"Jim Wilkins" wrote in message news:sjkjp4$hj0$1...@dont-email.me...
If you've been involved in the complexities of military R&D and procurement
that book sheds some light on the situation of the late 1930's when the
Depression and pacifism combined to squeeze military budgets to the
subsistence level, leaving too little to explore the options that rapidly
advancing technology might provide. Clinton's budget was similar, Midnight
Basketball cost me project funding. Later he discovered the god-like power
that advanced electronics could give him, increased spending, and misused it
to blow up the African medicine factory.
1930's military planners were limited to supporting only their best guesses,
which were based on insufficient information and sometimes overly optimistic
claims and untested theories, and they couldn't realistically estimate
whether or not the manufacturers would solve the many issues that delayed
new designs. For example Seversky offered the P-47 in 1937, before its
R-2800 engine had been proven reliable. Instead he was allowed to produce
the P-43 which proved to be an inferior fighter.
We remember only those who got it right amidst a thicket of less successful
Often the breakthroughs depended on recognizing and hiring the right genius,
such as Vladimir Pavlecka, Stanley Hooker, Kelly Johnson and Frank Walker.
At that time engine development consisted of strengthening whatever broke
during tests, the mathematical stress, vibration and fluid dynamics analysis
tools that enabled optimal designs were only just appearing.