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Space Shuttle would be there and we had it on display, along with all the other aircraft undergoing flight tests.
In the past the maximum we had was 70,000 people and this year we had over 300,000 people who jammed the freeways for hours. So, yes, there is a tremendous enthusiasm for technology, at least in the districts of California I have seen, and I know it is true also in California. So there is a lot of support out there in the country for science and technology
Mr. Lloyd. I notice that we have cut out one of the Space Shuttles in this year's budget. Within the realm of practicality, from your own point of view and wearing the uniform that you are, could you comment on that? Is that the right thing to do or should we go forward a little stronger?
General STAFFORD. Today, sir, we are committed to two launch sites with four Space Shuttles with the option to procure the fifth, and of course the fifth one will be produced in the out years.
Looking at the Department of Defense's requirements for satellite payloads, and what NASA has before it, it would be a very tight schedule, particularly if there is any delay.
But as long as the production line is open to procure the fifth one at this time, I certainly go along with it.
Mr. LLOYD. In other words, that is not a debilitating function? General STAFFORD. Not at this time, but down the road, it could be. Mr. LLOYD. Are you satisfied with the application of the information which we have gained through space involvement, which you yourself have been involved in? Are you satisfied that we are moving with the speed, direction, and force that we ought to be moving?
General STAFFORD. Well, it is a tremendous data bank we have accumulated, and what we are doing with it again—there are always budgetary constraints, but it does take, as was brought out by some members of the committee, a visionary and forward-looking thrust.
Again, as to whether there is enough today--and my job is mostly aerodynamic flight testing, and I have not been involved programmatically in the budget this year—and it is hard to comment.
Mr. LLOYD. Are you satisfied in the aerodynamic areas with our progress in commercial applications, the supercritical wing or something beyond that? And then would you comment also on applications to general aviation.
General STAFFORD. With respect to aviation today, the United States is still the world's leader. However, it was pointed out that a lot of, primarily, the European countries are starting to push in this effort, and so is Japan. To keep our balance of payments at least in a favorable sense, we need to continue our technological lead with respect to aeronautics. NASA is charged primarily with the development of new concepts and the supercritical wing certainly will be assured and all of the new transports that we have in the subsonic class. Our powerplants are coming along. NASA has some development of powerplants, but I am not sure of all the details, and so does the Department of Defense primarily through the Air Force.
But to me it is a continuing review that as long as we have the lead we just can't let up. We have to keep the lead. That was the key point, so we would maintain the technical superiority for the United States.
Mr. LLOYD. How about general aviation application? Obviously there is no state-of-the-art involved in it, but application of things we
already know which can be translated into manufacturing methods. I was down at Grumman's general aviation plan in Savannah, Ga., and I noticed an extensive use of honeycomb, for instance, in the construction of the main spar, where they used a tubular main spar and they inserted it to extend it out further as they increased the capacity of the aircraft going up through their commercial line. As they needed a bigger wing, they just inserted another round spar, and kept going. Obviously these are techniques which have been developed and the alloys and metals that are used to give longer life and greater resiliency in the metal and so forth. Do you see a continuance of that? And is there anything we can do to speed that up?
General STAFFORD. The transfer of technology from primarily a commercial aviation and military aviation into the private sector, to me-in a lot of areas it is on the vendors and subcontractors who produce metal forgings and all this, and it is very much an effective means of transferring this technology into the private aircraft field.
Today I notice in general from reading the papers that the sales of aircraft from our major private suppliers is really high. Nobody can touch us today.
Mr. LLOYD. We are being challenged by the French in some of the general aviation developments. They certainly are not as strong as we are, but one of the areas I consider to be a weakness and maybe I am in error-is for instance, in engine development, reciprocating engine, and turbo-prop development, would you agree with that? General STAFFORD. On this one, sir, as far as the turbo-prop I am not
I knowledgeable in that field today.
I guess I read Aviation Week, like a lot of other people, and that's where I get my information. But as far as the jet engine, the high bypass ratio engines, we are still the leaders in the world.
Mr. LLOYD. Thank you very much.
