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A serious level of effort by NASA in Advanced Turbofan technology will permit the development of advanced concepts and an adequate amount of testing to elucidate problems and their solutions. With this information in hand, the engine manufacturer can decide to incorporate these advanced concepts into a new engine product developments with an adequate basis of concept verification and hence, with a minimum of technical risk. Successful incorporation of advanced concepts will result in the availability of new, more efficient engines. Their decreased cost of operation will result in lower fares and hence, increased travel demand. Increased travel demand means more jobs and other economic benefits. Technology advances of the past have created advantages for the traveler, the airlines and the manufacturers of airplanes and engines. Future technology advances will generate similar benefits. Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions. My staff and I are prepared to work with you and members of your staff in assuring adequate funding for the NASA aeronautics program.
R. C. HAWKINS
STATEMENT OF H. W. (BOB) WITHINGTON, VICE PRESIDENT, BOEING COMMERCIAL
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Bob Withington-Vice President of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company. We appreciate the opportunity to present our views on the important subject now before the Committee-the fiscal year 1984 NASA Aeronautical Program.
Last year at this time, the Executive Office of the President-Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was chairing a multi-agency study group formed to review national aeronautical R&T policy. The November 1982 report issued by the study group contained several findings that generally recognized the commonality of aeronautical R&T needed for the military and civil sectors, and the importance of such research to our national security and the economic benefits to our nation from a healthier U.S. civil aeronautical industry. With regard to the U.S. Government role, the report contained the recommendation for; "Government support for aeronautical R&T development and for military aeronautical technology demonstration, consistent with overall government priorities and the availability of funds." It was also recommended that NASA fund, direct and implement aeronautical R&T development programs and support military aeronautical technology demonstration programs. Issuance of the report and its endorsement by the President's Scientific Advisor indicates Administration concurrence with the content.
Considering the findings and recommendations made by the OSTP study group, we would expect to find a reversal of the decay that has occurred over the past several years, in the real dollars made available for NASA to carry out their responsibility. The fiscal year 1984 program does not meet that test. For the total aeronautical budget, the very nominal increase over fiscal year 1983 accounts for little more than inflation. We are particularly concerned about the significant reduction in the systems technology budget for fiscal year 1984 as compared to fiscal year 1983. The complete lack of funds for Advanced Transport Operating Systems, Advanced Control Systems, Advanced Turboprop, Laminar Flow Control, and IPAD (Integrated Programs for Aerospace-Vehicle Design) programs, shows a negative, rather than a positive response to determinations made by the OSTP. In each case, NASA and industry have had productive work underway. That momentum will be lost if they are dropped. It was clear that the study group recognized the high cost and risk of such R&T development programs and intended that they be pursued by the NASA.
Mr. Chairman, we strongly recommend this committee take action to ensure adherence to the intent of the OSTP Aeronautical Research and Technology Policy. I would like to note that the NASA has developed an effective process aimed at defining short and long term programs having proper balance between and within major research categories, and within realistic resource requirements. This process is in the form of advisory groups made up of high level, qualified representatives of industry, government and academic organizations that advise and comment on NASA planning. The pros and cons, and the relative merits of individual and collective R&T development efforts planned by NASA are discussed with consensus recommendations being provided by those that will be most affected by results of the research. This is done in an atmosphere where the varied interests of affected parties have equal opportunity to be reviewed on a relative basis. This is in contrast to issues being presented by vocal, single issue groups without assurance of consideration for equal, or more important issues. The NASA has in turn been quite respon
sive to advisory group recommendations, with productive programs being the result. This process was used prior to submittal of the NASA fiscal year 1984 plan to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Unfortunately, it was not possible to do so after subsequent revision of the plan.
On April 1, 1982, I appeared before this committee and noted that foreign competition is very real and a significant challenge to this country in both the military and civil sectors. The civil competition remains very fierce with a reduced market caused by the worldwide recession. Sales have diminished with a decreasing capability to fund the needed research. The employment posture of a significant portion of this country's workforce is at stake over the short, as well as the long term. Adherence to what we understand to be the intent of the OSTP policy would provide needed assistance toward meeting the challenge. Again, we strongly urge this committee to correct what we believe is deviation to the policy intent.
It has been a privilege to be asked to appear before this committee. Thank you. [The following information was subsequently received for the record:]
QUESTIONS OF THE Committee AND THE ANSWERS THERETO
Question 1. Mr. Withington, the Boeing testimony includes a statement that the elimination of funding in fiscal year 1984 for Advanced Transport Operating Systems was not in line with the Administration's policy on aeronautical research and technology. What benefits would the air transport industry gain from this program? Answer. The elimination of funding in 1984 for the Advanced Transport Operating Systems would delay the needed research and development work on many promising potential technical improvements that we feel could improve our national competitive position in the production of large transport aircraft. Our competitive position with respect particularly to the French Aerospatiale organization is very much a function of the technical excellence of our product. We have had to accept that financial and political support from particularly the French Government is something that we are not able to match. Therefore, our only basis for a superior product is in the technical area. These new Operating Systems Technologies, which were being funded, would assist U.S. industry in maintaining the slight current technical advantage that we now enjoy. Failure to support these programs puts that possible advantage at risk.
