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Table of contents :
Recent Trends in U.S. Aeronautics Research and Technology
Copyright
Preface
Contents
Tables, Figures, and Boxes
A Strategic Assessment
SYMPTOMS OF A SERIOUS NATIONAL PROBLEM
A CLEAR INFLUENCE: TRENDS IN AERONAUTICS R&T
LIKELY CONSEQUENCES IF TRENDS ARE NOT REVERSED
RECOMMENDATIONS
Appendix A Additional Factors Influencing the Committee's Findings and Recommendations
IMPACT OF AERONAUTICS ON NATIONAL SECURITY
IMPACT OF AERONAUTICS ON THE NATIONAL ECONOMY
IMPACT OF AERONAUTICS ON THE QUALITY OF LIFE
GLOBALIZATION
IMPACT OF INDUSTRY CONSOLIDATION
AERONAUTICS AS A "MATURE INDUSTRY"
Appendix B Statement of Task
Appendix C Study Participants
Acronyms

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Recent Trends in U.S. Aeronautics Research and Technology

Committee on Strategic Assessment of U.S. Aeronautics Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I.Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts and Dr. William A.Wulf is chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This study was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract No. NASW-4938. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Available in limited supply from: Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, HA 292, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20418. (202) 334–2855 Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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COMMITTEE ON STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT OF U.S. AERONAUTICS ROBERT G.LOEWY, chair, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta KATHY ABBOTT, Federal Aviation Administration, Hampton, Virginia EUGENE COVERT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge EARL DOWELL, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina JOHN FABIAN, Analytic Services Inc. (retired), Port Ludlow, Washington ULF G.GORANSON, The Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington MICHAEL S.HUDSON, Rolls-Royce Allison, Indianapolis, Indiana CLYDE KIZER, Airbus Service Company, Herndon, Virginia DAVID MOWERY, University of California, Berkeley G.KEITH RICHEY, Universal Technology Corporation, Dayton, Ohio Staff ALAN ANGLEMAN, Study Director GEORGE M.LEVIN, Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board JENNIFER PINKERMAN, Assistant Study Director DOUGLAS BENNETT, Research Associate LINDA VOSS, Technical Writer CHRIS JONES, Administrative Assistant MARVIN WEEKS, Administrative Assistant

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AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD WILLIAM W.HOOVER, chair, U.S. Air Force (retired), Williamsburg, Virginia A.DWIGHT ABBOTT, Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, California RUZENA BAJSCY, NAE, IOM, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia AARON COHEN, NAE, Texas A&M University, College Station RAYMOND S.COLLADAY, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colorado DONALD C.FRASER, NAE, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts JOSEPH FULLER, JR., Futron Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland ROBERT C.GOETZ, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, Palmdale, California RICHARD GOLASZEWSKI, GRA Inc., Jenkintown, Pennsylvania JAMES M.GUYETTE, Rolls-Royce North American, Reston, Virginia FREDERICK HAUCK, AXA Space, Bethesda, Maryland BENJAMIN HUBERMAN, Huberman Consulting Group, Washington, D.C. JOHN K.LAUBER, Airbus Service Company, Miami Springs, Florida DAVA J.NEWMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JAMES G.O’CONNOR, NAE, Pratt & Whitney (retired), Coventry, Connecticut GEORGE SPRINGER, NAE, Stanford University, Stanford, California KATHRYN C.THORNTON, University of Virginia, Charlottesville DIANNE S.WILEY, Northrop Grumman, Pico Rivera, California RAY A.WILLIAMSON, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Staff GEORGE M.LEVIN, Director

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PREFACE

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Preface

In 1999, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) commissioned the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) of the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct a four-month evaluation of the U.S. aeronautics program. Accordingly, an ad hoc Committee on Strategic Assessment of U.S. Aeronautics was convened to assess recent trends in the U.S. aeronautics research and technology (R&T) program. The assessment included work supported by government agencies and industry. The resulting report contains a summary of the information collected by the committee, findings on the impact of program trends on current programs, and recommendations for enhancing their effectiveness. The complete statement of task appears in Appendix B. As specified in the statement of task, the intent of this study was to provide a timely review of national support of R&T in traditional aeronautics. Traditional aeronautics was defined as including both fixed- and rotary-wing aviation but excluding space operations, space launch and reentry, and some of the new airbreathing hybrid technologies proposed for hypersonic entry into space flight. Time constraints limited data collection and analysis and precluded site visits. In addition, NASA, which supplied much of the data upon which the committee based its deliberations, provided data that focused on topics of highest priority to NASA. In some cases, the priorities reflected in the statement of task had changed by the time the committee first met. The findings and recommendations of the committee, therefore, relied heavily on the collective knowledge, expertise, and judgment of the committee members and their combined experience. Also, the committee was unable to respond to all elements of the statement of task as thoroughly as it would have liked. For example, the committee did not obtain adequate information on how funds have been allocated to government, industry, and university researchers, and it was limited in its ability to undertake a comparable assessment of foreign investment in aeronautics R&T because of difficulty in obtaining relevant data. The committee also did not obtain enough information to develop a comprehensive view of the current content of aeronautics R&T programs, and so it made no findings in this area. This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Alexander Flax, Aerospace Consultant John Hansman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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PREFACE

