Missed opportunities: NACA and jet propulsion

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

This study examines NACA's organization in the light of Alfred D. Chandler's Strategy and Structure. It analyzes the agency's administration. NACA's strategy of maximizing existing technology and its committee's structure were the key elements in its failure to develop jet propulsion in the early 1940s. We will focus first on NACA and its organization. The second chapter will describe jet propulsion, particularly the acquisition of a Whittle engine from England and General Arnold 's role in keeping NACA out of the development of the Whittle engine in the United States. The third chapter will concentrate on the reasons that combined and led to the difficulties of NACA in the mid-forties and the 1950s. That chapter will look at the rise of the aviation industry, the criticism it expressed against NACA, and finally NACA's strategy as one of the causes of failure.

United States -- History