The Jet Makers
The Aerospace Industry from 1945 to 1972
I: World War II: Aviation Comes of Age
II: The Aerospace Industry since World War II: A Brief History
III: The National Military Strategy: Background for the Government Markets
IV: The Principal Government Market: The United States Air Force
V: The Other Government Markets: The Aerospace Navy, the Air Army, and NASA
VI: Fashions in Government Procurement
VII: The Heartbreak Market: Airliners
VIII: Design or Die: The Supreme Technological Industry
IX: Production: The Payoff
X: Diversification: The Hedge for Survival
XI: Costs: Into the Stratosphere
XII: Finance and Management
XIII: Entry into the Aerospace Industry
XIV: Exit from the Aerospace Industry
XV: The Influence of the Jet Engine on the Industry
Considering that aerospace has been the nation's largest industry for nearly all
of the past thirty years, surprisingly little has been written about it. Except
for a few valuable sources, most useful information must be assembled from
fragments scattered through periodicals.
Government publications applicable to the aerospace industry constitute an
enormous field, yet only bits here and there are useful for the historian's
broad view. For example, appropriations hearings for a year selected at random,
1963, fill over 1,000 pages for the Department of Defense and almost 5,000 pages
for NASA. Consequently, government sources were selected rather than exhausted.
The selection was made on the basis of: bibliographies from other useful
sources, subject matter, and recognition in periodicals.
Many pertinent General Accounting Office reports are reprinted in the Hearings
of the Joint Economic Committee.
- Joint Economic Committee
- Subcommittee on Economy in Government, Hearings, Economics of Military
Procurement. Parts 1 and 2, 1968, Report, 1969.
- Subcommittee on Economy in Government, Hearings, The Acquisition of Weapons
Systems. Parts 1 and 2, 1970; Parts 3, 4 and 5, 1972; Part 6, 1973. Senator
William Proxmire's critical investigations of defense procurement.
- Committee on Armed Services, Hearings, Weapons Systems Acquisition
- First and Second Sessions, 1972. A general but searching inquiry into
- Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee, Report. Investigation of the
Preparedness Program. 1952. Criticism of the Korean War mobilization.
- Preparedness Subcommittee Number One, Hearings, Aircraft Procurement.
Contract Award of C-119 Cargo Planes by Air Force. 1953. The inquiry into the
- Subcommittee, Hearings, Military Procurement. 1959. Useful for the mechanics of
- Subcommittee on the Air Force, Hearings, Study of Airpower. 1956. A rambling,
lengthy discussion of many aspects of airpower.
- Committee on Government Operations
- Subcommittee, Hearings, Navy Jet Aircraft Procurement Program. 1956.
The investigation of F3H procurement.
- Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee for Special Investigations
- Hearings, Aircraft Production Costs and Profits. 1956.
An inquiry made too early to be of great use for the period
- Hearings, Study of AF Contract AF 33 (038)-18503 General
Motors Corp.-Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac Assembly Division. 1957.
Investigation of General Motors' profits in manufacturing
OTHER GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS
- Comptroller General, Adverse Effects of Large-Scale Production of Major
Weapons Before Completion of Development and Testing, Department of the Navy.
1970. Analysis of the effectiveness of concurrent development.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Fifty Years of Aeronautical
1967. A useful survey.
- President's Air Policy Commission, Survival in the Air Age. 1948. The
- Aviation Week and Space Technology (Aviation, Aviation Week), New York,
1916-, Weekly, 1945 through 1972. The principal trade journal. Crammed with key
- Business Week, New York, 1929-, Weekly, 1946 through 1972. Excellent
material on industries and individual firms. Gives a broad view of business.
- Flying, New York, 1927-, Monthly, 1946 through 1972. A general aviation
publication but occasionally useful for military or commercial aviation.
- Fortune, New York, 1930--, Monthly, 1946 through 1972. Excellent material
on industries and individual firms.
- Newsweek, New York, 1933-, Weekly, 1946 through 1972. Has occasional
insights into firms and industries.
- Time, New York, 1923-, Weekly, 1946 through 1972. Has occasional insights
into firms and industries.
- U.S. News and World Report, Washington, D.C., 1933-, Weekly, 1946 through
1972. Has informative interviews with key individuals.
- Wall Street Journal, New York, 1889-, Monday through Friday, 1958 through
1972. Excellent material on industries, individual firms and government. Gives a
broad view of business.