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Hans Mark, Department of Defense James Mattice, Universal Technology Corporation Brian Rowe, GE Aircraft Engines Robert Spitzer, The Boeing Company Gregory Tassey, National Institute of Science and Technology Ronald Yates, U.S. Air Force (retired) While the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC. The committee is grateful to everyone who supported this study, especially those who took the time to participate in committee meetings (see Appendix C). Robert G.Loewy, Chairman Committee on Strategic Assessment of U.S. Aeronautics

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CONTENTS

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Contents

A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT Symptoms of a Serious National Problem A Clear Influence: Trends in Aeronautics Research and Technology Likely Consequences if Trends are not Reversed Recommendations

1 1 5 11 14

APPENDICES A

ADDITIONAL FACTORS INFLUENCING THE COMMITTEE’S FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Impact of Aeronautics on National Security Impact of Aeronautics on the National Economy Impact of Aeronautics on the Quality of Life Globalization Impact of Industry Consolidation Aeronautics as a “Mature Industry”

17 17 17 18 18 20 20

B

STATEMENT OF TASK

23

C

STUDY PARTICIPANTS

24

ACRONYMS

25

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CONTENTS

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Tables, Figures, and Boxes

TABLE 1

Economic Impact of the Aeronautics Industry-1999

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FIGURES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Market shares of international aerospace manufacturing European vs. U.S. orders for large commercial transport aircraft Aeronautics sales history Total R&D performed by industry as a percentage of net sales Aeronautics industry trends, 1988–1997 NASA aeronautics and R&D funding history Department of Defense aeronautics R&T funding (total and fixed wing vehicles) Public support for European Union aerospace R&D Trade balance by industry, 1997 Projected world aircraft market by segment: 1999–2008 Percentage of the U.S. population that has flown commercially On-time rate for U.S. Air Force airlift missions during the 1999 Balkan Campaign

2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 19 22

BOX 1

NASA’s Aeronautics Goals

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT

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A Strategic Assessment

SYMPTOMS OF A SERIOUS NATIONAL PROBLEM Aeronautical capabilities are important to the U.S. economy, and the committee found evidence that the aeronautics segment of the economy is becoming less competitive. As shown in Figure 1, the U.S. share of world aerospace markets fell from over 70 percent in the mid-1980s to 55 percent in 1997. Figure 2 shows that the United States is losing market share in terms of unit orders in the important category of large commercial transport aircraft to Europe, down from 73 percent in 1990 to 54 percent in 1998.1, 2 The demand for smaller regional commercial jet transport aircraft is growing, but the two major suppliers of regional jets, Bombardier and Embraer, are based in foreign countries (Canada and Brazil, respectively). The consequences of the loss in overall market share are disturbing, as discussed below. National security is also closely tied to the superiority of U.S. aeronautical capabilities. Comparing market shares in military aircraft procurements, therefore, is less meaningful because economics are, or should be, secondary to national security considerations. Also, as shown in Figure 3, the total U.S. aeronautics sales (deliveries) are largely driven by sales of large commercial transports. Still, it is noteworthy, for example, that although the French Dassault Aviation Rafale fighter aircraft is a generation between our F-15 and F-22, it has been ordered into quantity production, while congressional actions have made the F-22’s future uncertain. Similarly, the Tiger, the Eurocopter (French and German) scout-attack helicopter, can be considered a generation between the U.S. AH-64 Apache and RAH-66 Comanche helicopters; but the first procurement contract for the Tiger has already been signed,3 whereas the Comanche is still in a stretched out development. Recent history shows that military aircraft in domestic production often enjoy sales overseas, which reduces the cost of subsequent domestic procurements.

1Competitiveness, as measured by market share, is but one indication of economic health and vitality. Changes in the absolute level of economic activity are also important—and Figure 3 confirms that the absolute level of aeronautical sales has also dropped in the United States during the 1990s. Lowering trends in market share and the absolute level of economic activity, if uncorrected, will naturally lead to the demise of aeronautics as a viable enterprise. Thus, the committee believes that maintaining a competitive industry with a significant market share is important. 2There is usually a lag time of about three years between orders and deliveries. 3Aviation Week and Space Technology. p 28. May 8, 1999.

