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The Effect Of WW II On Commercial Aviation?  
User currently offlinePdxtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 10626 times:

I was wondering what some good books on the development of commerical aviation as the result of development in WWII are. Websites would also be helpful, but books are harder to search for, so I was hoping someone would share their expertise on a good book or article on the subject. Any other information on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 10594 times:

Well at that time weren't most military airbases in the US turned into a surplus of commercial airports?


The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4621 posts, RR: 23
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 10560 times:

Also, I don't imagine that the development of the jet engine would have proceeded at such a quick pace.

WW2 also killed the Flying Boats (RIP), which may have lasted longer had thousands of airstrips not been built on land for the war effort.

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 10559 times:

If it wasn't for the Germans we'd never have jetplanes. If it wasn't for WWII we'd also never have radar or instrument landing/navigational systems (Berlin Airlift)


"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 39
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 10525 times:

Gentlemen,

If it wasn't for WW11 I would have another brother alive today, and scenes of unspeakable horror and suffering might not have drenched Europe and Manchuria and the forgotten battlefields of the Pacific and Coral Sea with blood.

This is an obscene and offensive post. No good comes from the slaughter of ourselves by ourselves. I don't give a fig for the jet engine happening five years sooner than it might if the cost was so appalling, with disasters as awful as 9/11 raining down on London every night during the Blitz.

And as for 'never' having radar or INS system if there hadn't been a Berlin Airlift. What a disgracefully silly thing to say. We'd had developed both because they are essential for the expansion of air transport. Do you really believe there would have been no jet engines without the Germans.

Please, get a brain.



Antares


User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 10521 times:

one unarguable major effect of world war two on post-war commercial aviation was that after the war there were thousands of cheap ex-military transport aircraft like DC-3s available to almost anyone who wanted to start up an airline. Likewise there were far more qualified pilots available - ensuring massive growth in air travel compared to pre-war.


Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16976 posts, RR: 67
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 10502 times:

Antares. I don't understand what could be upsetting about this thread. The war happened and it was horrible, but it undeniably a huge effect on technology. That's what we are discussing. The history of aviation technology. Would you stop history classes discussing the war as well?


Back to the subject:

If it wasn't for the Germans we'd never have jetplanes.
Ironic that the Germans saw an application for a technology invented by a Brit.

- Mechanical computers made a huge leap during the war, and from those came electronic computers, and eventually FBW systems.
- Radar development.
- Inertial guidance.
- the list goes on.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTockeyhockey From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 950 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week ago) and read 10447 times:

flybyguy

the british were working on a jet engine at the same time that the germans were. there would have been a jet without the germans.

pdxtriple7

to me, one of the most important breakthroughs in aviation that came out of the second world war was pressurization. the b-29 was the first pressurized airplane of any significant size, and it led to advances in comfort, altitude, and range. you could argue that pressurization is as or more important to the evolution of commercial flight than the development of the jet engine.


User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 39
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10410 times:

This is a trashy argument.

All of the innovations credited to that appalling carnage would have come to air transport anyhow. We don't need to murder each other to advance technology.

In fact had the population of major trading nations not taken such a hit in both World Wars the pressures for the development of air transport would have been higher and the pace arguably faster.

If you look at population and prosperity in general in the 20th century we see a common sequence of events unfolding in all of the western economies and Japan, that is even starting to become apparent in India and China. As we get richer we live longer and have fewer children.

In the early stages of technology driven wealth creation the population booms. Then as the quality of live improves birth rates fall, until you have the present situation where total global population is likely to peak around 2070 and then begin to decline.

In the advanced economies, that peak is coming much sooner, around 2020-2030. In Australia most studies say that without strong immigration the population of 20 million will just get to 24 million and then drop back to 17 million by 2101. Italy is expected to loose 25 per cent of its population by 2050. Japan is faced with a long lived aging society and a continual decline in population now.

World War 11 delayed this process, and in total, undoubtedly delayed the onset of a far more prosperous, more technologically efficient spread of economic entities.

I'm surprised no one is crediting the dropping of the atom bomb for the nuclear power industry, which would be just as stupid a comparison.


User currently offlineBjg231 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 10395 times:

Quoting Antares (reply 8):
All of the innovations credited to that appalling carnage would have come to air transport anyhow.