Question 2. Is this a program that private industry could or would take over? Answer. Essentially all of the programs involved in the Advanced Transport Operating Systems were ones that most of the U.S. industries (certainly Boeing) were working on with company funds. However, the generally depressed condition of our industry at this time severely limits the magnitude of the funds available to bring these new technologies up to the point of production commitment. We certainly intend to continue working in these areas. However, the limited company funding will extend the time at which these new technologies can be available, therefore increasing the risk of losing what slight technical advantage we currently enjoy. These programs, in the past, have been cooperative between industry and government. I am convinced industry is doing the best it can under the current business environment. The additional funding that was planned to be provided by the government would have helped us maintain the technical superiority of our products. I am sure you are well aware that the overseas sale of large commercial aircraft is one of the very few areas which provide a favorable balance of trade.
STATEMENT OF JOHN E. RALPH, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT-OPERATIONS AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT, AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
This statement presents the views of the member airlines of the Air Transport Association on NASA aeronautical research and NASA's fiscal year 1984 budget. For many years the airlines have supported a vigorous NASA Aeronautical Research and Technology Program. This support has been based both on NASA safetyrelated work and on aircraft and engine technology work. NASA safety and human engineering programs hold promise of improving the level of safety in aircraft operations, a vital objective in view of the fact that safety is our paramount concern. With respect to technology, the airlines operate aircraft and engines which have been designed from established technologies, and are limited by the efficiencies and cost of operation dictated by these technologies. NASA has addressed the fundamentals of these limitations with potential for significant improvements in efficiency. Over the past several decades, NASA and its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), have an undisputed record of success in providing advances in the technology base that provides the underpinning support for a
viable U.S. air transport system. These advances have fostered the manufacture of aircraft which are the world's standard, and have contributed significantly to the nation's balance of payments as a result of our leadership in worldwide aircraft sales.
This past year the Administration revalidated the important role of NASA aeronautics programs by adopting the Keyworth Report, the Aeronautical Research and Technology Policy, in November 1982. Also during 1982, the National Research Council reviewed NASA programs and identified a number of areas where additional work is necessary. Unfortunately, it appears the new policy came too late to significantly influence the budget sent to Congress for fiscal year 1984. We are hopeful, however, that the fiscal year 1985 budget will provide for a more aggressive approach to the needs of civil aviation.
At this time, we see a need for NASA Aeronautical Research and Technology Programs to include continued emphasis on safety and improved service durability of systems, as well as energy efficiency. We are pleased that present efforts included under the energy efficient transport and the energy efficient engine programs indicate the potential for significant improvements in reliability and maintainability in addition to their fuel conservation benefits. We believe these efforts need to be pursued further in related projects such as the Advanced Turbo Fan Program and others. We also believe there is room for continuing advancement in both the metallic and non-metallic materials field, and that further exploration of advanced stability concepts is necessary to permit lighter weight aero structures in the near future. We support the application of the human engineering discipline to advanced automated airborne systems as a means to improve safety and operating efficiencies. It is noted that the Administration proposes to eliminate the funding for the Advanced Transport Operating System (ATOPS) program. In these austere times this action is probably necessary and we are not suggesting its resurrection; however, steps should be taken to retain some of its supporting facilities which may be useful for other efforts.
We are concerned that manpower limitations may stand in the way of achieving the full potential of NASA Aeronautical R&T Programs. Notwithstanding statements about hiring young engineering graduates, it appears that NASA has been placed under a personnel ceiling, which is likely to cause a reduction in the number of experienced and qualified personnel in the NASA Research Centers. We are hopeful that steps can be taken to rectify this situation.
In summary, we are pleased about the announcement of a new aeronautical research and technology policy, and are looking forward to an invigorated NASA program for civil transport aircraft in fiscal year 1985. In this regard we enthusiastically support the need for NASA work leading to safety, durability and efficiency of civil air transport aircraft and systems.
Senator GORTON. We will now hear from Mr. Edward Stimpson, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. STATEMENT OF EDWARD W. STIMPSON, PRESIDENT, GENERAL AVIATION MANUFACTURERS ASSOCATION
Mr. STIMPSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We appreciate the opportunity to testify this morning on behalf of the 35 companies in our association which manufacture everything from intercontinental business jets to commuter airplanes to small, twin-engine trainers and agricultural aircraft. Our industry has enjoyed a very productive relationship with NASA over the last few years and its laboratories at Lewis and Langley and other places. Many of the developments that have occurred there are now on our airplanes. It is certainly a most productive and profitable venture.
Research and development have long been important to our industry. Until recent years, our competition came primarily from within our own ranks, and new technology applications often had a significant impact in our marketplace. Our manufacturers have historically invested about 5 percent of their sales in R&D and they continue with a substantial commitment today.
However, the effects of the recession over the past few years have also affected R&D dollars and have gone down with decreases in our sales which were down 30 percent last year. Unit deliveries have declined about 75 percent over the last 3 years. During this same time, competition from foreign manufacturers, especially in the business jet and turboprop area, have increased significantly. Aided by strong support from their governments, from capital investment to R&D funding to export finance subsidies, these competitors have taken aim at the U.S. market and have enjoyed an incredible degree of success.
About 60 percent of their total sales are right here in the U.S. market. Of all business jets sold last year in the United States 43 percent were foreign manufactured, and in the 10-to-19 passenger category of aircraft, turboprop, about 50 percent of the sales were by foreign manufacturers. This is more than just a challenge to our industry. It constitutes a serious threat to our national pride and leadership in aviation.
And, Mr. Trible, I was pleased to have you get into this business about technology transfer and release of NASA information this morning. It is a problem and I am not sure I have any answers for you today, but it is certainly a question that we need to explore a lot more.
The long-term effects of such market penetration, especially if sustained, are not hard to postulate. Already, the toll on employment in our industry has reached a record level. The positive balance of payments contributed for years by our industry became a trade deficit in 1981, and continued to 1982 when total import dollars exceeded our exports.
On technology, continuing development, research and engineering have brought new technological advances that will lead customers to the marketplace. Despite the recession, we have seen announcements of new airplanes-cabin class singles and single engine turboprops. Our goals are efficiency and speed. We have seen single-engine piston cruise speeds over 200 knots, twin engine piston speeds of 300 miles per hour, single engine turboprops cover 350 miles per hour, and turboprop twins topping the 400 mile per hour mark. Meanwhile, some of our new jets are flying 10,000 feet above the airlines, avoiding the airway congestion while operating at very high efficiency and outstanding performance. We think all of these bode well for our industry in the future.
Now, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy statement released in November is most encouraging. Overall, we think it is a forthright and constructive statement. The conclusion that continued research in aeronautics is in the national interest is particularly welcome in view of past attempts to deemphasize aeronautical research. This White House acknowledgement of the importance of Government-sponsored R&T is most timely.
Now, there is a finite limit as to what our individual companies can do. With a dramatic increase in foreign Government-supported competition from abroad, we believe the U.S. Government will continue or must continue to play a vital role. Given the unique and superb NASA facilities and their capabilities and expertise, we believe we can outpace our competition if we fund and go ahead with the necessary programs and R&T.
As we review the NASA budget in the area of aeronautical research and technology, we are encouraged. The budget was slightly increased. At the same time, we find some of the reductions are hard to understand when you look at the overall conclusions and recommendations of the OSTP study. We are particularly concerned that most of the projects which appear to have the greatest potential for our industry in general aviation seem to have been reduced dramatically or zeroed out.
According to NASA, the budget request before you includes about $7.1 million for the general aviation sector. Now look at some of the individual programs, briefly, in the advanced turboprop system, which involves research in high speed 0.8 mach number propeller. We believe this is an important program, and to remain competitive worldwide, this technology is very important to us. As you know, Congress recognized this last year by adding additional money to the budget.
Another program which is of extreme importance to us is the small engine component technology. There are tremendous gains in performance, efficiency, reliability, noise and emission levels that we have seen in larger engines, and it underscores the great potential for improvement in small engines. This is an area which is again receiving priority attention by our overseas competitors. The $4 million request is a modest sum to initiate a program that can pay big dividends in the foreseeable future, and we would certainly hope the committee would consider putting this back into the budget.
The broad property fuels area-this is another program which was funded by Congress last year. It explores the question of synthetic alternate fuels for use in aircraft powerplants. We should not let a temporary fuel glut this year wipe out the recognized need to look to the long-term availability of fossil fuels and consider alternatives.
Composite structures are very important for our industry as well as for the larger transport industry. We see more composites going on airplanes every day, and the gains to be achieved in fuel efficiency and operating performance are very important.
Now, we are not always talking in general aviation about big expensive programs, Mr. Chairman. Yesterday, a program was brought to my attention which has a lot of merit. The program is being developed at Wallops Island, at relatively low cost within NASA.
Last year, we had about 80 accidents in general aviation because of water in the fuel, fuel contamination. Normally now, a pilot goes out and, using this device, he gets fuel out of the bottom of his tank and he looks at it. If it looks like water is in it, he thinks he has a problem. If it is all clear, he dumps it and goes on.
But NASA, after looking at the actual statistics-and we have a lot of work going on in aircraft and their fueling right now-came forward with a proposal that said well, I think in NASA we can do some research which will help identify within the fuel whether there is water, particulate structure or whatever. And they are going ahead with this project.
As I say, with an insignificant amount of money they may have a great breakthrough here which could save some 80 accidents a