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT

FIGURE 1 Market shares of international aerospace manufacturing. Sources: For 1980 to 1995: Table 9.3, “Final Aerospace Turnover Consolidated at National Level in Current Prices,” The European Aerospace Industry—Trading Position and Figures 1997. For 1996 to 1998: European Association of Aerospace Industries.

2

FIGURE 2 European vs U.S. orders for large commercial transport aircraft. Source: The Airline Monitor (May 1999)

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT 3

FIGURE 3 Aeronautics sales history. Source: Aerospace Facts and Figures published by the Aerospace Industries Association of America (based on census data adjusted to 1997 dollars) and the Airline Monitor, May 1999. Note: Total sales are for aircraft, aircraft engines, and parts and represents deliveries made. Data on European military sales is not available.

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT 4

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT

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A CLEAR INFLUENCE: TRENDS IN AERONAUTICS R&T Although a strong national program of aeronautics R&T may not, by itself, ensure the competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry, the committee agrees with earlier studies4 that without it, the United States is likely to become less competitive in aeronautics relative to countries with stronger programs. Aviation is an R&Tintensive industry. Maintaining a successful, state-of-the-art aeronautics industry has required that a higher percentage of net sales be invested in R&T than other industries associated with rapid innovation and application of scientific advances, such as pharmaceuticals and scientific instruments (Figure 4).5 Some aeronautics R&T programs have produced “breakthroughs” that are immediately usable. NASA’s low-drag cowl for radial engines and “coke-bottle fuselage” to reduce transonic drag rise are examples from the past. In the Department of Defense, more recent aeronautics breakthroughs include shaping for stealth; multiaxis thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles integrated with aircraft flight-control systems; fly-by-wire flight control technologies; high-strength, high-stiffness fiber composite structures; and tilt-wing rotorcraft technology. Many of these advances have been achieved in partnership with NASA R&T programs and are finding widespread use in both military and commercial aircraft.6 More often, aeronautics R&T advances are evolutionary, and a substantial number of years can pass before the aviation systems making use of these advances enter service. Modern aircraft are complex “systems of systems,” and advances in one discipline, such as aerodynamics, may require an advance in another discipline, such as structures, before they can be applied in a new aircraft design. Years of validation, testing, and certification are, therefore, usually required before a new aeronautics R&T development can be exploited. Figure 5 shows that aeronautics R&D funded by U.S. industry dropped by almost 50 percent between 1988 and 1991, followed by reductions in sales and employment. Figure 6 shows that the Administration’s funding requests for NASA aeronautics R&T have been steadily reduced each year since 1994. Figure 7 shows a similar decline in Department of Defense funding for aeronautics R&T. As the two traditional sources of support for aeronautics R&T, industry and government, have been falling in the United States, government support for aerospace R&T in the European Union has been growing (Figure 8).7 This correlates in time with Europe’s increasingly successful economic challenge to the United States in aeronautics.

4National Research Council. 1992. Aeronautical Technologies for the 21st Century. Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 5Figure 4, as labeled, shows funding for research and development (R&D), which is quite different than R&T. This report uses R&T to denote basic and applied research and technology demonstration (e.g., “6.1” and “6.2” and “6.3” funding within the Department of Defense), whereas R&D can include all aspects of product development. The focus of this study is R&T. However, in some cases, the committee was unable to obtain data on R&T levels and trends. In those cases, the report relies on data for R&D (as in Figures 4, 5, 6, and 8). Although the R&D data depicted in these figures is not the same as R&T funding, they represent the best data available to the committee and are useful for purposes of trend analysis and comparative studies of R&D among different industries, as shown. Each chart uses one term or the other, and the charts that depict R&D funding are used only to show trends over time or to contrast levels of R&D among different organizations. 6The applicability of many aeronautical technologies to both military and civil aircraft illustrates the dual-use nature of aeronautics R&T, which is discussed further in Appendix A. 7European governments do not release data on how much aeronautics R&T they support, so the committee relied on data for aerospace R&D, which includes aeronautics R&D.

FIGURE 4 Total R&D performed by industry (using corporate, federal, and other sources of funding) as a percentage of net sales in R&D-performing companies, 1988–1997. Source: National Science Foundation, Industrial R&D Early Release Tables, 1999.