General, it is good to see you again. I don't know that everyone on this committee is aware that you are also an excellent exterior decorator. You have taken that base that was always a fascinating laboratory in advanced aeronautics and you have made it also the pride of the Air Force, where visitors can finally see that it is also a living museum, for example, as our Capitol is both a working building and the pride of our country as far as history is concerned. I look forward to coming out there and flying the B-1 soon. The Secretary of Defense has said that he will allow me to fly it, which is awful nice since it's built in my district.
I would like to follow-up on one of Mr. Lloyd's questions, and also one of Mr. Rudd's questions to Dr. Press, and that is on the SST.
Our chairman encouraged me, if ever I had the opportunity to do so, to fly the SST, and I did on Sunday. And I can tell you I was amazed, not just impressed, to be over 50,000 feet maintaining Mach 2 for several hours across the Atlantic in what was not an uncomfortable cabin but a very comfortable environment. It gave me a very sad feelthat our country for the first time in its history in that Senate vote some vears back had tried to hold back history and the future of aviation. Flying on that same flight was a senator, whom I will not name, so as not to embarrass him, who had voted against the SST. As I predicted with Senator Tunney in my own State, when the opportunity arose, he would fly it. This man wanted to get back quickly to this country, so there he was enjoying the tremendous Mach 2 speed that this plane offers.
Are you ready at the Edwards Flight Test Center to see progress begin again on a commercial SST? Would you encourage the members of this committee, after the embarrassment that went on with J.F.K., with those trying to hold back the SST, and the fact that it is now a big success, would you encourage our country to resurrect this process and now move ahead?
General STAFFORD. That is a difficult question. Man's progress has always been a geometric progress.
As you know, today, sir, time is one of our most precious assets and anywhere we can save time I think is a valuable investment.
Again, NASA is continuing on with its developments in the supersonic area to provide the technology for an aircraft that will be very efficient with respect to the use of energy, and also to have minimum environmental impact.
Now, when would it be time to proceed on that, I don't know, but I for one believe that one of these days, yes, the United States will build a supersonic transport that will be unsurpassed in the world. It will be economical and will not create environmental problems.
As far as the Flight Test Center is concerned we have the environment to test it.
Mr. Dornan. I think maybe naming it would be the problem. If we called it a hyperfast people-mover, maybe we could find the funding for more research.
That was a glorious day out there at Edwards on August 12, when the Space Shuttle had first separated. You had really prepared that facility in a beautiful way for the press to tour the hangars and see all of the aircraft that this country had developed. I think the queen of the major hangar where you had the display was obviously the B-1. I heard people actually gasp when they saw it for the first time and realized what an extremely beautiful aircraft it is, in addition to being the best aircraft ever made by man.
I don't want to put you on the spot, because you are not only a great aviator and a scientist, but you do wear your nation's uniform and I have seen a lot of men in uniform shrink from countering the worst decision the White House made in a decade on defense, canceling that plane.
But if I could in just a scientific way ask you to comment on this. If the House prevails next week and beats back the Senate attempt to junk B-1's 5 and 6, which means giving them away for nothing because, given terminations costs and unemployment insurance costs, et cetera, we really could have the two airplanes for about zero. It is like killing the SST when half the money was spent. If No. 5 and No. 6 are delivered to you whether the Air Force says they want them or not can you profitably fly those aircraft and glean valid research and development information for the future of aviation and for the defense of this country?
General STAFFORD. I thought it was tough being an astronaut.
First, sir, with respect to the B-1, I have flown the aircraft. It meets all the specifications. And with respect to the flight test program, we have always been ahead of schedule. As you know, under the present plans we will have No. 4 delivered late this year, which will continue in the flight test areas. By this time next year, No. 1 and No. 2 will fairly well be terminated because we will have gleaned all we could out of No. 1 and No. 2.
Now, with respect to a development program, there can always be knowledge gained as you go into the production line from preproduction, but how much I couldn't say right now. I just don't know the answer on that.
Mr. DORNAN. But to follow Mr. Lloyd's question, there will be large sections of these exotic composite materials that will be used on 5 and 6 that were not used on the first four.
General STAFFORD. In the tail section and in some other areas to reduce the weight.
Mr. DORNAN. They will be electronically hardened for nuclear air bursts so that one of them could go down to that multimillion-dollar trestle at Kirkland, and that would gain us some good knowledge.
