Mastering failure: Technological and organisational challenges in British and American military jet propulsion, 1943-57
This essay undertakes a comparative review of radical innovation in the early Cold War, when UK jet propulsion development far outpaced any US efforts. British ingenuity created a series of jet engines which Americans adopted. One among these, which captures contrasting organisational formats for handling complexity and innovation, was the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire, a tough, reliable propulsion system. The USAF's licence assigned production to Curtiss-Wright, which had made piston engines for decades and which spectacularly botched the project, wasting millions. Eventually, the Pentagon shifted the J-65 American Sapphire to GM's Buick division, which finally fabricated adequate but obsolete engines in the mid-1950s.
Volume (Year): 53 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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