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT 6

FIGURE 5 Aeronautics industry trends, 1988–1997. Sources: Employement and Sales—Aerospace Facts and Figures 98/99, Aerospace Industries Association , and Industiral R&D Early Release Tables, 1997, National Science Foundation. Note: The industrial R&D data include missles. The other two categories do not. Dollar values converted to constant 1997 dollars. Data then normalized to 1997 values: Employment-1,086,000; Sales-$50.7 billion; Industrial R&D-$24.2 billion

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT 7

FIGURE 6 NASA aeronautics and R&D funding history (in millions of FY 1998 constant year dollars). Source: Michael B.Mann, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Aero-Space Technology, NASA, presentation to the National Research Council on May 20, 1999.

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT 8

FIGURE 7 Department of Defense aeronautics R&T funding (total and fixed wing vehicles). Source: W.Borger, Air Force Research Laboratory. Presentation to NRC Committee on Strategic Assessment of U.S. Aeronautics. June 1999. (Data converted to constant 1997 dollars; an inflation factor of 2.3 percent was used for 1998 to 2005.)

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT 9

Figure 8 Public support for European Union aerospace R&D. Source: EC DGIII-D/4 The EU Aerospace Industry Trading Position & Figures 1997. Data adjusted to constant 1997 dollars.

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT 10

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT

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LIKELY CONSEQUENCES IF TRENDS ARE NOT REVERSED As already noted, a competitive aeronautics industry is important in terms of both national security and economic factors, such as employment and the nation’s balance of trade (Figure 9). Militarily, a dominant aeronautics capability projects a U.S. global presence and influence as no other technology does, or will do, for the foreseeable future. No other capability allows for the rapid projection of force over long distances or is as flexible in providing combat air support for ground forces. The United States needs a strong aeronautics capability to meet its international commitments and responsibilities in an uncertain and volatile global political environment. This future capability rests solidly on today’s aeronautics R&T investment. With regard to economic factors, a recent market study (summarized in Figure 10) projects a worldwide civil aircraft market of $810 billion over the period 1999 to 2008. The study showed that large civil transports account for over one-half of this market. The remainder is comprised of regional/corporate airplanes, military airplanes, and civil and military rotorcraft. In addition, $274 billion in gas turbine engine sales are projected over the same period, more than one-half for aviation uses,8 and the projected market for aircraft retrofitting and modernization is $20 billion. In total, the world market for aeronautics products is expected to exceed $1 trillion over the next 10 years, and most of it will be captured by companies (and countries) who have made and continue to make sizeable investments in aeronautics R&T. The market study cited above provides information only on the primary economic benefits from goods and services associated with aeronautics R&T. Secondary benefits are also accrued. For example, investments in air traffic control systems worldwide are expected to range from $41 to $58 billion.9 Also, the technology to develop efficient gas turbine engines has been used to develop gas turbine engines for other uses, such as ship propulsion and emergency electrical generation in critical buildings. In fact, examples of the general applications of aeronautical technology abound. These secondary benefits not only add to the gross national product, but they also enhance national security, the economy, and the general quality of life. Government aeronautical test facilities are another area of concern. The construction, maintenance, upgrading, and use of some of the nation’s specialized aeronautical testing facilities, typified by large-scale wind tunnels, are company or university assets, but most have been built and operated by the government—NASA or the U.S. Air Force, for example. Many facilities have been or are being closed down, the U.S. government has backed away from proposals to construct major new facilities, and U.S. aircraft companies are increasingly going overseas to perform wind-tunnel testing of new U.S. designs.10 The committee believes that aeronautics in the United States can ill afford to lose highly educated, motivated engineers and scientists. This core group is essential for advancing the state of the art and developing innovative new generations of vehicles and systems. The knowledge and understanding of aeronautical engineers who have had first-hand experience with flight hardware is lost if it is not passed on—on the job—from one generation of practicing aeronautical engineers to the next. As a result of industry consolidations and the end of the Cold War, the

8L.Anderson. 1999. Impact of Aviation on the Economy. Presentation by Lynn Anderson, NASA Glenn Research Center, to the NRC Committee on Strategic Assessment of U.S. Aeronautics. June 1999. 9Ibid. 10In Assessing the National Plan for Aeronautical Ground Test Facilities (1994), the National Research Council endorsed plans by an interagency group led by NASA to build new high-Reynolds-number ground test facilities for both low speed and transonic testing. The purpose of these new facilities was “to assure the competitiveness of future commercial and military aircraft produced in the United States.” The Administration subsequently decided not to pursue these plans primarily because of cost, rather than economic or technical factors.

Figure 9 Trade balance by industry, 1997. Source: Aerospace Facts and Figures, Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA) and other data provided by AIA. Note: Aeronautics total does not include spacecraft, guided missles, or rockets.

