PROBLEMS OF THE NAVAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY DURING THE WAR 190017
THE Navy Department established the Naval Aircraft Factory (a) to assure a part, at least, of its aircraft supply; (b) to obtain cost data for the Department's guidance in dealing with private manufacturers, and (c) to have under its own control a factory capable of producing experimental work. The history of this development is given in some detail, including statistics of size, valuations and output.
The problems discussed include (a) layout and expansion, describing the original plant and how idle plants in the industrial world were utilized for the production of parts that were afterward assembled at the factory; (b) outside production, outlining the placing with plants of contracts for flying-boat hulls, wings, metal parts, tanks, engine foundations, tail surfaces, etc.; (c) personnel, telling how both men and women were trained in a special school; (d) engineering, covering built-up wooden parts, research in defects of wood, securing of proper material, organization of inspection, traveling representative, traffic and follow-up forces, etc., to expedite production; and (e) production methods, showing that by careful scheduling and subsequent working to schedule time-reduction was secured. For example, hull construction was divided into operations of framing, brace wiring, planking, etc., each of which covered a similar kind of work. Various crews were then organized so that each group of operations could be completed in one day. By this method the time required to build a hull was reduced from 41 to 16 days. This system was followed throughout the plane construction.