Accession Number : ADA288284

Title :   Surviving the Peace. Lessons Learned from the Aircraft Industry in the 1920s and 1930s.

Descriptive Note : Research rept. Aug 93-Apr 94,

Corporate Author : INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s) : Pawlikowski, Ellen M.

PDF Url : ADA288284

Report Date : APR 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 39

Abstract : Many of America's defense industries are struggling to survive in today's peacetime environment. As they prepare for the future, US business and government leaders can learn from defense industries that survived the last extended peace. This paper examines the American aircraft industry during the peace from 1920 to 1939. During that time, the industry retained core capability for future defense needs while establishing alternative markets for its products. They succeeded because they placed a strong emphasis on broad based R&D and conducted a concerted effort to establish alternative markets. Industry and national leaders used those alternative markets to strengthen the industry and the national economy. The federal government supported industry efforts by funding research and development, establishing a national aviation infrastructure, and opening foreign markets. The Congress also funded military aircraft production that helped the industry weather market downturns. Although commercial markets existed, aircraft manufacturers failed to achieve independence from government contracts. This failure was due to government procurement practices, poor business management by aviation pioneers, the high cost of technology development, and the small size of commercial markets. Today's defense industries should study the lessons of the aircraft manufacturers as they determine business strategy for the 1990s. The federal government can also apply these lessons as it makes decisions regarding research investments, military-commercial integration, acquisition reform, and export policies. We can never repeat history, but we can learn from it. By studying the lessons of the last extended peace, perhaps we can avoid the mistakes and duplicate the successes.

Descriptors :   CONGRESS, INDUSTRIES, POLICIES, COMMERCE, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, ENVIRONMENTS, LESSONS LEARNED, AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY, CORES, MANUFACTURING, MARKETING, STRATEGY, ACQUISITION, CONTRACTS, DEFENSE SYSTEMS, EXPORTS, FOREIGN, GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT, HIGH COSTS, INVESTMENTS, LEADERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, MILITARY AIRCRAFT, OPENING(PROCESS), PEACETIME, PRODUCTION, WEATHER.

Subject Categories : Aircraft
      Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
      Economics and Cost Analysis

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE