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Thread: My Mainline Mastery of War Profiteering

  1. #1

    Angry My Mainline Mastery of War Profiteering

    As I assess the grand binding of very important people I have met I knew them not as opportunities but rather as focusses of criticism. This caused me in my use of the Internet to pursue a path that would seem to be far beyond my status. There I was on a rainy day standing in the elevator car of building 18A at Douglas Aircraft's C division headquarters on Lakewood Avenue when a man in a very crisp grey overcoat and steel rimmed glasses gets on. It's James S. McDonnell who has just completed his merger of McDonnell Aircraft with Douglas Aircraft. He looks over and I acknowledge him by saying "Not such a good day for Southern California weather." He maintains his space.

    Now a bit different. I am at the Inertial Guidance Test Symposium which is held at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. I'm shifting my gaze in a room being used for a mixer and I recognize an icon of the industry. It's Dr. Charles Stark Draper, and he is alone and sort of lost in thought and in a far off gaze. I keep my caution. In between I bought a new house in a middle class neighborhood I did not recognize as the same name of where the Wright Brothers demonstrated their Model B to the Army, College Park, East. A Person I meet later says " You are a War Profiteer." The pilots I know at "Top Gun" are buying homes in Rancho Bernardo near San Diego.

    In the early 2000's I look in depth into Thomas Sopwith who was accused and settled down to life on his sailboat "Endeavour." A $42,500 house with a 30 year mortgage purchase in the early 1970's as the Viet War was ending hardly seems in the same league. Then later I find my experience with the Po Lock at Sault Sainte Marie and taconite freighters has and odd tie to Bill Boeing's leaving the company he founded and going off in his sailboat "Taconite. John D. Rockefeller pursued investments in this iron ore at a time I associated with hematite, based on the closing of mines in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and not pellets of this less rich ore and Lake 1100 foot freighters.

    The advent of Cost Effectiveness and Operations Research brought a discipline to Military Aircraft procurement that followed in the foot steps of Systems Engineering and the two Bekins Vans of proposal documents per prospective contractor for CX-HLS with it's Requirements Allocation Sheets (RAS) and it's System Functional Flow Block Diagrams (SFFBD) all tied to detailed cost estimates and times to preform. In building 13 where I had a single drafting table to myself to plot out the intercept with the Apollo capsule by a KC-135 with a modified nose to accommodate a steerable VHF voice communications dish, the major other occupant was the CX-HLS proposal team. They had tall walls and individual offices. I had the great expanse and overhead trusses and lights of a former C-133 production line.

    After the CX-HLS became named as the C-5A "Galaxy," and AFM 375-5, it's procurement document was condemned, I was given the task of shepherding the C-X proposal monitored and documented to a thin single document, AFR-210 to present a commercial derivative of the DC-9 short range transport (about 1200 s m) as a 2000 n m aeromedical transport suitable not just for domestic movements but as options for PACAF and USAFE.

    In 1976, I attended the Orange County boat show and saw a 14 foot "Skipper" fiber glass sail boat in green and white and also orange and white. I stretched my resources and bought the green and loaded it into the rear of my 1967 Chevrolet C-10 with 8 foot box. It has oar locks and you could also skull it with the rudder. It was gaff rigged to go under bridges. My boss's son had a 14 foot "LIDO" class racing sailboat with very well provisioned wire rigging. Mine was rope and cleats.

    I attended one session of a ground school for Private Aircraft Flight Training at Fullerton Junior college and learned about weather and the difference between high and low wing and Lycoming and Continental 4 cylinder air cooled engines. I went camping on the Isthmus of Catalina Island in foxgloves with the Y Indian guides and on return found my youngest son sitting on the porch. "I wrecked the car." My wife proudly proclaimed. Even with a bicycle Fullerton was too far to continue.