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT 12

FIGURE 10 Projected world aircraft market by segment, 1999–2008. Source: L.Anderson, op cit. Data from Forecast International

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT 13

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT

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number of new commercial and military development programs for military and commercial aircraft has been significantly reduced. In this environment, developing experimental aircraft is one approach for maintaining the skills of aircraft designers. Furthermore, in the experience of committee members, the cutting edge of aeronautics R&T is most attractive to young, talented engineers and scientists. Therefore, continued reductions in aeronautics R&T would damage the personnel base required to maintain a robust, competitive aeronautics industry capable of supporting U.S. national security and economic interests. Although knowledgeable observers may differ in their assessments of the degree of the severity of the consequences, the committee wishes to point out that continued reductions in funding for aeronautics R&T may have irreversible consequences. Once the position of the United States in aeronautics is lost, it will be exceedingly difficult to regain because of the difficulty in reassembling the infrastructure, people, and investment capital. RECOMMENDATIONS This committee agrees with the findings of many previous studies:11 • ` Aeronautics as an ongoing enterprise is important to national security, the national economy, and the quality of life in the United States. • ` Aeronautics R&T is important to the aeronautics enterprise in the United States. The committee concluded that consolidations in the aeronautical industry, especially in the airframe development and manufacturing industry, the end of the Cold War, and the increasing globalization of the aircraft industry do not affect the general requirements for facilities and other resources essential to effective aeronautics R&T. In some instances recommendations from the earlier studies have taken on greater urgency. The continuing decline in the U.S. market share for commercial jet transport aircraft, recent regional conflicts, and the Air Force’s decision to devote more of its assets to space developments and operations in an era of declining overall budgets have made the needs for strong support for aeronautics R&T more urgent. The committee agrees with the conclusion reached by other studies that government funding of aeronautics R&T is worthwhile.12 In particular, the committee endorses the three key goals identified by the National Science and Technology Council:13 • Maintain the superiority of U.S. aircraft and engines. • Improve the safety, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of the global air transportation system. • Ensure the long-term environmental compatibility of the aviation system

11For example, National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). 1995. Goals for a National Partnership in Aeronautics Research and Technology. Washington, D.C.: Office of Science and Technology Policy. Available on-line at “www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OSTP/html/aero/cv-ind.html”. 12Ishaq Nadiri. 1993. Innovations and Technological Spillovers. NBER Working Paper Series. Working Paper No. 4423. August, 1993. Also, Edwin Mansfield, J.Rapoport, A.Romeo, S.Wagner, and G.Beardsley. Social and Private Rages of Return from Industrial Innovations. Quarterly Journal of Economics. Vol 77, pp 221–240. 1977. 13NSTC, op cit.

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT

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The committee endorses NASA’s response to these challenges, in which it defined three pillars, supported by 10 technology enabling goals (see Box 1). The second and third goals of the National Science and Technology Council can be considered as broadening the old “higher, farther, faster” pure performance objectives of the past. Where the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics (NACA, the predecessor to NASA) and the military were once the primary federal organizations involved in aeronautics R&T, now the Department of Defense, NASA, the U.S. Department of Transportation (including the Federal Aviation Administration), and the National Science Foundation all have significant R&T programs related to aviation. The focus of each program is determined by each agency’s missions, legislative charter, and annual budget appropriation. The importance of coordination among these agencies is increasingly important for at least three reasons: • ` The result of the overlapping responsibilities arising naturally from greater density of aviation operations and the growing sophistication of flight systems, which are increasingly dependent on electronics, optics, and computers. • ` The burgeoning costs to develop increasingly capable aeronautical systems under the pressure of constrained budgets. • ` The widespread acceptance in the military of “dual-use science and technology” (combining civil and military applications) and commercial-off-the-shelf equipment and systems for military applications. As stated by the National Science and Technology Council, “Nationally we have the infrastructure— government, industry and universities— to maintain leadership. We must now renew our focus on partnership to meet national challenges and accomplish national goals.”14 The committee recommends that major improvements be made in the coordination of aeronautics R&T activities among NASA, the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, industry, and academia. An overarching organization for national aeronautics R&T is needed to speak for national values, ensure efficient use of resources, make cooperative actions more productive, and eliminate duplication where it is not an effective motivator of competition. Successful collaborative programs (e.g., AGATE, NRTC, and IHPTET15) should be examined to identify characteristics adaptable to this purpose.16 Aeronautics is an R&T-intensive enterprise. The committee is convinced that continued reductions in government support of aeronautics R&T would jeopardize (1) the ability of the United States to produce preeminent military aircraft and (2) the ability of the aeronautics sector of the U.S. economy to remain globally competitive. A rigorous proof of this conclusion requires detailed military, technical, and economic analyses that the committee was unable to complete during this brief study. However, the committee is greatly concerned that ongoing reductions in R&T, which seem to be motivated primarily by the desire to reduce expenditures in the near term, are taking place without an adequate understanding of the long-term consequences. The committee recommends that the federal government analyze the national security and economic implications of reduced aeronautics R&T funding before the nation discovers that reductions in R&T have inadvertently done severe, long-term damage to its aeronautics interests.