- Alchian, A. A., Arrow, K. J., and Capron, W. M. "An Economic Analysis of
the Market for Scientists and Engineers. " RAND Corporation, Research Memorandum
RM-2190-RC, 6 June 1958. The title is an accurate description.
- Asher, Harold. "Cost-Quantity Relationships in the Airframe Industry." RAND
Corporation Study No. R-291, 1956. Details of the learning curve.
- Miller, Thomas G., Jr. "Strategies for Survival in the Aerospace Industry."
Little, 1964. A well-done study soon outdated by the Vietnam War and airliner
- Nelson, R. R. "The Economics of Parallel Rand D Efforts: A
Sequential-Decision Analysis." RAND Corporation No. RM-2482, 12 November 1959.
The case for duplication in development.
- Stanford Research Institute. "The Industry-Government Aerospace
Relationship." Vol. I, "Report." Vol. II, "Supporting Research." SRI Project No.
Menlo Park, California, 1963. Contains significant analyses but partly outdated
by the end of the McNamara era.
- Reguero, Miguel Angel. "An Economic Study of the Military Airframe
Industry." New York University, 1958. The industry as it was in 1958.
- Shin, Tai Saeng. "A Financial Analysis of the Airframe-Turned Aerospace
Industry." University of Illinois, 1969. The application of various financial
test systems to the industry.
- Simonson, Gene Roger. "Economics of the Aircraft Industry." University of
Washington, 1959. Shallow.
- Aerospace Industries Association of America. 1969 Aerospace Facts and
Fallbrook, Calif.: Aero Publishers, 1969. Earlier editions: 1953, 1963-68.
Best source for assembled statistics.
- Armacost, Michael H.
The Politics of Weapons Innovation: The Thor-Jupiter Controversy.
New York: Columbia University Press, 1969. Analysis of procurement
decision process in the fifties.
- Art, Robert J.
The TFX Decision: McNamara and the Military. Boston: Little,
Brown, 1968. Analysis of the changing of the decision process under McNamara.
- Baar, James, and Howard, William E.
New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1960.
Journalistic version of the development of the missile.
- Baldwin, William L.
The Structure of the Defense Market, 1955-1964. Durham,
N.C.: Duke University Press, 1967. Analysis of the industry and its market.
See also Stekler.
- Boeing Company, The.
Pedigree of Champions: Boeing since 1916. 3rd ed.
Seattle, Wash.: The Boeing Company, 1969. Booklet of data on Boeing aircraft.
- Brooks, Peter W.
The Modern Airliner: Its Origins and Development. London:
Putnam, 1961. Valuable perspective.
- Caidin, Martin.
Boeing 707. New York: Ballantine Books, 1959. Mostly an
The Long Arm of America: The Story of the Amazing Hercules Air Assault
Transport and Our Revolutionary Global Strike Forces. New York: E. P. Dutton,
1963. Mostly an operational view.
- Chapman, John L.
Atlas: The Story of a Missile. New York: Harper, 1960.
Similar to Polaris!
- Clayton, James L.
The Economic Impact of the Cold War: Sources and Readings.
New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1970. Useful look at a factor of great
importance to the aerospace industry.
- Craven, Wesley Frank, and Cate, James Lea, eds.
The Army Air Forces In World War II.
Vol. 6, Men and Planes.
Vol. 7, Services Around the World.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955, 1958.
Official history with background to this study.
- Davies, R. E. G.
A History of the World's Airlines. London: Oxford
University Press, 1964. Detailed account with insights.
- Davis, Vincent.
Postwar Defense Policy and the U.S. Navy, 1943-1946.
University of North Carolina Press, 1966. Together with the following book,
provides understanding of Navy actions since World War II.
The Admirals' Lobby. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
- Day, John S.
Subcontracting Policy in the Airframe Industry.
Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, 1956. Definitive
for its time.
- Dempster, Derek D.
The Tale of the Comet. New York: David McKay, 1959. A
- Fitzgerald, A. Ernest.
The High Priests of Waste.
New York: W. W. Norton. 1972.
Impassioned story of a victim of bureaucracy. Excellent account of the mechanics
- Futrell, Robert Frank.