And you know that how?


Although WWII was horrific in many senses, there were several advances that can be attributed to it. By acknowledging this FACT, I (and other members of this forum) are in no way condoning war as a means of progress. Nevertheless, it is hard to deny that advances in radio technology, aerodynamic efficiency, etc. etc. would not have come about in such a timely fashion had the warring nations not been so inclined to pursue such technologies.

Your argument that "these advances would have been discovered anyway" may be true, but only partially. Yes, the manpower and capital to create these advances were there. Yes, the scientists that created them were there. But there would have been little incentive to create them with such urgency. Moreover, such technologies would have most likely been created by corporations and industry, who are typically more risk averse than a nation during wartime.

Why risk millions, and possibly put the fate of the company in jeopardy by pursuing a new or unproven technology? In peacetime, this question would be applicable and certainly is today.

In wartime, especially during World War II, this question could be answered simply - because the government will pay us almost anything to get our theory on the battlefield as quickly as possible.

This notion is exemplified in almost any major conflict between great powers. Take the Cold War for example (which arguably would have never occurred w/o WWII). The US made great strides in aeronautics, computing, and even in its own infrastructure to get an edge over the Soviets. In fact, our interstate highway system was created by Eisenhower who substantiated its expense by claiming it to be a means of moving troops if the country were ever invaded (albeit with benefits to the civilian population as well). More importantly, do you honestly believe that GPS or satellite television would be available today if we never invested billions in satellite technology. The space race, although not a war by conventional standards, produced spinoffs like laptop computers, velcro, communications technology, etc.

In short, war is horrific, yes I agree with you. But in most cases it can bring about beneficial change, and not just in the technological sense (i.e. getting Hitler out of power, etc.).

Quoting Antares (reply 8):
In fact had the population of major trading nations not taken such a hit in both World Wars the pressures for the development of air transport would have been higher and the pace arguably faster.


THIS is a trashy argument.

In fact, the US, which has historically been the leading market in civil aviation, saw an INCREASE in its population after the war due to the "baby boom" generation.

Western European nations that lost large numbers of their population (as well as their infrastructure) would have most likely continued with developments in rail transportation had the war never ocurred. To catalyze an industry like aviation without an incentive (i.e. a major war) would have required an enormous amount of unavailable capital and risk with little gain. European countries could have moved many more passengers at far less expense through rail lines than they ever would developing air transport, especially immediately after the war.

The only nation where this argument might be applicable would be in the Soviet Union, where losses in manpower were far greater than their Western neighbors, and where the country is tasked with transporting its citizens over a vast geographic area. In this case however, the USSR DID create a large transportation network after WWII complete with its own Aviation manufacturers and suppliers.



If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10387 times:

Big231,

Dan2002 asked a more reasonable question in a thread about the impact of aviation on the world.

I've pasted that reply below, as it may be relevant.

Before that I'd point out that rail infrastructure has continued to evolve in Europe regardless of your view, as any Anetters who use Eurostar or Thalys or even the shorter routes will know. Don't be so damn ignorant.

As to civil applications. WW11 arguably did nothing to advance mass jet transportation, since the jet engine was already more than a gleam in the eyes of innovators in the Soviet Union, Germany, the UK and the US.

The jet engine in commercial use was made practicable by improvements in technology that occurred after the war was over. A notable influence was the KC-135 program, but that didn't involve slaughter on a massive scale, and the rise of consumerism made the evolution of better air transport a necessity.



Antares


Dan2002,

This may not be helpful, but the issue is really what impact the world has had on aviation.

Economists are more likely to argue that aviation as we know it is a response to demand for something better in a range of circumstances for the transport of ideas (people) and goods (freight.)

Air transport is just another channel beside telecommunications and ship or rail, autos and right down to walking to the next village in undeveloped economies.

There are even health and evolution of the species issues involved in this.

Air travel spreads disease (but then so does air) and it facilitates the rapid transfer of medical skills to combat disease.

One of the pre requisites for the origination of new species is the enforced isolation of breeding populations, as in the world of the Galapagos Islands which inspired Darwin. However modern transport in all its forms has for all intents and purposes ended the isolation of breeding populations, with consequences another generation may better understand, especially if the next species beyond homo sapiens emerges, as it will in time.

