details of the contractual arrangement might affect the extent to which either party-would be willing to go.
With further reference to the question discussed in the previous paragraph, some months ago the Allison Division purchased with our own funds, a Convair 240 to be equipped with Allison type T38 turbo-prop engines. Our plan contemplates proof-testing this airplane by our own organization and at our own expense. When we are satisfied that we have a reliable, dependable, and valuable engine we then expect to offer the airplane to various manufacturers and airlines who desire to make additional tests. Quite possibly the work we have already planned will be sufficient to prove the value of this project. On the other hand, it is also possible that a cooperative program under S. 3504 might prove desirable at some later date.
Your letter asked that I state categorically whether we endorse or disapprove the enactment of S. 3504. I definitely hope that the bill will be passed and that this plan will be made available.
Your letter asks for comments concerning the budget plan for S. 3504. The outline which you furnished appears quite reasonable, and I believe that this is a good division of funds among the various projects.
I am not sufficiently familiar with the other bills mentioned in your letter to justify my expressing an opinion. Yours sincerely,
E, B. NEWILL, General Manager,
. Longview, Wash., May 31, 1950. Mr. EDWARD C. SWEENEY, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, United States Senate,
Washington, D. C. · DEAR MR. SWEENEY: The enclosed data sheet will convey the general details of our “flying automobile” called the Aerocar. You will note that the machine is in reality a complete, conventional automobile which has an accessory, which when attached, makes the automobile into an aircraft. This accessory further is mobile as a trailer behind the automobile for highway travel. The automobile itself has all the features and performance of comparable conventional machines. It is not a roadable airplane as so many previous such machines have been. The auto portion may of course be operated without the encumberence of the trailer. These features make our machine entirely unlike other roadables, since the owner may land at some convenient point during his flight; fold the flight component, and continue his journey down the highway in the event of bad weather. The arrangement further permits the owner to store the entire vehicle in his garage at home. Since the automobile has been designed and is useable as a conventional automobile, it may be used as such 6 days a week if the owner only wants to use it as an aircraft 1 day a week. For that matter, it can be used as an automobile 365 days a year if desired.
We believe that the utility offered by our machine will overcome the objections of the public to present-day aircraft, and will open the market for widespread use of private aircraft. This machine now exists and is being demonstrated. We have had the full cooperation of the NACA in its aeronautical development, and it embodies everything the NACA can suggest as being applicable to such a machine in the light of the present state of the aeronautical arts. The NACA has recently reviewed the machine and concur with our decisions.
The CAA has further cooperated in every way in this development and we have had the benefit of their suggestions, recommendations, and other data during its development, and testing. The test program has resulted in our determining that the problems of a “flying automobile” are far different than those of a conventional aircraft. For instance, we were able to build a chassis structure which passed the CAA drop tests and other strength tests without difficulty. This chassis was then completed and put on the road only to find out that it failed all along the line. This is comparable with trying to taxi a conventional aircraft 200 miles. I doubt that there is a single certificated aircraft existing today that could be taxied 200 miles continuously down an average highway without failure of some part of the landing gear. Add to this the possibility, and the necessity, of traveling on many unimproved roads with an automobile, and you can begin to get some idea of the problems that are presented to the development of a practical "flying automobile.” Likewise, we find that people are already familiar with automobiles and aircraft and instead of trying to introduce a machine which is competing with a model T Ford and a Wright model B, we must offer a machine which will meet the public's requirements for a Piper Pacer and a V-8 Ford. Millions have gone into the developments that have led to these modern machines and our machine must supply these same convenience and performance standards. Since the CAA's certification requirements are not appropriate for certifying a “flying automobile" and we have demonstrated that fact by our own experiences, the CAA has decided that they cannot set down a certification requirement for a “flying auto" until someone has built one and demonstrated what the requirements are for such a machine. This is of course the difficulty with trying to certify development work, and we have had absolutely no trouble, but in fact, the finest cooperation from the CAA in this regard. Therefore we are unable to understand the claims of a few who are doing a lot of hollering about the ATC business holding up development. The CAA has told us to go ahead and build and sell a few machines for service test and demonstration. They say “we prefer to break clean on this matter,” and we are now trying to raise the required finances to permit us to build and sell a few machines.