General STAFFORD. There is always knowledge to be gained from that, sir, as far as any new technology.
Mr. Dorxan. I hope that next year we will be delivering B-1's No. 5 and 6.
It also has the excellent byproduct that it would keep the B-1 line open during Salt II so we don't engage in any more of this preemptive concession.
I look forward to seeing you out there to take a close look at that F-16, unless Congressman Goldwater's father beats me out there. I would like to sit in the cockpit, because I think we have probably got the best airplanes that have ever been flown under your guidance out there at the Test Center. I hope every member of this committee gets a chance to go out and also see the excellent decorating you have done with about 15 different types of cactuses.
Mr. TEAGUE. Mr. Milford.
Mr. Milforn. Gentlemen, I would like to enter into two areas and solicit your personal opinion on these and going in to separate it from any administration things.
I ask your personal experience because of your background and experience. The first would concern the joint Russian-American space efforts. Many of our members are concerned-and I am one of them, about the joint Russian-American enterprise. For one, I am seriously concerned about any transfer of technology that we might have that we have spent hard-earned dollars garnering and transferring that to any country, whether it be Russian or anyone else. On the other hand, as a meteorologist I can recall that during the Cuban uprising and the cold wars and everything, we never missed a single weather report from Cuba or Russia or anyplace else because it was to both of our advantages to interchange information.
So using that as a framework, is it possible that we can go on conducting joint efforts in such things as garnering basic research or garnering basic measurements ?
I am sure their concern with the possible ozone damage and their concern with the carbon dioxide levels would be as great as ours. It costs us money to put people into space. Is it possible that we could ro on with a joint research project that would be advantageous to both ind disadvantageous to neither?
Gen. STAFFORD. First, with respect to the efforts on the Apollo-Soyuz test program where you have expressed concern, and the chairman has, and I think Mr. Winn and several other people, I was not involved until after the then administration made the decision to proceed with the Apollo-Soyuz test program. At that time I became vice chairman of the negotiating group and commander of the mission.
One thing I set out to assure was that it was at least a 50–50 arrangement. It was. In certain ways we learned lots more about them than they did about us. In fact, at the end of that program I had a session with the director of the program, and he said if the Russians learned anything from us, it would have been in program management. It was really a mission of techniques and not technology. We said we would meet them at a certain time, space, and velocity, and we joined both docking mechanisms. Several times I refused to fly the mission until the Soviets met certain aspects. One was open up the launchsite and the control center. To me, it wasn't any giveaway. The transfer of technology was, to me, minimal
. In fact, we learned quite a bit about them, particularly since their program had been closed.
With respect to the transfer of weather data, and basic research, I think this can yield dividends whether it is the Soviet Union or any foreign country. We have an ongoing program in NASA for this.
As far as the future program, again this has to be taken with very detailed analysis and with a step-by-step effort.
Mr. MILFORD. Do you feel we could benefit without giving anything away by pusuing future joint space ventures?
General STAFFORD. It does have a potential for the future, but it has to be looked at on a step-by-step basis.
Mr. Milford. The other area I wanted to get into, for lack of a better term, would be the "aging scientists” that we see at NASA and the various Government-sponsored laboratories throughout all of Government.
As I visit these laboratories, including your own, in private conversations it seems to come to the forefront that NASA is concerned and some of your Air Force labs are concerned with the fact that the folks are getting a little older and we don't have new ones coming on board. Some have volunteered or expressed that the good ones have either moved on to industry or up in management. And they express a concern that in the in-house lab we may through the civil service rules and other things, have a fellow who is kind of perpetuating his own job or making a career out of trying to discover some particular area or some particular project.
Are you concerned with this, just a personal opinion. General STAFFORD. A personal opinion, it was of concern to me at NASA and where I am today with respect to my engineering talent that I have there in the civil service sector. As you know, when you have a continually decreasing base of manpower and you have people there who got into the system as a young person
don't have the ability to have a turnover and hire people, you have problems. Those are the facts of life, and it is true for Air Force and NASA and the other agencies.
Mr. MILFORD. Do you feel that we maybe ought to take a look at some legislation for perhaps finding these people jobs in other areas of Government so that we could use new people at these laboratories?
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