Air transport has satisfied a demand for communication and democratisation of society that can only be guaranteed by the interaction of people. Otherwise the propagation of ideas, like democracy, through the printed word and electronic data is vulnerable to varying degrees to censorship or even persecution. Facilitiating the massive movement of persons across borders is a profoundly essential requirement for more open societies, and that yearning has also created the circumstances in which aviation ideas can be turned into real jets, airports and carriers by entrepreneurs, with varying success of course.

But that demand had to exist before the jets could rise from the drawing boards, slide rules and design computers. Otherwise they were merely notions.

So you may find it necessary within your report to recognise the obverse view, that the world made aviation, not the other way around.

Good luck

Antares


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 24958 posts, RR: 85
Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10386 times:
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Antares:

I sympathize with your feelings, but WW2 was inevitable - it was the bringing to a conclusion of WW1 after a twenty year hiatus.

The carnage of was dreadful, but there are lessons learned from it, lessons about peace and relationships between the races.

I commend a book by Nevil Shute called "Round The Bend."

It is a classic for aviation nuts, because it deals with one Englishman starting an airline in the Middle East in the aftermath of WW2.

And it is a book for those who care about people, because the author prophetically sees a shift in Western attitudes to Asia and Asians - because of WW2.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 39
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10371 times:

Mariner,

Have heard it is an excellent book too, so its on the list.

I wouldn't argue that WW11 wasn't inevitable. My beef is with the comic book zap!kapow! view of history. Wow lots of bodies but look at the jets we got, to send it up just a little.

All of those innovations would have happened anyhow to facilitate an industry for which demand was always going to arise. War will distort the process of innovation, but when you look after 60 years and ask if the acceleration of this innovation or that was worth the tens of millions of dead the answer in my opinion is No.

If the answer is Yes we'll just go on murdering our way into higher levels of innovation, except that if its all out nuclear war, the next time may be so far into the future that homo sapiens may not be around.

Just think, if the rather unpleasant Dr Werner von Braun hadn't been diverted into making V1s and V2s to hit London his real passion, artificial satellites would almost certainly have been realised by the German rocket industry which would have put their version of Sputnik 1 into orbit years in advance of 1957.

That would have inspired the IT industry to move even faster than it did to exploit geosynchronous communications satellites, which were first proposed by Arthur C Clarke around 1934 I believe.

Antares


User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10364 times:

Quoting Antares (Reply 8):
We don't need to murder each other to advance technology.


No we don't need to, nor should it be an option, but to some people in say our government and military, war is the biggest business. The trick is to take the power out of those who feel that war is the only business, or to convince those that stand behind those in power to not make every reason such that a war is the first and only option. Everything is subjective.

Quoting Antares (Reply 8):
In fact had the population of major trading nations not taken such a hit in both World Wars the pressures for the development of air transport would have been higher and the pace arguably faster.


Supply and demand. The war's demanded the one new technology that has been a great hit since the first world war: the airplane. And Hilter's obcession to bomb NY bombers resulted in the jet engine's evolution, though I that was his fatal mistake.

Think of the effect the Cold war had on aviation, I think that as much more prodominantly obvious effect than WW2, not as many people had to die over that, except maybe JFK, RIP.

Quoting Antares (Reply 8):
In the early stages of technology driven wealth creation the population booms


That is how I think it is now and why the industry has gotten to incredibly boring...  Silly



The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16976 posts, RR: 67
Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10363 times:

the british were working on a jet engine at the same time that the germans were. there would have been a jet without the germans.


Well eventually, but no one wanted to fund Whittle. Of course once they saw what the Germans were doing...



I'm surprised no one is crediting the dropping of the atom bomb for the nuclear power industry, which would be just as stupid a comparison.


Seeing as the technoligies are only vaguely related... However the war did advance aviation by decades. In only 10 or so years (1935-45) we went from piston biplanes to swept wing jets. While the carnage may have been awful, and if given the choice I would have preferred a slower peaceful evolution, it is undeniable that the pressures of war engendered a great leap forward.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 24958 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10361 times:
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Antares:

Quoting Antares (Reply 12):
the answer in my opinion is no


I agree the answer is no. However, there have been times in the history of the world when certain realignments became inevitable.

Whatever the rah-rah reasons for WW1, what it did was begin the destruction of the class system in Europe, and, for Anzacs, signalled the first major rent in the fabric of "Empire".

