Mar 302014
 

A cutaway of an early Model 733 supersonic transport with swing-wings. From the Jay Miller archive.

 Posted by at 1:48 pm
  • John Simpson

    Few people remember that in addition to his proposal of “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth” in a 25 May 1961 address to Congress, President Kennedy also “committed” the nation to a Supersonic Transport in a 5 June 1963 address at the US Air Force Academy where he said “this Government should immediately commence a new program in partnership with private industry to develop at the earliest practical date the prototype of a commercially successful supersonic transport superior to that being built in any other country of the world. An open, preliminary design competition will be initiated immediately among American
    airframe and powerplant manufacturers with a more detailed design phase to follow.”

    Guess he should have said, “By the end of the decade” or something.

    http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/5763

    • Anonymous

      Well, in many ways a rocket is a simpler beast than a plane.
      More water tower than airframe.
      Plumbing took us to the moon.

  • se jones

    I remember.

    I was about 30 miles to the south east of the US AFA going to grade school when he made that speech.
    I already knew I was going to be an aerospace engineer, JFKs speech only help cement the deal.

    Imagine how I felt as I was preparing to graduate from high school when the front page of the local paper and nightly news reports were showing that infamous billboard near the Boeing plant “Will the Last Person Leaving Seattle – Turn Out the Lights”.

    http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=1287

  • Bog Bong

    Rather similar to the B-1, ain’t it? The US SS transport debacle was before my time, but it did seem to me the B-1 would make a good basis for one. Now I know why.