Chapter

Military and Commercial Aircraft

Vernon W. Ruttan

in Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195188042
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199783410 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195188047.003.0003
 Military and Commercial Aircraft

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The aircraft industry was unique among modern U.S. manufacturing industries in that a government research and development organization, the National Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), was established prior to U.S. entry into World War I to conduct research on military and commercial aircraft technology and design. NACA made a series of economically important technical and scientific contributions prior to its absorption into the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) in 1958. Demand for military aircraft during the two world wars played an important role in the development of the aircraft industry and in the transition from the piston-propeller to jet aircraft propulsion system after World War II. The development of a mature commercial jet aircraft technology, epitomized by the Boeing 747 wide-bodied jet, was derivative of a series of military contacts for the design and production by Boeing of a series of military transports.

Keywords: research and development; aircraft industry; military aircraft; commercial aircraft; piston-propeller propulsion; jet propulsion; military contracts; wide-bodied jet aircraft

Chapter.  14758 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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