Air Technologies Wwi vs Wwii

Topics: World War II, World War I, Aircraft Pages: 11 (4078 words) Published: December 4, 2011
New air technologies in the early mid-twentieth century had played major roles in war. The United States air forces were rapidly evolving between World War I and World War II. Aircraft structures and weapons developed along with the manufacture of new systems and devices. The United States Air Force made technological advancements in aviation, including weaponry, aircraft structure, and navigation, during the World Wars (1914-1945). Most strategists during the First World War saw no military future for aviation. The French Marshal Ferdinand Foch once said, “Aviation is good sport, but for the Army it is useless” (Bailey 10); however, as air technology advanced in the 1920s, the idea of air power gained strength. World War II was the first war in which air power was considered vital to winning. At the beginning, in 1939, air supremacy belonged to Germany and the Luftwaffe, the German air force, which consisted of five hundred thousand men. England had one hundred thousand men in its Royal Air Force. The United States had only twenty-six thousand in the American Air Corps. Two years before the United States even entered the war, Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to strengthen U.S. air power (Nelson). As advancements were made in aeronautics and new innovations were being fashioned, a prodigious belief in air power was rapidly emerging. For six years beginning in 1939, Congress had been increasing the demand for the purchase of military aircrafts. New manufacturing plants were being built for their construction just as the United States entered World War II. By the end of 1943, more than two million workers were busy assembling military aircrafts. At this time, the United States was capable of producing one hundred ten thousand aircraft a year (Nelson). Mass production techniques were used for American military production. The United States and the Allied Powers were able to produce armaments in much greater number than the Axis Powers (Brinkley 819). The United States was more than ready to manufacture countless numbers of new aircrafts and armaments even before entering World War II. Mass production was greatly utilized by the military. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) carried out significant research in aeronautics. It was established in 1915 by Woodrow Wilson. The committee researched new innovations that were incorporated into both American civil and military aircraft. They made great advancements in aircraft aerodynamics, were responsible for reducing much of the drag on early aircraft, and airfoil was also a major topic of research. Wind tunnels also helped the committee perform such tests (U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission). The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics contributed greatly to the efficiency of aircraft. President Roosevelt authorized the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) in 1941. It was designed by to be a civilian organization of scientists and engineers that would manage the research of various fields that the government was involved with (Nelson). The OSRD was responsible for many rapid aeronautic advances during the early 1940s. They improved many already present technologies and worked with new innovations. The various forms of research undertaken by this organization varied greatly. The group researched bombs, radar, hand weapons, medical treatment, and much more (Nelson). The Office of Scientific Research and Development was responsible for much of the United States’ technological achievements in aviation. Toward the end of the 1920s, the United States Navy began constructing new non-rigid airships, which several years later, the Navy hired Goodyear to build. The airships burned a gas that resembled propane as fuel, rather than burning a liquid (Century of Flight). This allowed the airship to remain steady while burning fuel; there was no need to compensate for the weight of the fuel because it had a density close to that of...
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