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1 Officer would have retired due to selection on June 3C, 1937, but requested retirement due to 30 years service, effective Jure 1, 1937.
NAVAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY
The Naval Aircraft Factory started operation in the autumn of 1917 with all its activities in one building that was erected on Gorcrnment land in the navy yard, Philadelphia, in the late summer of 1917. It was established for the purpose of building flying boats to be used in antisubmarine patrol operations. Before the end of the war the factory had been so expanded that the original building was used entirely as shop space and another larger building was in use exclusively for the same purpose. An administration building for offices and engineering work was in use. There were, in addition, two large storehouses, one for raw material and one for finished articles, a steam-generating plant, dry kilns, garage, and two seaplane hangars.
In addịtion to the plant within the navy yard, the Naval Aircraft Factory also operated several industrial plants in the Philadelphia area that built component parts for the flying boats being assembled at the navy yard plant. The Naval Aircraft Factory had approximately 12,000 men on its rolls, of whom 3,500 were employed in the plant within the navy yard.
l'pon the signing of the armistice in 1918, production of flying boats was concluded as rapidly as possible. By the summer of 1919, all activities beyond the limits of the navy yard had ceased entirely, and the Naval Aircraft Factory had reduced its force to approximately 1,100 men. Since that time the size of the force has Auctuated, but it has remained of substantially that size.
With the suspension of the flying boat building program, the character of the work at the factory changed. Some small airplanes of
the fighting and observation classes were manufactured, experimental models of many types having been manufactured, overhaul and alterations to existing airplanes of all types have been carried out, laboratories for the testing of airplanes and airplane materials and for the testing of engines and engine accessories have been established and operated. The proportion of the total force employed that has been used on the various kinds of work has varied from year to year, but as stated above, the total force has remained substantially constant.
The production of airplanes in quantity had by the year 1924 practically ceased, but other activities had increased.
When the building of airplanes and engines at the aircraft factory was required by the Vinson-Trammell Act, some of the space in the principal shop buildings had been preempted by the laboratories that had been established and by activities not easily adaptable to manufacture, and additional shop space was necessary. This was accomplished by the construction of a new building to house the shops for the manufacture of engines, by the construction of a maintenance shop building into which the maintenance activities in the principal shop building could be moved, and by the construction of an assembly shop and hangar building in which the airplanes could be erected. Engineering spaces in the administration building were then occupied by the engineering force engaged in experimental and development work, and an addition was made to this building to house the engineering personnel required for the design of airplanes and engines.
Since the manufacture of airplanes had been stopped, the character of the equipment in the factory had gradually been changed to suit its changed functions, and structures of airplanes had changed from wood to metal. It was necessary, therefore, to acquire considerable equipment suitable for the manufacture of modern airplanes.
No engines had ever been built at the Naval Aircraft Factory, and all of the tools and equipment for this purpose had to be purchased. The cost of this equipment was the largest item in the total cost of preparing the factory for manufacture of airplanes and engines.
The provision of these additional facilities has now been completed for the particular models under construction, and the factory is currently manufacturing training airplanes, and radial air-cooled engines for use in training airplanes.
The program of airplane building is further advanced than the engine program, due to the fact that the factory had sufficient facili. ties to manufacture an experimental model of a training airplane before the additional facilities were ready, and due to the availability of a nucleus of personnel experienced in the manufacture of airplanes with which to proceed, neither of which favorable conditions was present in instituting the engine manufacturing program.
At the present time, the Naval Aircraft Factory has delivered 117 training airplanes of a total of 182 that have been ordered manufactured, and is now assembling material and making preparations for the manufacture of 44 observation planes, deliveries of which will follow upon completion of the training-plane program. At the present time, the factory has completed one engine of a total of 121
ordered and this engine has passed all tests. Work is well under way in the fabrication of parts for the remaining engines, but none has yet been delivered.
NUMBER OF PERSONNEL OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY Mr. DITTER. Right in connection with the Naval Aircraft Factory personnel, what is the personnel there now, Admiral!
Admiral Cook. About 1,600. Is that correct, Captain Kraus!
Captain Kraus. It is about 1,660 at the present time, and at the present moment it is declining.
INABILITY TO OBTAIN CERTAIN MATERIALS FOR NAVAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY
Mr. DITTER. Is that due to any increase in the work?
Captain Kraus. It is due to a general state in industry and the factory's inability to obtain certain materials that make for exact continuity of work.
Mr. DITTER. What is the cause of the difficulty in getting material!
