|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?
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.
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