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the Bureau of Aeronautics made in the plane, to prevent the pilot's head from being crushed if the plane turned over on its back. It was something not foreseen when the plane was originally ordered.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Are your deliveries being made as rapidly as was anticipated?
Admiral Cook. No, sir. As you will see from this list, Mr. Chairman, almost all of these planes are overdue for periods varying from 2 months to 17 months.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Is there anything that the Department can do to speed up the deliveries?
Admiral Cook. There is nothing I know of. I would like to ask Captain Kraus to answer that.
Captain Kraus. I do not foresee anything that the Department can do to speed up deliveries, other than urging the various contractors to make all possible progress, and demanding, in some cases, priority in the assignment of labor and facilities necessary to the completion of these contracts, which has had some beneficial effect.
It happens that in some cases there has been difficulty in obtaining an adequate supply of labor—that is, skilled in all of the various branches—and that resulted in delays in organizing the larger force that had to be organized, coming out of an extreme slump and going into a period of great activity. In other words, those plants were somewhat handicapped by an inordinate rush of expansion of their forces, but they should be working out of that now, and they apparently are.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Can you advise us as to whether or not foreign orders have interfered in any way with the delivery of the Department's planes ?
Captain Kraus. I do not think foreign orders have.
TARLE D.-Number of program planes, by types, for which funds are available,
but which were not on order on Oct. 31, 1937 (indicating the year of the
chargeable appropriation) (Preliminary steps toward procurement have been taken and procurement will be com
pleted prior to the end of the current fiscal year. Estimates indicate that these planned procurements will obligate the remaining available funds)
Bids received. Contracts should be awarded by Jan. 1. 1938.
The next is number of planes by types which were washed out during each of the last 5 completed fiscal years, that is, transferred from program to nonprogram category, due to obsolescence and crash losses.
Under this classification are included all planes that were removed each year from the program category. The majority of them were shifted to the nonprogram category for reasons discussed above. Others were eliminated entirely because of crash or damage beyond economical repair.
TABLE E.-Number of planes, by types, washed out during each of the last
5 completed fiscal years; that is, transferred from program to nonprogram category, due to obsolescence and crash losses
Mr. UMSTEAD. Of the number given in that table for 1937, how many were shifted to the nonprogram category?
Lieutenant STROOP. All of them, Mr. Chairman. Forty of them had crashed, and the other 210 were obsolescent.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, if I understand the statements which have been included in the record, our plane situation, on October 31, 1937, was as follows:
Program planes, or I believe you called them Regular Navy planes?
Admiral Cook. Yes, sir.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Program planes not ordered for which funds are available and for which orders will soon be placed, 248?
Admiral Cook. The number already ordered or actually in the process of being ordered is 248. Those not yet ordered, but for which available funds will be obligated before the end of the current fisca! year, total 72.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Nonprogram planes, usable planes, 473?
Admiral Cook. The number of nonprogram usuable planes, Mr. Umstead, is 132. That means unrestricted. The usable planes within a limited sense, 341.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Then the number of nonprogram planes, divided into the two divisions you have just mentioned, would equal 473?
Admiral Cook. That is right, sir.
Mr. UMSTEAD. I understood you to say a few moments ago that the number of 1,002 included spares?
Admiral Cook. That is correct, sir. All figures that you have here are the total number of planes, including spares, and it is only when the term "operating planes" is used that spares are not includeci.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, how do the planes built in this country compare with the planes of other countries?
Admiral Cook. I consider that, insofar as quality goes, our planes are the equal of, and in some cases superior to, any planes built abroad. Due to the uncertainty of information as to the building programs of foreign planes, I am unable to make any reliable estimate as to comparative strengths.
USE OF COMMERCIAL PLANES IN TIME OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, to what extent would commercial planes be useful in times of emergency?
Admiral Cook. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I will answer that question for the Navy only. I do not feel qualified to speak for the Army. Insofar as actual military operations are concerned, the usefulness of commercial planes, other than the flying-boat type, to the Navy would be limited, due to their inherent limitation for naval operations, being purely land planes. Any large flying boats, such as the Pan-American operates now, in time of war would be very valuable for the purpose of scouting and for obtaining information, even through their combat ability was less than it would be had they been built as military planes. Unfortunately, however, there are very few of these planes available.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Of course, I take it, from the nature of things, that the situation with reference to the Navy using commercial airplanes in time of emergency would be quite different from that of the Army?
Admiral Cook. Yes, sir.
Mr. UMSTEAD. I assume that is the reason you do not undertake to speak for the Army!
