- Thread starter
Well like it or not, that was the way it worked and in many respects it's still the same way. You just don't start pumping out aircraft at the snap of one's fingers, especially something state of the art and with the main customer requiring changes along the way. BUT look at the P-38 delivery numbers once the design was basically frozen and full scale production began. This is from the Christy and Ethell book "P-38 Lightning at War"
Thanks for the tables.
Making a YP-38 is not a case of 'pumping out aircraft at the snap of the finger'.
$$$ in hand!!! Oh - and people and facilities.
I'm not sure that US government ever shelled the money 1st for hundred of aircraft, and then waited for aircraft many months when ordering stuff from their usual sources.
During the mid-late 1930s Lockheed was not a big company, things started to change when they got for first large orders for the Hudson. At the end of 1937, the company employed fewer than 2,000 people and had produced only a few hundred planes during its entire corporate lifetime. On March 31, 1940, its workforce stood at about 7,000 employees.
Lockheed made all-metal monoplanes by hundreds before they did the XP-38, let alone the YP-38. Boeing made dozens before the B-17.
Exactly - and to support that you have to incorporate design changes, build production tooling, have all that approved, build the aircraft almost by hand and get it ready for test flight. Considering the time period and other government commitments Lockheed had, I see no foot dragging here.
Now with all this said, can you show anywhere or document any case where the AAC was upset with Lockheed for the time it took to get the YP-38 into the air after the crash of the XP-38???
No, I don't have any AAC docs to show them as being upset by the time the YP-38 is finally airborne.
What were the 'other government commitments' for Lockheed bar P-38 series in 1940?
Oh and one last thing to consider - rates of production (then and now) are also part of the contract. A customer may order 1,000 aircraft but may only want to take delivery of 200 of them per fiscal year, this based on available funding and logistics. Look at the production rates before and after Pearl Harbor.
They (customer) just might do that. Lockheed had 3 of them by Spring of 1940, later two. One (erstwhile two) of them will pay, in gold, for hundreds of aircraft if they can have them yesterday.