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jet, the 707. The House disagreed. They said, “Leave it to private industry, and to private capital. They should be able to proceed better." The House prevailed in conference. The Congress rejected the subsonic subsidy.
Now what happened? The predictions of Senator Monroney and others were that if we didn't provide this subsidy, we would lose leadership in commercial aviation, production and commercial aviation, throughout the world. What happened, as you know, is what we dominate the world in commercial aviation.
We have left it to the private sector, and it has worked, and it has worked well.
RUSSIAN AND FRENCH AND British DEVELOPMENTS
Mr. MEANY. You think we would dominate it if the Russians have an SST and the French and British have an SST?
Senator PROXMIRE. Well, I think the answer to that is number one, the Russianis have not been successful in the past in selling their advanced t-chnology to us. Their maintenance problem is very serious and very se rere, and as far as the
Mr. MEANY. I would be delighted to believe, and no one I don't think there is anyone in this room would be more delighted to believe that the Russians are not capable, but they have shown they are ry: able in lots of places, unfortunately.
Senator / ROXMIRE. Well, that may well be. As far as the British or French Concorde is concerned, as you know, British Overseas Airlines, number one, and Air France, number two, have both said that the cost of operating that supersonic transport is twice as great per passenger mile. It would be an economic disaster. They are going to have to take them, because, of course, the countries own the airlines, but their chances of selling many British-French Concordes elsewhere under these circumstances are very small.
Mr. MEANY. Well, of course the plane that we have got on the drawing board, and for which this money is needed for the prototypes, is better known than either the British or the French, and it will fly at almost three times the speed of sound, and the best they can do is twice the speed of sound.
So, I think if we stay, if we stay in this competition, I am completely confident that we can come out on top:
Senator PROXMIRE. That may well develop, but my point is that at the present time, the British-French Concorde appears not to be effectively competitive with our subsonic jets.
That is all, Mr. Chairman,
COMMITTEE PROCEDURE : DEVELOPMENT OF NEW FACTS
Chairman ELLENDER. Just a minute, please. I am very hopeful that we won't argue the points, but simply try to develop new facts
. We have had considerable debate on the matter, and the prior records are full of information of the past. The purpose of this meeting, as I indi
cated previously, was to try and develop new facts, new reasons why
Any further questions?
SUBSONIC JET DEVELOPMENT BY INDUSTRY AND U.S. SPIN-OFF
Senator MAGNUSON. I just want to have one half a minute, and I think this is pertinent to the record.
The reason for the jet planes, the 707's and the 747's, the Government spent all the development money, on the P-52. The 707 was the spin-off. This is in reverse.
Mr. MEANY. Senator, when you look at the aviation industry, this Government developed the aviation industry in the 1930's. We would have not had an aviation industry when World War II came along, if the Government hadn't put the money in in the 1930's to develop that industry.
Senator MAGNUSON. That is right.
Mr. MEANY. Now, we are facing a situation where they are going into a new phase of air traffic, and other governments are subsidizing. I
mean, the 144 in Russia is certainly not the product of a capitalistic system. The French Concorde is a joint venture of the French Government and the British Government.
We are competing all over the world with governments, and we like to see our Government do their part, the same as they have done for the aviation industry in the past.
There is a precedent for this. The same as they have done for the railroads, back in the last century. The railroads were pushed to the West Coast of this country with Government assistance every foot of the way. So, there is no new precedent here, to have the Government go along in this industry, especially in view of the fact when there is every reason to believe that any money they spend in this venture would come back many, many times in revenue. So we feel that it would be a calamity to leave this field to the British and the French and the Russians.
Senator Magnuson. Thank you. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
AEROSPACE INDUSTRY DEPRESSED CONDITION AND QUESTIONED
DEVELOPMENTAL BENEFITS TO U.S. CITIZENS
Chairman ELLENDER. Senator Pastore.
Senator PASTORE. Mr. Meany, first of all, I want to compliment you for a well-reasoned statement, and for the splendid way that you have brought out and illustrated the depressed condition of the aerospace industry at the present moment.
But the thing that puzzled me is this, and I would like to have your observation on it. All this has been happening, while the Congress,
in spite of all the thunder with reference to the SST, has been funding the program.
In other words, there hasn't been any substantial cut in SST funds heretofore. Many of the arguments that are being made today have to do with the funding of the SST in the future.
Now the aerospace industry is in bad shape, even while we have been investing in these two programs. The question I ask is this: Coul In't it be that we are concentrating our efforts in the wrong family of planes? Aren't we concentrating more in a super-Cadillac when what the American people and the world needs is a better compact car? Don't you think that possibly the industry itself has become so enthusiastic about the SST, only because the Government is putting up much of the money, whereas they, themselves, in the past have been rather neglectful in not developing that kind of plane that will be of better service to the people of this country, to go from Providence to New York? To go from one section of the country to another? Because what we are talking about here is a plane that can't fly overland, but a plane that has to fly great distances, only because of its tremendous speed, and you have brought out the point that this is not for the jet set. I realize that.
But how many American p?ople are going to ride the SST? When what they are looking for is some plane that will go from Provid-nce to New York, and where is the investment beino made there! And can't this be the trouble with the industry today? That they are overlooking the little guy, and just trying to play ball with the big guy?
