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Schatzberg, Eric, 1956- / Wings of wood, wings of metal : culture and technical choice in American airplane materials, 1914-1945
(1999)

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


Page 31

ENGINEERING ENTHUSIASM
TABLE 1
Aircraft Produced in the United States, 1920-1939
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
Total
43
49
178
411
2,148
14,020
780
328
437
263
743
377
789
1,186
1,995
4,346
6,193
3,437
2,800
1,396
1,324
1,615
1,710
3,010
3,773
3,623
5,856
Military
14
15
26
142
2,013
13,991
682
256
389
226
687
317
445
478
609
847
779
836
853
500
331
393
336
858
858
925
921
Other
29
34
152
269
135
29
98
72
48
37
56
60
344
708
1,386
3,499
5,414
2,601
1,947
896
993
1,222
1,374
2,152
2,915
2,698
4,935
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of
the United States: Colonial Times to 1956 (Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1960), 466.
Note: "Military" figures are airplanes for the U.S. Army
and Navy; military exports are included in "Other."
Before spruce production had reached adequate levels, the federal gov-
ernment also began research on substitute materials. One of these projects
concerned the development of metal airplane structures. This project was
supervised by the NACA, a federal agency established in 1915 to advise the
federal government in matters pertaining to aviation. During the war the
NACA took an active role in coordinating aeronautical research through a
system of technical committees devoted to specific problems and broad re-
search areas. Members of the technical committees came primarily from
government agencies involved in aviation, including the NACA itself. The


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