WW2 accelerated the process.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12202 posts, RR: 35
Reply 16, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 10340 times:
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Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 6):

If it wasn't for the Germans we'd never have jetplanes.
Ironic that the Germans saw an application for a technology invented by a Brit.


Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
the british were working on a jet engine at the same time that the germans were. there would have been a jet without the germans.


Don't forget who made the first ever jet turbine with excess power:
From http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blenginegasturbine.htm
1903 - Aegidius Elling of Norway built the first successful gas turbine using both rotary compressors and turbines - the first gas turbine with excess power.



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineBjg231 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 10334 times:

Quoting Antares (Reply 10):
Before that I'd point out that rail infrastructure has continued to evolve in Europe regardless of your view, as any Anetters who use Eurostar or Thalys or even the shorter routes will know. Don't be so damn ignorant.


Where in my post did I say that rail infrastructure hasn't evolved in Europe. Of course it has. The meaning of the statement was that they would have developed rail transportation largely IN LIEU OF air transport had their been no war.

Quoting Antares (Reply 10):
A notable influence was the KC-135 program, but that didn't involve slaughter on a massive scale,


I'm not saying that aviation advances aren't possible during peacetime. I'm simply stating that many of the advances we take for granted today were the direct result of the second world war.

And please understand the fact that I'm not condoning war, or for that matter, advocating that World War II was largely beneficial. But despite its costs, it's foolish to discount the advances made during that time simply because "many people died."



If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16976 posts, RR: 67
Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 10327 times:

1903 - Aegidius Elling of Norway built the first successful gas turbine using both rotary compressors and turbines - the first gas turbine with excess power.

Very interesting. Thx for the info Kaigwyer!



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 10308 times:

All of the above are good points. One other effect is the sheer number of pilots created in World War II. This helped aviation grow a great deal. Another is that large numbers of people who traveled overseas. Even those that did not got a heightened awareness of things going on around the world. The war created many business and cultural relationships that created demand for air travel after the war ended.

In another way, the war may have stifled US aviation a bit. Before the war, private companies and individuals were responsible for most advances in aviation - largely through commercial incentives, air races, and prizes. This led to a great deal of progress. The war effort threw virtually everything in the hands of the government. The government controlled production, the government meticulously regulated all parts of the industry. That was OK for awhile when the need to win the war pushed everyone along. But after the war ended, it gradually led to more and more stagnation as bureaucracy and fear of risk took hold. The military, NASA, and their contractors made many important advances, including a flags and footprints expedition to the moon. But I can't help but think that these things would have been done faster, better, cheaper, and with more lasting impact had they been done by people not dependent upon government.

More importantly, when cold war competition ended, the last of the spirit that won World War II died in much of the government-dependent aerospace industry. If World War II didn't happen, the industry may have always been led by people like Howard Hughes and Burt Rutan. The bureaucrats of NASA, the DOD, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, etc. may have been far less powerful. We may not have ever seen the CAB strangle the airline industry for so long, until one bold chairman decided his job did not really need to exist. The FAA would be much smaller, and more responsive to the airman's need. The FAA would not have the political power to hide their incompetence in running and upgrading our air trafic control system. Air travel would not be taxed as if it were a "sin" like alcohol, tobaco and gambling.

But perhaps this is just a pipe dream, because many historians believe that the depression rather than WWII was the root cause of the growth of government in that era. If that is the case, skipping World War II would not have as much impact.


User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5669 posts, RR: 45
Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10282 times:
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Quoting Antares (Reply 10):
A notable influence was the KC-135 program, but that didn't involve slaughter on a massive scale,


Antares,
I have read your posts on many topics and generally respect and often agree with your well reasoned arguments but I do have to take issue with the statement above!
The KC-135 was intended to support slaughter on an unimaginably more massive scale than any seen before. We are all fortunate that it was ultimately not used in that role.

Chris



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 39
Reply 21, posted (9 years 4 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10258 times:

StealthZ,

Point taken. The thought of squadrons of refuelled B-52 burning city after city (and initiating a nuclear winter that would have destroyed us) is probably a repressed memory for some of us, including myself.

The dice rolled a lot of times during the Cold War, fortunately never to the stage where the wrong buttons were pushed.


Antares


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