The United States Air Force in Korea, 1950-1953.
New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1961. Official history limited to operations.
- General Dynamics Corp.
Dynamic America: A History of General Dynamics Corporation and Its Predecessor Companies.
Switzerland: Doubleday, 1960. A picture history.
- Hartt, Julian.
The Mighty Thor: Missile in Readiness. New York: Duell,
Sloan and Pearce, 1961. Journalistic.
- Heiman, Grover.
Jet Pioneers. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1963.
- Hesse, Walter J., and Mumford, Nicholas V. S., Jr.
Jet Propulsion for Aerospace Applications.
2nd ed. New York: Pitman, 1964. Engineering text.
- Higham, Robin.
Air Power, A Concise History.
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1972.
Scholarly coverage of all aspects of airpower. Source of the Wave Cycle of
- Hitch, Charles J.
Decision-Making for Defense.
Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1965. This and the following are rationales for introducing economics
into defense management by an architect of the system.
- -, and McKean, Roland N.
The Economics of Defense in the Nuclear Age.
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960.
- Holley, Irving Brinton, Jr.
Buying Aircraft: Materiel Procurement for the Army Air Forces.
Vol. 7 of
Special Studies, United States Army in World War II.
Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 1964. Definitive.
- Hubler, Richard G.
Big Eight: A Biography of an Airplane. New York: Duell,
Sloan and Pearce, 1960. A popular history of the DC-8.
SAC: The Strategic Air Command.
New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1958.
A popular history.
- Hunter, Mel.
Strategic Air Command. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961. A
- Kaufman, Richard F.
The War Profiteers.
New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970.
Sensationalist but with useful insights.
- Kelly, Charles J., Jr.,
The Sky's the Limit: The History of the Airlines.
Coward-McCann, 1963. Useful.
- LeMay, Curtis E., with Kantor, MacKinlay.
Mission With LeMay: My Story.
Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1965. Opinions of the dominant individual in the
Air Force in the period of the study.
- Lilley, Tom; Hunt, Pearson; Butters, J. Keith; Gilmore, Frank F.; and
Lawler, Paul F.
Problems of Accelerating Aircraft Production during World War II.
Boston: Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, 1946.
- Lockheed Aircraft Corp.
Of Men and Stars: A History of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, 1957-1958. Journalistic.
- Mansfield, Harold.
Billion Dollar Battle: The Story Behind the "Impossible" 727 Project.
New York: David McKay, 1965. Very detailed popular history.
Vision: The Story of Boeing. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1966.
An uncritical, detailed popular history.
- Martin, Harold H.
Starlifter: The C-141, Lockheed's High-Speed Flying Truck.
Brattleboro, Vennont: Stephen Greene, 1972. Journalistic.
- Maynard, Crosby, ed.
Flight Plan for Tomorrow: The Douglas Story, A
Condensed History. 2nd ed. Santa Monica, Calif.: Douglas Aircraft Company, 1966.
Very brief text with data on Douglas' aircraft.
- Medaris, J. B.
Countdown for Decision. New York: Paperback Library, 1961,
originally 1960. Army view of the advent of missiles and space.
- Melman, Seymour.
Pentagon Capitalism: The Political Economy of War.
New York: McGraw-Hili, 1970. Sensationalist but contains valuable ideas.
- Miller, Ronald, and Sawers, David.
The Technical Development of Modern Aviation.
New York: Praeger, 1970. Probing and detailed.
- Millis, Walter, with Mansfield, Harvey C., and Stein, Harold.
Arms and the State: Civil-Military Elements in National Policy.
New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1958. Useful for evaluating postwar national strategy.
- Neal, Roy.
Ace in the Hole: The Story of the Minuteman Missile.
Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1962. Journalistic.
- Pace, Dean Francis.
Negotiation and Management of Defense Contracts.
John Wiley and Sons, 1970. Details of the mechanics of contracting with the
- Peck, Merton J., and Scherer, Frederic M.
The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis.
Boston: Graduate School of Business Administration Harvard
University, 1962. Definitive for period covered.
- Polmar, Norman.
Carriers: A Graphic History of Carrier Aviation and Its Influence on World
Events. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969. The roles and development of carrier
- Proxmire, William.
Report from Wasteland: America's Military-Industrial Complex.
New York: Praeger, 1970. Sensationalist but with valuable insights.
- Rae, John B.
Climb to Greatness: The American Aircraft Industry, 1920-1960.
Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1968. A scholarly history, but skimpy for the
period since World War II.
- Reed, Arthur.
Britain's Aircraft Industry: What Went Right? What Went Wrong?.
London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1973. Insights into an industry having similarities
to America's. Journalistic.
- Rees, Ed.
The Manned Missile: The Story of the B-70.
New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1960. Brief, journalistic.
- Reynolds, Clark G.
The Fast Carriers: The Forging of an Air Navy.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968. Evolution of U.S. naval strategy in World War II.
- Rice, Berkeley.
The C-5A Scandal: An Inside Story of the Military-Industrial Complex.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971. Sensationalist.
- Richards, Leverett G.
TAC: The Story of the Tactical Air Command.
New York: John Day, 1961. Journalistic. Emphasis is on operations.
- Rickenbacker, Edward V.
Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1969,
originally 1967. Views of a key leader in the airline industry.
- Ries, John C.
The Management of Defense: Organization and Control of the U.S. Armed Services.
Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins Press, 1964. A criticism of
centralization in the Pentagon.
- Rogow, Arnold A.
James Forrestal: A Study of Personality, Politics, and Policy.
New York: Macmillan, 1963. Valuable for understanding defense policy in the
early postwar years.
- Rutkowski, Edwin H.
The Politics of Military Aviation Procurement, 1926-1934: A Study in the Political Assertion of Consensual Values.
Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1966. Useful as background to subsequent
- Schlaifer, Robert.
Development of Aircraft Engines: Two Studies of Relations between Government and Business
(includes Development of Aviation
Fuels, by S. D. Heron). Boston: Graduate School of Business Administration,
Harvard University, 1950. Definitive on piston and early jet engines.
- Schwiebert, Ernest G.
A History of the U.S. Air Force Ballistic Missiles.
Frederick A. Praeger, 1965. Brief early history of ballistic missiles.
- Serling, Robert J.
The Electra Story.
Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1963.
- Setright, L. J. K.
The Power to Fly: The Development of the Piston Engine in Aviation.
London: George Allen & Unwin, 1971. Brief but useful.
- Schrader, Welman A.
Fifty Years of Flight: A Chronicle of the Aviation Industry in America, 1903-1953.
Cleveland, Ohio: Eaton Manufacturing Company,
Some statistics of worth.
- Smith, Perry McCoy.
The Air Force Plans for Peace 1943-1945.
Johns Hopkins Press, 1970. The best detailed analysis of the views of the Air
Force carried into the postwar era.
- Smith, Richard Austin.
Corporations in Crisis.
Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday,
1963. Reprints of Fortune magazine articles covering some critical periods for
Boeing, Martin, and General Dynamics.
- Stekler, Herman O.
The Structure and Performance of the Aerospace Industry.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965. Valuable analysis of the
industry in the sixties. See also Baldwin.
- Stewart, Oliver.
Aviation: The Creative Ideas.
New York: Frederick A.
Praeger, 1966. Brief but useful.
- Swanborough, F. G.
United States Military Aircraft Since 1909.
London: Putnam, 1963. Aircraft data.
- Truman, Harry S. Memoirs. Vol. 1,
Year of Decisions.
Years of Trial and Hope.
Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1955-1956. Provides information on
postwar defense policy.
- Ulanoff, Stanley M.
MATS: The Story of the Military Air Transport Service.
New York: Franklin Watts, 1964. Sketchy.
- Wagner, Ray.
American Combat Planes.
Rev. ed. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1968. Aircraft data.
- Whitnah, Donald R.
Safer Skyways: Federal Control of Aviation, 1926-1966.
Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1966. Valuable survey of the role of
the FAA in the airline industry.
Who's Who in Aviation, A Directory of Living Men and Women Who Have
Contributed to the Growth of Aviation in the United States, 1942-1943.
New York: Ziff-Davis Publishing, 1942.
This and the following book are somewhat early for this study.
Who's Who in World Aviation and Astronautics. Vol. 2.
Washington, D.C.: American Aviation Publications, 1958.
- Company Annual Reports.
- Letter to Author from Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, 23 May 1973.