IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Mastering failure: Technological and organisational challenges in British and American military jet propulsion, 1943-57

Listed author(s):
  • Philip Scranton
Registered author(s):

    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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Business History.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 479-504

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:53:y:2011:i:4:p:479-504
    DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2011.578130
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:53:y:2011:i:4:p:479-504. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.