University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
History of Science and Technology

Page View

Schatzberg, Eric, 1956- / Wings of wood, wings of metal : culture and technical choice in American airplane materials, 1914-1945
(c1999)

2. Engineering enthusiasm: World War I and the origins of the metal airplane,   pp. [22]-43


Page 29

ENGINEERING ENTHUSIASM
Figure 2.4. Dornier D1 metal wing construction, with fabric removed from trailing
edge to reveal the metal-covered box spar. Official Navy photo in U.S. Air Services 10
(March 1925): 14.
four times as much labor as standard designs. Fokker, who had been forced
into a merger with Junkers in 1917, later criticized Junkers for his impracti-
cal commitment to all-metal construction despite the pressing demands of
wartime production. In any case, by the spring of 1918, metal shortages had
become severe enough to preclude large-scale production of metal airplanes
like the Dornier D1.16
German metal airplanes remained little known during the war, gaining
prominence only after the Armistice, when they inspired tremendous en-
thusiasm in France, Britain, and especially the United States. But before
Americans learned of German developments, the U.S. government launched
its own program to develop metal structures for military airplanes. This
program achieved modest success but generated none of the enthusiasm
that would later greet German developments.


Go up to Top of Page