how much less developed would planes be if WW1 hadn't happened?

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by JulianWilliams, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. JulianWilliams

    JulianWilliams New Member

    WW1 led to a significant increase of the rate of the development of planes due to a lot of countries pouring in significant resources in their development due to their use in war, so, how much less developed would planes have been if WW1 had not happened?
  2. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    It is hard to say with precision but it is clear military necessity greatly accelerated aeroplane development. I dare say in the 4-5 years of war the aeroplane advances as if 15 years of peacetime development, but that is only a wild guestimate of a layman.

    Certainly aeroplanes advanced. They were faster, stronger, sturdier than before the war, and so was the aeroplane manufacturing industry.
  3. Alexander

    Alexander Member

    Certainly in the second world war it was a case of the designer and the production engineers with political and forces chiefs all fighting their corner. The myth that the war advanced technology can be debated - many of the inventions attributed to the era can be traced to experimental units like the Royal Aircraft Establishment and the establishments of the USA. Germany and other countries pre war - many of the improvements to flight like laminar flow wings, radiator ducting turning drag into thrust. Radar and other technology was known about and in it's infancy. Why some ask was the jet so slow to enter frontline service - certainly the UK records give reasons, factories geared up to produce fighters and bombers with frontline commanders demanding more of the equipment they trusted that they had trained people to use with maintenance crews and gear -the designers had to convince politicians to close factories and risk producing jet fighters that whilst most could see the potential - production engineers put their hands up and said - meet the requests demanded or take the risk. Commanders were not convinced whilst the fight was still an uphill struggle to stand units down to re-role, retrain and re-equip with unproven technology - pilots converting from Blenheim, Beaufighter to Mosquito was one thing - they were not yet in a position to change. Once the tide turned then the ministry of supply gave permission for factories - with limitations to spend more time on prototype testing and limited production. Post war the ministries looked back at the decisions made and concluded that as the United Nations had won the conflict they had been right not to do what Germany had done - she had spent so much of her engineering effort looking for the latest wonder weapons and even when she had found some very good ones still expended too much effort looking for the next.
    The Vickers company during the 1920s and 1930s had taken the Vimy bomber to the Vickers Virginia - No 7 Squadron with Virginias had in a short time taken the Virginia in development with at first 2 axis autopilot and from mechanical bomb release to electric circuitry, radio improvements were ongoing - much of the innovation was there - much of the will of parliament and budgets were sadly not.

    This is not in response to a 'what if question' they are not possible to answer - only a collection opinion'
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015

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