It is at this point in our program that we have been watching the progress of S. 2984. We do not believe that it is necessary for the Government to tell us what is required or to set any development specifications. We don't believe that specifications could be set for a "flying automobile" until one was built. The ĈAA has agreed with us on this matter. Similarly, we don't believe that a council of experts could set up the specifications for an improved personal aircraft other than to say in effect, make one that performs on the road like a Buick and flies like a Bonanza. We have already done that, and after reviewing the practical problems of such a development have set out sights on making the auto portion more like a Crosley and the aircraft performance like an Ercoupe. Further we are perfectly aware of the possibilities in this regard, and we know how to improve the machine we now have so .that eventually we will have the Buick-Bonanza model. This is a matter of time and experience. We can further incorporate all of the features of a Bell helicopter so that the machine could meet the full requirements of the dream machine Mr. Crocker Snow mentioned in his testimony. We know more about this problem than probably anyone in the world at this point (and we don't intend that in any other way than just a matter of fact).
Accordingly, we are not sympathetic to the idea of S. 2984 in its effort to stimulate thinking. However, there is definitely a need for the other consideration of S. 2984, and that is the matter of finance for development. We have spent 2 years searching every possible source for the money to carry our project on. I doubt that you could suggest any possible way of finding the finance required that we have not already investigated. These include every big investment house and many small ones; the big and small banks; the RFC; the big and small existing aircraft companies; the development syndicates, individuals who have fortunes, and small people who have only $100 to put into such a program and the industry we know it can be. We have written to Congressmen, politicians, industrialists, and everyone else we can get a "lead” on without success. The present tax structure for the country makes it impossible to raise “venture capital” for a new industry in the United States as far as something new in aviation is concerned. The only possibility would be for us to sell out to some existing company that already has the capital. This would mean that as an individual who has tried to start a new industry, I would sell my “birthright,” and after the taxes I would pay, I wouldn't even realize good wages for the trouble I have gone to for the past 5 years. Therefore, I am not about to sell out to some big company unless the offer came in in the eight-digit bracket. That is, of course, impossible, so it looks like I am going to have to struggle through as best I can Meanwhile, I believe the Government could do some real good along these lines by offering financial assistance to new development rather than trying to set specifications and merely competing with individual enterprise. A lot of people like myself could get behind something like that and it could be put over.
I hope you don't mind the frankness of this letter, but the very statements of your own letter indicate that there is a terrible lack of understanding of the problems involved in development. Many of the facts I have stated here, such as the problems of certification, have been stated in the press in articles regarding the Aerocar. Despite this publicity, no one seems to understand the problems. This is particularly alarming when a professional Senate committee staff member has not been able to get the story until now. We most certainly commend you on your at least searching for the true picture, and we hope we have been able to convey in words some idea of the situation as we see it. I do believe you will agree that when I can drive an automobile up in front of the Congress after flying it across the country, that the need for a more useful aircraft is not so great. However, if one of the Senators should want to buy one, I am afraid that I am unable to tell him how we could build one for him unless he paid for it in advance and then waited 8 or 9 months until we get it built. Legislation to cure that problem is what is required. Shape your bill up along those lines and you will be accomplishing what is required in the problem of improving private aviation.
Please excuse the informal and perhaps assuming nature of this letter. I hope you will receive it in the manner intended. It is difficult to convey such thoughts by mail, and since finances make it necessary for me to be my own steno, typist, etc., I am sure you will understand my position. I only hope that the thoughts of this letter get heard by some of the people who are charged with the responsibility of getting something done. If we can add further to your research and eventual action, please do not hesitate to call on us again. Sincerely yours,
MOULTON B. TAYLOR,
President, Aerocar, Inc.