Engineering the F-4 Phantom II: Parts Into Systems

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Naval Institute Press, Jan 1, 1996 - Technology & Engineering - 258 pages
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Conceived in 1953 in a chickenwire-covered cubicle known as the advanced design cage at McDonnell Aircraft, the F-4 Phantom II fighter-bomber was produced for 25 years, serving a full workload in Vietnam for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force, and surviving through the 1990s in the air arms of eleven nations. While most case studies of modern aircraft focus on the many ways the military-industrial complex goes wrong, this trenchant, invigorating study looks deeper at how those who built the complex intended it to work. Step by step the reader discovers how the relationships among parts, systems, procedures, economies, and missions were shaped by relationships among people - scientists, engineers, testers, program managers, subcontractors, military strategists, pilots and corporate leaders. Drawing on exhaustive research, including interviews with key players, the author makes a major advance in the burgeoning body of literature on technology management by showing how McDonnell worked through the problems of technical integration that plagued defense engineering in the 1960s and 1970s and led to programs full of "complexity." It is as much a study of how aircraft manufacturers and military officers went about their business as it is a life-and-times history of an important aircraft.

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About the author (1996)

Glenn E. Bugos is president of The Prologue Group, a corporate history consultancy based in Redwood City, California.

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