Mr. MEANY. Well, that may be. That is something that I think that they will have to figure out. I agree with you that the short routes are important also, but the point is, Senator, that this plane is going to be in the air.
You say who will use it? People who want to travel fast will use it. As far as I am concerned, the planes are fast enough today. But these planes will be able to be used, and they will fly between here and the rest of the world. We are not going to tell the oʻher nations of the world, "You can't bring your plane into our airports, with passengers fron verseas."
GOVERNMENTAL ASSISTANCE IN COMPETITION
So I simply say that this is a normal development, in this industry; this is a step forward; this is something that we have never done, we have never flown passenger planes at twice the speed of sound, although we do have, as Senator Magnuson pointed out, we do have the supersonic planes in the air, and have had them in the air for quite awhile. So, what we are saying is that the Government should help in this completion.
Now, if the prototype shows it is impractical, why, all right, it will be stopped. Insofar as this having effect on employment, the fact that the Congress has appropriated the money, and of course, with a deadline a few weeks away, causes unemployment. If these companies knew that they were going to go ahead after the last day in March, they would have a different situation in their plants. You just can't cut off on a day and say, “Well, everything stops on this particular day.” If
they are going to shut down, they have got to start shutting down well in advance. So, while I agree that I would like to see the aviation companies do a better job on the short-lines, I am sure they will, in the future, because they will have to meet the competition.
Mr. MEANY. Well, the only reason why-I would like very much to see our railroads do a better job in the passenger service.
REPORTED EUROPEAN CONSORTIUM TO PRODUCE AIRCRAFT RENDERING U.S.
SUBSONIC JETS OBSOLETE
Senator PASTORE. The only reason why I say that, is that I have been informed that there is a consortium by several nations in Europe to produce planes that will render our 707, 727, and 747 obsolete, and we haven't developed a new family of planes to meet that competition, and those are the planes that the people are riding, and we are concentrating on something that is way out, while we are neglecting a serious problem which confronts us today.
Mr. MEANY. Well, we have met that competition in the past, and I just can't see that our airline companies won't meet it.
You remember when the French Caravelle came out, it was supposed to be the very finest in the short run, light jet plane, but we developed our planes to meet that competition.
Senator PASTORE. I want to thank you.
INDUSTRY LOSS OF TECHNICAL ADVANTAGES AND DOMINANCE
Senator Allott. Mr. Meany, I want to compliment you on a very fine statement. If we would assume—and I am asking you this from the breadth of your own experience_if we were to assume that we could not proceed to finish the SST, development of these two prototypes which we have now, you pointed out that we would be 7 years behind. Isn't the significance even greater than that? That we would lose the technological advantage in the whole air industry, throughout the world?
Mr. MEANY. I pointed that out in my statement, Senator.
Mr. MEANY. The loss of the technical and scientific staff that we need to go ahead with these. I pointed out that in the layoffs, so far, this last year or so, the more and more of the technical and scientific people are being laid off, so how do we get those skills back, if we-I am completely convinced that we are going to build an SST—maybe not this year, maybe Consress will cut it off, but I just can't believe that America will be out of this race.
It is just not our way of doing things. We don't back away from these things, and we would have to start all over again, but I am sure, if the American people see the Russians flying this SST in, and the British-French Concorde come in, they are going to look to our industries, and our Government, to see that we get in the race. I just can't see us out of this race at all.
Senator PASTORE. I can't, either, and what I am really concerned about as much as anything is the loss of supremacy in an industry that we have dominated for many years.
STATEMENT OF HON. HENRY M. JACKSON, U.S. SENATOR FROM
U.S. COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY IN 1980's Senator Jackson. May I make a short statement? I am not a member of the committee.
Chairman ELLENDER. I understand.
Senator Jackson. Mr. Chairman, I should like to put my statement in the record. I did want to just make a brief quick summary of it, if I may.
Chairman ELLENDER. Proceed.
Senator Jackson. First, let me say I think the issue before the committee is what kind of participation will the United States make in the area of commercial aircraft technology in the 1980's? I think this is the issue before the committee.
If we follow the policy of opposing speed and the change in the size of planes, I should point out to you that in order to fulfill our air transportation requirements today, we would need to have flying in the air about 50,000 DC-3's. This job is now being done by 3,000 subsonic jets. I think this points up the problem. There is an obvious relationship between speed, Mr. Chairman, and the size of the aircraft, as to the number of people you can move. And this has an impact on air traffic, it has a firm impact on the environment. And that is the issue.
Now the truth is—and I think Senator Pastore raised the proper questions here—the truth is that we have been moving forward constantly; the 707 is being replaced by the 747, in the subsonic field. America has been so progressive in this area, Mr. Chairman, that about 83 percent of all of the commercial aircraft flying in the free world today, were produced in the United States by American scientists, engineers and technicians.
Now does anyone in their right mind really believe that you are going to outlaw science and technology? The argument about the jet set started with the subsonic jets. Well, this is nonsense. I mean, the fact that a plane is fast and speedy does not necessarily reveal what the future long-term passenger load is going to be. I heard those arguments when the 707 came out, that only the rich are going to fly in it, and all one has to do is see what has happened in connection with the jet travel today, coach travel, and so on. I think if one looks at it realistically, one can get the answer.