Admiral Cook. Yes, sir; I do not feel qualified to speak for the Army, as I am not sufficiently familiar with their requirements.
STATUS OF AVIATION PERSONNEL
A statement of the situation with respect to aviation personnel as of September 30, 1937, is submitted below in tabular form. The figures include both officers and enlisted men of the Navy and Marine Corps but do not include aviation cadets.
Both officers and enlisted men assigned duties in Naval Aviation continue to be well trained and efficient. It is believed they compare favorably with personnel of any foreign air service.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, on the table just inserted it is stated that the Navy personnel or flying duty on September 30, 1937 was 3,752. Does that number include both officers and enlisted men?
Admiral Cook. Yes, sir.
Admiral Cook. Aviation cadets are reserves. They are not members of the Regular Navy. This is just the Regular Navy.
Mr. UMSTEAD. That figure simply deals with the regular officer personnel and enlisted men ?
Admiral Cook. That is correct.
Assuming that Pensacola's training facilities are used to the degree planned, there will be on June 30, 1938, a shortage of approximately 506 Naval aviators of the regular service. The situation resulting from this shortage of naval aviators will be alleviated by the use of a corresponding number of aviation cadets of the Naval Reserve who will have qualified as pilots by June 30, 1938. Due principally to the commissioning of new cruisers in the Scouting Force and the Wasp squadrons, the shortage will be approximately 671 naval aviators by June 30, 1939. Present estimates indicate that a sufficient number of aviation cadets will be available to fill these prospective vacancies, with a surplus sufficient to allow for attrition.
It will be necessary to continue the use of Naval Reserve officers on active duty at Pensacola as instructors in order to maintain the training schedules necessary to qualify adequate personnel to man the aeronautic organization.
The Navy has continued the expanded Coast Guard training pro gram at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola. On September 30, 1937, there were seven officers and five enlisted men of the Coast Guard undergoing flight training.
USE AND TRAINING VALUE OF OBSOLESCENT PLANES
Mr. PLUMLEY. I wondered, with respect to the accidents which sometimes occur at these training stations, whether you hold the mechanical factor due to obsolescence or the type of planes responsible, or the human element responsible!
Admiral Cook. Mr. Plumley, there have been cases where there have been material failures, but which have not necessarily been ascribable to the fact that the plane was obsolescent. We rather feel that the use of the obsolescent plane for training purposes, provided it is safe, is desirable in the early stages of flying in place of the new service types of planes which are very much more difficult to fly, and it is much better to have an intermediate step to the other planes in training.
Mr. PLUMLEY. But is that not one of the compelling factors, the fact that these planes are obsolescent and useless so far as practical duties are concerned?
Admiral Cook. They are useless as far as combatant military use is concerned. When operated under certain restrictions, they are of military value for training purposes.
Mr. PLUMLEY. I wondered to what extent accidents were really caused by the use of obsolescent planes at training stations.
Admiral Cook. To the best of our knowledge there have been none from this cause. There are many obsolescent planes that are perfectly safe to fly under certain limitations. It seems very extravagarit to scrap them, and some use should be made of them, and this is the only nonmilitary use to which they can be put and still get some more value out of them.
SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL
Mr. DITTER. Admiral, the total of 784 on the personnel table just inserted represents the shortage in officer personnel?
Admiral Cook. Officers and enlisted men.
Admiral Cook. There is some shortage of enlisted men required for flying duty.
Commander PowNALL. The figure of 784 here used consists of officer naval avaitors, Navy enlisted pilots, and other enlisted men in fying status, or a total shortage of 784 on active flying duty in the Regular Navy.
Mr. DITTER. Would that be officer personnel ?
Mr. DITTER. Of this 784 shortage, how many are officers and how many are enlisted men?
Commander PowNALL. Of the 784 shortage?
Commander PoWNALL. Four hundred nighty-eight officers, 44 Navy enlisted pilots, and 242 other enlisted men required for active flying duty, or a combined total of 784.
INVOLUNTARY RETIREMENT OF NAVAL AVIATORS DUE TO SELECTION SYSTEM
Mr. DITTER. Can you tell me in your unit how many officers qualified as aviators have been involuntarily retired from the service as a result of the action of a selection board ?
Admiral Cook. No, sir; but I can obtain that information and put it in the record.
Mr. DITTER. Will you give me the total, showing the number of men who have been involuntarily retired during the last year, and their flying experience, as a result of the action of a selection board ?
Admiral Cook. I will, sir.