14Ibid. 15That is, the Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiment, National Rotorcraft Technology Center, and Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology. 16At issue are such considerations as the balance among long-term and short-term research, how and when to require industry and/or university cost sharing, peer reviews for proposals, protection of rights to “intellectual property” (proprietary rights), and the extent of budgetary authority and availability.

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A STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT

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In addition, for the United States to succeed in the globalized world aviation market, the nation requires clearly defined national objectives for aeronautics R&T. These objectives should be established considering our national requirements and how they can best be satisfied with active participation from industry and government developers as well as the military and commercial technology users of aeronautics R&T results. Continuing inputs from these four components are crucial to the implementation of technologies needed to keep the United States militarily secure and globally competitive.

BOX 1 NASA’S AERONAUTICS GOALS In March 1997, NASA’s Office of Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology adopted 10 enabling technology goals to guide pre-competitive research in long-term, high-risk, high-payoff technologies. The goals are in three groups or “pillars”: • Global Civil Aviation • • • • •

reducing the aircraft accident rate reducing emissions reducing perceived noise levels increasing aviation system throughput reducing the cost of air travel

• Revolutionary Technology Leaps • reducing travel time to the Far East and Europe • invigorating the general aviation industry • developing advanced design tools and experimental aircraft • Access to Space • reducing the cost of launching payloads to low-Earth orbit by an order of magnitude by 2007 • reducing the cost of launching payloads to low-Earth orbit by another order of magnitude by 2020 Source: Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology: Three Pillars for Success, NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology, Washington, D.C., March 1997.

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APPENDIX A

17

Appendix A Additional Factors Influencing the Committee’s Findings and Recommendations

IMPACT OF AERONAUTICS ON NATIONAL SECURITY History since World War I has demonstrated that a superior aeronautical capability is usually determinative in military operations, and it will be the key to our ability to wage future wars, large or small. Advanced aeronautical systems will enable us to achieve our military objectives while minimizing American casualties. Surface forces, including civilians, cannot be secure without “control of the skies.” Friendly bases will not always exist and prepositioned forces will not always be in place. A quick response to distant points of conflict requires air transportation. Knowing where the enemy is and knowing his capabilities are crucial to successful war fighting. Airborne reconnaissance and intelligence operations continue to be essential capabilities of air power, even in the presence of improving space assets. The disruption of enemy supply lines and communications, antitank and antiartillery actions, and attacks on enemy fortifications are all critical to military operations. Search, rescue, and rapid movement of wounded to hospitals are also tremendously important airborne capabilities, not only because of the lives saved—the overriding consideration—but also because of the effect on the morale of those who must go in harm’s way. IMPACT OF AERONAUTICS ON THE NATIONAL ECONOMY In earlier sections of this report economic factors were cited as evidence of the importance of aeronautics to the nation. The contribution, however, of the aeronautics industry to the gross domestic product (GDP) may be the best measure of an industry’s importance to the economy. Broadly defined, the U.S. aviation industry contributes approximately $436 billion per year of total output (direct and indirect) to the U.S. economy (Table 1). The net contribution to GDP has been estimated to be $259 billion, or 3 percent, of GDP. In addition, as an employer, the combined aeronautics and space industry, which are inseparable in terms of fundamental disciplines, have significant research related employment in manufacturing, maintenance, and repair services throughout the United States.

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APPENDIX A

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TABLE 1 Economic Impact of the Aeronautics Industry, 1999 Total Output

Contribution to GDP*

Air transportation (including air freight)

$205 billion

$80 billion

Aircraft manufacturing

$134 billion

$94 billion

Tourism

$94 billion

$85 billion

Travel agents/freight forwarders

$3 billion

N/C

Government

$2 billion

N/C

Total

$438 billion

$259 billion

N/C=Not Calculated. *Induced economic impacts are not included in the reported results. The difference between total output and the contribution to GDP is interindustry transactions. Source: L.Anderson, NASA Glenn Research Center presentation to the NRC, “Impact of Aviation on the Economy,” June 1999.