Captain Kraus. Largely, a general bulge in demand for that material, so that in some cases where the ordinary period for obtaining certain types of material was 6 weeks, it went up to 18 weeks. Mr. DITTER. Particularly steel!
Captain Kraus. Certain special steel; yes, sir. Some of the aluminum alloys went up in the neighborhood of 14 weeks to 26 weeks. They have all dropped back to about normal periods now.
Mr. DITTER. What has caused the delay in the delivery of steel! Captain Kraus. The difficulty during the period of high activity of obtaining small quantities of special steels that took special procedure in manufacture. Mills were booked up for considerable runs of a given type of output, so that it was difficult to break off the schedule and get machinery set up to roll specially sized material or special alloy stocks.
Mr. DITTER. Did you experience any difficulty in getting estimates for bids for any of that steel?
Captain KRAUS. No; I think we have had no difficulty from the standpoint of getting bids. The deliveries that were quoted fre quently were the cause of difficulty in making a general set-up to meet the schedule.
Mr. DITTER. Did the intrusion of the Labor Department in any way affect the deliveries? Captain Kraus. I think not.
ESTIMATES FOR 1939, COMPARED WITH APPROPRIATION FOR 1938
Admiral Cook. Below is a summary by projects of the 1939 estimates, 1938 allocations, and 1937, and 1936 obligations.
$969, 700 $750,000 $218, 700 $750,000 $700,000 $498, 200 2. Maintenance.
19,039, 800 18,064, 000 975, 800 18,064, 000 14, 408, 270 11, 790, 385 3. Experiments
2, 903, 500 3,500,000 ---596, 500 3, 500,000 2, 500,000 2, 498,000 4. New aircraft (cost of program).....
21, 258, 000 29, 186, 000 -7,928, 000 29, 186, 000 27, 390,000 24,035, 725 Add prior year contract authorization.
15,000,000 13,000,000 2,000,000 13,000,000 6,590,000 8,500,000 Total...
36, 258,000 42, 186, 000 -5, 928, 000 42, 186,000 33,980,000 32, 535, 725 Deduct new contract authorization... -15,000,000 -15,000,000
-15,000,000 -- 13,000,000 - 6, 590, 000 Appropriation for new aircraft. 21, 258, 000 27, 186, 000 –5, 928, 000 27,186,000 20,980,000 25, 945, 725 Grand total...
44, 170, 000 49,500,000 -5,330, 000 49, 500,000 38, 588, 270 40,732, 310
NAVIGATIONAL, PHOTOGRAPHIC, AEROLOGICAL, AND
RADIO EQUIPMENT This project covers replacement and maintenance of navigational, photographic, aerologicaÌ, and radio instruments and equipment used in aviation. A summary showing the four subdivisions of this project is given below:
ADMIRAL COOK. The appropriation for replacement instruments for 1938 was $244,000 and the estimate for 1939 is $272,500, making an increase of $28,500. This additional amount of $28,500 is due entirely to the increase of 158 in the number of operating airplanes to be equipped with new outfits of navigational instruments in 1939.
MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF NAVIGATIONAL INSTRUMENTS
The estimate for 1939 is $56,000 and the appropriation for 1938 is $44,700, making an increase of $11,300 requested for 1939.
It has been found necessary to expand the instrument overhaul facilities in order to keep abreast of the increased maintenance and repair work required by the more complicated and delicate instruments now being used, such as automatic pilots, directional gyros, and gyro horizons. Additional funds are also required in order to handle the additional maintenance and repair work resulting from the enlarged aeronautic organization for 1939. With facilities now available it is possible to accomplish only a portion of the maintenance and repair work required. Damaged instruments in excess of those which can be repaired with present facilities are being held in storage awaiting the installation of additional repair equipment. The increase of $11,300 requested under this item for 1939 will enable the Bureau to enlarge the present repair facilities in order to overhaul and repair, as far as possible, those damaged instruments now held in store. These funds are required for the following instrument repair bases: Naval Observatory
$11,000 Naval aircraft factory
25, 000) Naval air station, San Diego--
The following aerial cameras are required for 1939 as replacements: (a) Five cameras, mapping, and oblique, 7 by 7 inches, $19,500; (b) five cameras, extreme short focus, $20,500; total, $40,000.
The appropriation under this item for 1938 was $36,000. The above estimate of $10,000 for 1939 therefore represents an increase of $4,000. This is due to the following causes: (a) Proposed purchase of 10 cameras in 1939 against 7 in 1938; (b) the mapping cameras to be purchased in 1939 are to be equipped with view finders which, while adding slightly to the cost, constitute a valuable improvement over similar cameras being purchased in 1938; (c) costs