    I had evaluated the design of the weapon delivery system for the A-4M "Skyhawk" that allowed it to compete with the A-7 "Corsair II" that had an Integrated Light Attack Avionics System (ILAAS) which included a stable (inertial) platform, a head up display, a radar, and the IBM 4PI computer. Ours eventually became similar to the ARBS on the Harrier. The Skyhawk with the P-408 version of the J-52 and the integrated weapon delivery system could take off from a SATS strip on land or a carrier with a bit more payload of a certain type that was used for the service assessment than the A-7E. With that on board Sam Giesey, the Chief Engineer told me, "If you cause the fly away cost of the Skyhawk to go over 1 million dollars, I will break you!"
    Last edited by 2ndsegment; 01-25-2021 at 04:30 PM. Reason: correct the reference from Dr. Hugh Dryden where I ate lunch at Edwards in 1980

  2. #2
    Many of you might recognize Sperry in connection with gyroscopes. What caused me to post today was a survey on Sport Aviation magazine where I commented that a major reason for my joining EAA was to better understand folks replacing the vacuum pump on their certificated engine with an alternator. I worked through the replacement of stable platforms which had to be warmed up and aligned before flight with strapdown versions and spinup gyros from missiles that used (Pendulous Integrating Gyro Accelerometer PIGAs and Gyro Integrated Gyro Accelerometers GIGAs) and decades later micromachines gave us accelerometers in our iPads and watches. Dr. Draper is associated more with the space program in the beginning. How he and McDonnell ended up in places with someone more begun with AFOAP (Plans) and AFRDQ (Requirements) in the Pentagon (me) is the point of this post.

  3. #3
    There are at least three other men who I was in the proximity of and never was introduced to but recognized for their stature. The most prominent was George H.W. Bush who was conversing with a group and my father and I stood behind him at Eisenhower High School in Saginaw, Michigan. My father had a picture of Ronald Reagan which he was both proud of and embarrassed by after he retired from the other Saginaw township school, MacArthur. No problem with war profiteering there for me. I wanted to talk to him about the C.I.A in the Colby years where now I have satisfy myself with the Clare Booth Luce Society.

    The next is someone more familiar to the E.A.A who joined the ranks of producers of certificated hardware, Sam Williams of Williams Research. His facility is in Michigan, also, but he stood in front of my desk at Pratt & Whitney's RCA facility in Palm Beach, Gardens arguing about the tightness of the circumferential sealing on running small gas turbines. Folks seem to have moved on to using J-85's for very small piloted aircraft away even from timed out Lycoming turbines from helicopters. Drone engines also remain.

    The last of the three is almost a hit. Major General Arthur Kent was the USAF officer who introduced and advocated AFM 375-5 that was used to manage the C-5 program through it's CX-HLS beginnings. I fielded a question about the fundamental logical form in a modification of the McDonnell Aircraft tool Air Battle Simulation-II. I was with the McDonnell-Douglas Astronautics (West) team that was trying to turn a successful vectored nozzle research work named "Quickturn" into a prime contractor role. They teamed with GE-Utica for the Chaparral seeker modification to achieve All Aspect- All Angle Off beyond the AIM-9L capability then in development. General Kent at the time had just seen his effort to field the AIM-82 "Dogfight" Missile cancelled in his role as Director of the Air Force Systems Command. The AIM-95 "AGILE" won by Hughes was soon on the list of cancelled projects and I did meet the type again until in 2009 when an engineer at the Raytheon booth picked up the mockup of the AIM-9X and showed me it's planar array and nozzle with vanes.

  4. #4
    There's a side bet here. I met Peggy Ford the editor of the Aerie employees new letter. She had a side door out of her office in building 110, the training location, into Frank Maccabee's Presidential waiting room. There was no receptionist and so after being let in I browsed his magazines on the tables. I wrote up notes to make a how gozit which included the German self propelled Gephard AAA like the ZSU-24-4 so much in the interest of DDR &E as a Soviet threat to aircraft. Then a few days later I met one of the female mathaids on the shuttle van out to the main plant and she told me about spending the night watching an endurance run on a J-52 that was currently on a test stand in the Test area. How fascinating, I thought, and scheduled a night for myself watching that test drone on trying to figure how a satellite with a TV type photo sensor might map the IR signature of that item. There was a black and white TV camera that pointed up the nozzle. Every now and then a spark would drift out from the deteriorating core but mostly it just ran hour after hour.