IMPACT OF AERONAUTICS ON THE QUALITY OF LIFE As a means of travel, flight may appear as just one more step in an evolution that progressed from foot, to the use of animals, boats, ships, railroads, and automobiles, and, finally, aircraft and spacecraft. But because of the increases in speed aircraft have made possible, the effect of that speed on economic productivity and the accessibility of long-distance travel have made the effect of air travel on the quality of life more revolutionary than evolutionary. As one result, tourism is now the world’s biggest business. More people travel over large distances to vacation than ever before. And for people who must travel, air travel has effectively increased their life span by reducing the time spent traveling. In the mid-1990s, roughly 6,000 commercial air carrier aircraft, large and small, were in use, along with about 115,000 general aviation aircraft, mostly for “personal” use rather than as “executive” business aircraft.1 See Figure 11 is an indication of how many people fly commercially, for business and pleasure. These aspects of aeronautics profoundly affect the quality of life for U.S. citizens. Noise and noxious effluents from aircraft engines, along with the noise produced aeroacoustically by rotors, propellers, and the turbulence of landing gear wheel wells during takeoff and landing, are environmental aspects exacerbated by the exponential growth of aircraft operations taking place in the United States and worldwide. Adverse effects around airports have already been responsible for retiring certain older transport aircraft and requiring the re-engining of others. For those who live and work in the vicinity of airports, the effect of aircraft on the environment will certainly influence both the convenience and economics of their businesses and the general quality of their lives. Aeronautics R&T can reduce the environmental impact on the air-side operations at airports; in the long term, a short-haul civil tilt-rotor operating from satellite airports has the potential to improve the ground-side environment. GLOBALIZATION The globalization of the aeronautics industry has been increasing steadily. Cross-border relationships are driven by (1) the need for capital formation; (2) access to markets; and (3) synergies created by specific combinations of corporate strengths. In the propulsion sector,

1Aerospace

Industries Association of America (AIA). 1994. Aerospace Facts and Figures 1993–94. Washington, D.C.: AIA.

Figure 11 Percentage of the U.S. population that has flown commercially. Source: Air Transport Association of America, Air Travel Survey 1998 Note: Survey Size=3,016

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APPENDIX A 19

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APPENDIX A

20

for instance, cross-border relationships include a risk and revenue-sharing partnership between Pratt and Whitney and MTU2 (Germany); CFM International, which is a joint venture between General Electric Aircraft Engines and Snecma (France); and the ownership of Allison by Rolls-Royce (Great Britain). In each of these cooperative ventures, the U.S. component of the relationship had to “win” its position in the partnership by having the capability to bring state-of-the-art technology to the program and to perform competitively. NASA and Department of Defense aeronautics R&T have helped U.S. companies develop state-of-the-art technologies and, in so doing, have helped create high-quality U.S. jobs, contributed to a positive balance of trade, and have created other economic benefits in the aerospace sector of the economy. This is a positive outcome of aeronautics R&T that should receive continuing recognition on the part of funding agencies. IMPACT OF INDUSTRY CONSOLIDATION The U.S. aerospace industry has been changed markedly in this decade by mergers of both major defense contractors and large commercial transport manufacturers. These mergers have been driven by the reduced defense market, the need to reduce the cost of products by eliminating duplicated overhead functions (e.g., payroll, purchasing, contracts) and underused manufacturing facilities, and the increased cost and complexity of commercial and military aircraft, including the integration of related systems (e.g., avionics). This consolidation of manufacturing companies appears to arouse congressional resistance to the use of government funds to support aeronautics R&T, which opponents sometimes label as “corporate welfare.” In fact, the global competition in aircraft markets precludes any claim that the large commercial transport industry is monopolistic. For example, the competition to the Boeing Company is supplied by Airbus Industries, which develops technically advanced and competitive jet transports with the help of the governments of England, France, Germany and Spain. The Eurofighter program is another example of joint multi-government/industry cooperation to achieve technical excellence and competencies. Further, the total number of wage earners adversely affected by the industry consolidation process is not nearly as large as the changes in company names suggest. Lockheed Martin, for example, still has a division in Fort Worth, Texas (formerly part of General Dynamics), the Skunk Works in Palmdale, California, and a division in Marietta, Georgia (formerly Lockheed). The Boeing Company still operates the military projects division and Phantom Works in St. Louis and a transport division in Long Beach, California (all three formerly McDonnell Douglas), in addition to its operations in Seattle, Washington, and Wichita, Kansas. The Boeing Company also has helicopter development divisions in both Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Mesa, Arizona (formerly McDonnell Douglas). As the market for aircraft and missiles shrinks the associated work force will shrink. Further, consolidation has reduced the number of organizational entities available to support aeronautics R&T. AERONAUTICS AS A “MATURE INDUSTRY” The aeronautics industry, particularly the civil aeronautics industry, is frequently described as a “mature industry,” implying that it is characterized by diminishing technological opportunities and low returns on R&T investment. Although there are significant exceptions, most of the economic activity in aeronautics is conducted by large, well-established, “mature” companies. However, aeronautics technology is far from mature, if mature means there is limited opportunity

2Motoren-

und Turbinen-Union GmbH.

