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THE SATURDAY EVENING POST 39 (Continued from Page 36) is pretty vague. Among other things, he advocates consolidation of Federal bureaus and departments as a means of great saving. Those of us who, from time to time, have planned government reorganizations, know that even if they accomplish everything hoped for in facilitating business, fixing responsibility and avoiding duplication, such reorganizations never produce substantial immediate economies. The senator seems to be reviving his father's slogan of thirty years ago, when the latter promised efficiency and economy through an elaborate scheme of departmental rearrangement. President Taft was a very fine man, but he was a poor judge of issues as.well as men. It is a curious fact that while millions of voters will be happy to have as a candidate a man whose father and grandfather took an honorable part in building up the nation, they don't want the present Taft to imitate everything his ancestors did. Any shrewd, hard-headed realist can prove that the reshuffling of departments and bureaus won't make enough saving to put in your eye. This panacea won't last a week in the campaign. Mr. Taft also advocated cutting out all Federal subsidies. Would he include Federal highway aid and, if so, does he really believe that any Congress which he can visualize would go along with him or that he would actually advocate such a thing if it were up to him to send a message to Congress and stand the gaff? All of which is just a long way of saying that it is easy to preach economy, so long as you are not specific about it. It is no purpose of mine to call the roll of Republican candidates, declared or undeclared, nor to drag into the limelight all the Republicans who might be considered if there were a disposition to consider real qualifications. Why would it be ridiculous, in the difficult situation in which we find ourselves, to list all the available candidates in the order of their real qualifications for the position of Chief Executive in a time of war, depression, unbalanced budgets and unemployment, and then to strike from the list, beginning at the top, those who, for one reason or another, cannot get the necessary support in the convention or at the polls? For example, Wendell Willkie would be well up in the first draft of such a list, but his name would certainly' be stricken off when the second edition appeared, simply because the conservatives could not afford to nominate a utilities man. By this process we would reach the name or names which might afford the basis for an agreement in advance of the convention. Something like this has been attempted in a rather feeble wad in the preparation of the Republican platform. Unfortunately, the committee selected for this work did not represent all the best talent in the party. It was, in fact, a thoroughly unrepresentative committee because there were excluded from it all officeholders, local, state or national. In one sweep most of those actively engaged in public affairs, those who had a public following and knew what people were thinking about, and those who were bound to make the decision in the end, were excluded. A more unreal and unpromising procedure could hardly have been expected from the veriest amateurs. We all know in advance the issues in the coming campaign. The question is what leaders will exploit and personify them. The Democrats will point to their record. The Republicans will attack it and will make charges of demagoguery, fomenting class warfare, promising the millennium, loose spending, national bankruptcy, buying of votes out of the public Treasury, crazy experimentation, revolutionary economics, planning by crackpot radicals, quack remedies for chronic diseases, discouraging private initiative, hamstringing business, inflation, expanding Government to socialistic and communistic limits, concentration of power in N\ ashington, and change merely for the sake of change. The problem of the political strategists is to figure out who will carry the banners, not what is written on them. Why should it be held absurd to ask the Republican Party to convey to the nation the idea that it is genuinely concerned, not merely with winning the election and beating Mr. Roosevelt, but with providing a leader who is in truth able to be the President of the United States? It is not even good politics for the Republicans to be too slick. There is no use counting too heavily on the country's revulsion from idealism. It is a mistake to count on a return to Harding and Coolidge normalcy. There is a tendency in this direction, but not ,a strong trend. Why is it so silly to ask Republicans to make a detached and dispassionate analysis of their problem and to pick their leader as though a generalissimo of allied forces were being selected in a world war? We are told that this is absurd, politics being what it is. I can't see why. If the Republicans take high ground, the people may follow them in an astonishing way. Why not learn a lesson from 1936, and proceed on the assumption that in order to win, they must deserve the victory? ZOREEZ.20 183Y THE POUND Continued from Page 19 dies, form blocks, templates, assembly jigs and other tooling necessary to make all the major parts of the model interchangeable. Material Procurement is in the engineers' hair asking silly questions. M. P. wants to know how much of what kinds of material will be needed for the first ten ships. The project engineer and the Design group make their guesses, and an order goes out from Material Procurement and Purchasing for a full 80 per cent of the material needed for the fabrication of a model which isn't even drawn up in detail on the drafting tables. Why? Because if material isn't ordered in advance, it will all be in Chicago, Weehawken or Keokuk, 3000-odd milesaway, when we want it here. Meanwhile, the Lofting Department— lofting is a term derived from the shipbuilding industry—is building a "mock-up" of the ship. This structure— it probably gets its name from the French magnetic—is a full-size wooden model of the projected bomber. Without the mock-up, it would be almost impossible to build the airplane, since there would be no assurance that the Power-Plant engineer's radiator piping would not occupy the same space as the Armament