    The next day I dropped off my "Top Gun" personal coffee cup with the gold handle and the MIG-21 centered on the pipper on the desk shared by "Vickie" for that was her name, and Joe, the engineer she worked for. Then I told Frank Little we should not let the ECP's for the J-52, which was also used in the Grumman A-6 get dropped for lack of a future. It was just hunch from working with Robert G. Grower at Douglas, that new programs beyond the F-15 and F-16 would fade in the near term and the A-6 and A-4 would persist. Later I learned that Harry Gray, the chairman of United Technologies, had a daughter Victoria and she was coming to Government Products Division. I never met her. I left in 1981 with some help from Pat Rogerson of Personnel.

  5. #5
    A surprise addition here comes from a book I had bought about 20 years ago but never read until now. Zora Arkus Duntov is described in the book "Zora" by Jerry Burton ; Bentley Publishers as being involved with an effort to set a speed record with a BD-5 powered by a Chevrolet/GEO Korean built 3 cylinder. I noticed in 1962 that the local chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) reserved a room in the Michigan Union at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. The subject was the new 1963 Corvette. I had been reading about him in Sports Car magazines for some time and had even ordered a floppy thin vinyl square embossed with a 45 rpm recording of him lapping the track at GM Proving Grounds in a Corvette.

    My car which I now post about in the Early Ford V-8 Forum and in the Ford Barn was a 1948 Ford Sedan coupe but I had been offered a 1956 Chevrolet farm to market milk truck V-8 that had been burned out before 1957 and replaced by a bigger Pontiac V-8. Based on articles in Hot Rod magazine by Racer Brown I had ordered 1957 fuel-injected 283 pistons and a Duntov developed camshaft profile all by part number. Duntov was bigger than life to me and I sat well back and over to the side. He accompanied his talk with slides. This was a method of presentation I adopted later at Douglas Aircraft and I supplemented it with short texts more than just captions as Capt. "Zeke" Cormier USN, (ret'd) did. My "slides" were actually made by the Presentations Department from my roughs of art and editorial text. I will have to look up Duntov's trace here in the history area. I had driven the Ford out to California in 1965 after I graduated with a degree in Physics and it is what I parked outside each of the targeted industrial laboratories I contacted to apply for work.

    In 1987, I looked into SATURN when it had it's headquarters in Troy, Michigan and was mostly interested in it's Lost-Foam casting process based in leads from my engineering room mates way earlier about permanent mold casting. I saw the GEO's appear at the Chevrolet dealer but I had had a bad experience with the dealer in California in 1967 and hoped for a new lead.

    I worked for two bosses that owned Corvettes. The first was Jim Delamare who had come from Boeing to McDonnell-Douglas and was unable to swing the USAF win for the Douglas AWACS. He worked in Military Marketing where I saw him one day in his office staring at a large low profile four-barrel carburetor while standing sort of face off with Russ Schleeh who had once been Curtiss Lemay's aid at a time LeMay was interested in sports car racing and the Ford Thunderbird. I left them to their standoff thinking that DeLamare was trying to exhibit his choice for Special Security Officer, a man who kept a 1961 Oldsmobile F-85 with a 2 barrel, now into the late 1970's. Shleeh was not allowed to enter the crypto locked room for the potential DC-10 tanker proposal.

    The second Corvette owner was Bob Heil at Pratt & Whitney where he was second to the Vice President of Product Support. His Corvette had the "outsider" perforated heat shields of a big block version. He was a body builder and held the title "Mr. Palm Beach" at a time when Arnold Swartzenegger was appearing in a movie "Pumping Iron" based on Mr. Olympia wins in South Africa. At the desk in front of me Donald Podolsky, an equally developed man, was the secret treasurer for an aspiring engineers union, Florida Professional Engineers Association. At the time Douglas was holding election to certify the Southern California Engineers Professional Association. Eventually, FPEA lost their election and Douglas chose Teamsters certification after theirs was won.
    Last edited by 2ndsegment; 02-06-2021 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Strengthen the Russian émigré tie

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