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APPENDIX A

21

for growth. Technological advances continue to produce important improvements in performance and affordability, even if those advances are not readily visible to the eye. For example, the C-17, C-141, and C-5 look very similar, but the advanced technologies incorporated in the structures and systems of the C-17 contribute to capabilities and operational performance unmatched by the older C-141 and C-5 (Figure 12). Aeronautics technology tends to be limited by ideas, not by basic physics. In the past, the U.S. aeronautics program has generated technical opportunities; with stabilized funding, the NASA and DOD aeronautics R&T program could be structured to continue generating technical opportunities. Aeronautics R&T has many areas of great opportunity reflecting its R&T-intensive nature and use of inputs from other R&T-intensive industries. The application of information technology to aircraft controls, guidance and navigation, traffic management, and propulsion is only one example. The use of advanced metallic and composite materials is another. The industry also faces ample opportunities for far-reaching innovations in production management and methods. Like the pharmaceuticals industry, the top tier of firms in aeronautics is complemented by a very large number of smaller supplier firms, many of which are relatively recent entrants to the industry. In at least some supplier sectors, such as avionics, significant entry by new start-up firms has occurred and is bringing innovative vitality to the industry. In short, the characterization of aeronautics as a mature industry says little if anything about the level of technological opportunities. In the judgment of this committee, there is little reason to anticipate that these opportunities will diminish in the near future. Indeed, the continued social demands for quieter, safer, and more environmentally friendly air transportation all require innovative responses.

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APPENDIX A

Figure 12 On-time rate for U.S. Air Force airlift missions during the 1999 Balkan Campaign. Source: Aviation Week and Space Technology, page 19, August 9, 1999. Photos: Department of Defense.

22

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APPENDIX B

23

Appendix B Statement of Task

The study committee will prepare a top-level assessment of the implications of recent trends in the U.S. aeronautics research and technology (R&T) program. The committee will complete the following tasks: • Using available data, the committee will assess trends in the U.S. aeronautics R&T program over the past decade and how funds have been allocated to government, industry, and university researchers. The assessment will include elements of the aeronautics R&T program supported by both government agencies and industry. If sufficient data are available, the committee will undertake a comparable assessment of foreign investment in aeronautics R&T. • The committee will familiarize itself with government-sponsored aeronautics R&T conducted at facilities operated by NASA, the FAA, the Department of Defense, universities, and U.S. industry. The committee will also familiarize itself with industry-sponsored aeronautics R&T. • The committee will review prior studies on the appropriate role for government in civil aeronautics R&T. The committee, if warranted, will make recommendations for changes in this role in light of current trends. The committee will prepare a short report that summarizes at a top level (1) the information collected by the committee, (2) findings concerning the impact that R&T program trends had on the current content of R&T programs, and (3) recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of aeronautics R&T. It is essential that the NRC deliver the committee’s report to NASA no later than September 15, 1999. The committee should limit the breadth and depth of its investigations as necessary to ensure that the report will be available on time.1 Also, the scope of the study only includes technology associated with aircraft and aircraft systems. The study will not explore safety issues related to operational or maintenance procedures, training, or the technology needs of ground-based air traffic control systems or airport security systems. The study will not include a review of classified information.

1As discussed in the preface, the committee was, in fact, unable to respond to all elements of the statement of task in the time allowed.

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APPENDIX C

24

Appendix C Study Participants

The committee wishes to thank the presenters who prepared materials for the committee’s review, the individuals who participated in the review of this report, and the others who supported this study—the staff of the NRC and those who took the time to participate in committee meetings. The full committee met twice during May and June 1999. Many smaller meetings were attended by one or more committee members and representatives of public and private organizations involved in the aeronautics industry. The small group meetings were part of the committee’s information-gathering process. Outside participants are listed below, grouped by organization. Aerospace Industries Association John Douglass Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency David Whelan Federal Aviation Administration Herman Redeiss GRA, Inc. Richard Golaszewski NASA Ames Research Center C.Thomas Snyder NASA Glenn Research Center Brijendra Singh NASA Office of Aero-Space Technology Michael Mann National Research Council Stephen A.Merrill Northwestern University Aaron J.Gellman U.S. Department of Commerce Sally Bath U.S. Department of Defense Paul Piscopo Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Bill Borger

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ACRONYMS

ASEB

GDP

NASA

NRC

R&D

R&T

25

Acronyms

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board gross domestic product National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Research Council research and development research and technology