How much did Seversky have to do with the P-47?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by riacrato, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    He's typically mentioned as a key figure in public media (e.g. wikipedia), but how much did he really have to do with it?

    It is my understanding his influence was severly limited in 1939 and he was forced out of the company not much later.
     
  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    #2 Colin1, Jan 17, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
    Seversky had nothing to do with the P-47
    even in its earliest form. Moore got rid of him in 1939, though in time frame terms, that would be round about the XP-41.
    US aviation was hammered by the Great Depression and Seversky's outfit was no exception. Moore financed the company through this period but at this stage he did hang on to Seversky.

    He also brought on board Seversky's compatriot, Kartveli, who had everything to do with the P-47.

    To be fair, Seversky did suffer some problems with failed payments from sub-contractors but he didn't redeem himself with the handling of the P-35. This was won in the face of competition from the Curtiss 75 with an order for around 80 aircraft; he failed to deal satisfactorily with problems inherent in the P-35 including jamming starters, leaky tanks and ropey undercarriage. He lost alot of money on the order and then a further order for 210 aircraft to Curtiss, a company whom he held in disdain.

    He was, by all accounts, a difficult personality. His enthusiasm was unquestionable but his sales weren't matching that and by 1939, Moore had had enough of him; he was ousted whilst out of the country on a sales drive, given a bounty and retired from aviation into life as a columnist.

    William Kellett took over, the workforce was slashed by around 60% and in an attempt to shed the bad reputation the company had acquired, the name was changed to Republic Aviation.
     
  3. cherry blossom

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    Did the sale of some P-35s to Japan and the US government's reaction also play some role in making a reorganization necessary?
     
  4. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    A fair amount of the damage could be attributed to his difficult personality, he pretty much alienated himself (and his interests) from the US military aviation establishment. The consequent decline in sales led him abroad and into sales agreements with both Japan and the Soviet Union, neither of whom could boast excellent human rights records or even much respect for proprietary aircraft designs.

    Seversky seemed ready to try anything to reverse his company's fortunes and embarked on a large passenger aircraft program, into which he poured considerable sums of money. Moore had had enough by this stage, both he and the board of directors voted to get rid of him, installing William Kellett in his place and embarking on a major company restructuring program shortly thereafter. They adopted their third name in their short history, doing away completely with 'Seversky' in the title and becoming the more familiar Republic Aviation.
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Did Japan or the SU buy any P35s? I had not heard that before.
     
  6. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Around 20 2-seat versions
    were sold to Japan, who were at this stage already starting to agitate the US. These were designated the 2P-AL and aside from the inclusion of a 2nd berth, were powered by a single-row Wright Cyclone, instead of the 2-row Twin Wasp; the JNAF gave it their own designation though I don't recall what that was.

    Two 2P-ALs were also sold to the USSR along with a manufacturing licence but again, I don't recall how many the Soviets turned out off their own lines.

    I'll have a dig when I get home.
     
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