Post Ww2 Aircraft Manufacturing Problems

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Submitted By akjcat
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Aviation Manufacturing Challenges Post World War II
Jason Weber
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Aviation Manufacturing Challenges Post World War II
I. Summary
The American aviation industry was in an uncertain era post World War II (WW2). Aircraft manufacturers were suffering large loses as the demand for planes dropped sharply and the market was flooded. This created more supply than demand. Manufactures expected government sales to decline and braced for it. They hinged their hopes on the need for commercial aviation transportation which never came to fruition (Bright, 1978). The resurgence for the industry came in the form of the jet engine. The Navy, being conservative and resistant to change, did not see the need for the jet engine. Unlike the Air Force, the Navy had not encountered jet engine aircraft in combat yet. The Air Force in pursuit of superior air power and national security, was the greatest catalysts in aircraft advancements post WW2 (Converse, 2012). As advancements in the jet engine evolved, aircraft were flying faster and further. The need for stronger structural parts meant the need for new manufacturing techniques (Bright, 1978).
II. Problem The problem is that airframe manufacturing was lagging behind the needs set forth by the evolving jet engine. The industry used hand crafting techniques that according to Bright (1978), “In the all-metal piston-engine era, the aircraft industry called itself the "tin benders" (Production: The Payoff, para 2). That is, the lower powered subsonic aircraft of the time required a lighter monocoque airframe, resulting in metal fatigue issues.
III. Significance of the Problem The significance of the problem is that the current manufacturing techniques could not make airframes strong enough to support the power or high speeds of jet engine flight (Bright, 1978). According to Bright (1978),…...

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