group's six machine guns, or that the pilot would not bark his knuckles on the compass each time he opened his throttles. The mock-up itself is built of wood— a dummy—but the radiator piping and the machine guns are the McCoy. So are the flight instruments, the pilot's seat, the radio equipment, the bomb racks, and whatever other special equipment may be required. These items are installed in the mock-up in the places which they will occupy in the finished ship, thus assuring to the engineers and tool designers an indispensable and otherwise impossible unity of conception. A chief loftsman never has anything but harsh words for the engineers; his job makes friendship with a pencil pusher impossible. The chief loftsman examines engineering layouts with the eagerness of a beagle, unearthing errors with shrill screams of horror. He is, in effect, a co-ordinator between the shop, which must build the airplane from the information given on the drawings, and the Engineering Department. As such, he is a paragon of practicability whose greatest pride it is to tell everyone that "This airplane was engineered in the Loft." Which, alas, is often the truth. He has a magic skill which enables him to take the cold, flat lines laid down on blueprints and develop their contours on an equally flat piece of plywood in such a manner as to convey their true depth and perspective. From these lines he later makes sheet-steel layout templates, rather like dress patterns, for the guidance of mechanics in making the various sheet-metal parts of the structure, co-ordinating each template to the one adjoining, so that rivet holes will fall in juxtaposition on assembly. A good chief loftsman is as valuable as a top-flight chief designer, for, due to the haste with which the engineers work, the drawings themselves embody only fundamental information. Hence, you could present to the War Department of any nation in the world a full set of drawings for our imaginary bomber and defy it to build the ship. Without tools, mock-up and the close collaboration of the engineers who made the drawings, it can't be done. All of which should be reasstfring to citizens currently alarmed by the activities of spies. As witness: Several years ago, one American company licensed the manufacturing rights to a commercial-transport airplane to a foreign nation. Included in the terms of the contract were a complete set of blueprints and detailed photographs of the various stages of the ship's manufacture. The foreigners set up a factory in their own country, but somehow they couldn't build the ship. Later, an itemized bill of material was conveyed to them. Still later, a complete set of detailed parts was manufactured by the American company and sent to them. They still couldn't build the transport. Finally, a complete set of loft templates, dies, form blocks and small jigs, an American engineer and three American-trained production experts were dispatched abroad by air express, collect. That was a year ago. At the time of writing, although almost four years have elapsed since the original date of purchase, the ship is not yet, to the best of my knowledge, being built in quantity production. Since the sequence of design follows, theoretically, the sequence of manufacture, and the fuselage of a ship must be built before one can hang wings on it, the Loft will get the fuselage-frame drawings first, and the other parts in their manufacturing sequence. This, at least, is the theory. What happens in practice is something else again. At the same time that the preliminary blueprints go to the Loft, a duplicate set is sent to the Tool-Design Department. These blueprints, of course, have holes in them you could throw your mother-in-law through. The chief tool designer will, immediately on seeing them, set up a high, nasal wail about the quality of the drawings. Nonetheless, since his job, like everyone else's in the industry, depends on his ability to do the impossible, he gathers his minions about him and commences to design tools. The success of any manufacturer's business—granted a good product and demand for it—depends on economically feasible production methods. In this latter regard, the aircraft manufacturer is up against perhaps a tougher proposition than almost any other. Labor in aircraft is vastly less productive than it is in, for instance, the automotive industry. This low rate of labor productivity in aircraft springs from a factor which we mentioned once before—the non-mass-production nature of the business. In the automotive crafts, millions of dollars annually are spent by each manufacturer for tools for the latest model car. Huge dies for the multiple stamping of fenders and body panels, great milling machines and special lathes for machine work, precise to the millionth part of an inch, gauges, tracks, cranes, grinders and a hundred other tools—all specifically designed to do their jobs and pay for themselves in one short year of specialized, highspeed production—enable one man to do the work of ten, forty, one hundred men working with hand tools. This elaborate tooling is made economically possible by the demand for hundreds of thousands of automobiles each year, and brings the tooling cost per unit automobile down to an infinitesimal figure. Aircraft do not enjoy that demand. Where 100,000 automobiles of identical design are built, we may build 100 airplanes— of identical basic design, granted, but each one actually a little different from its predecessor. We have to go slow on tooling, and hold special jigs and dies to a minimum. Furthermore, we buy only such heavy machinery and machine tools as can be used year in and year out for the standard operations of aircraft fabrication. Even so, form blocks and templates for a 100-ship order may cost us $2,000,000, which amounts to $20,000 per unit. As compared to the ten-dollar-per-unit special tooling cost on an automobile built in quantities of 200,000, with the same tooling-up cost of $2,000,000. Theoretically, the sequence of design follows the sequence of manufacture. The stress is on "theoretically." In that one little word is contained a full 60 per cent of the grief that prompts me to label aircraft manufacturing as strictly screwball. (Continued ort Pare 42)


Bombers_by_the_Pound
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