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If you are interested in how the Pentagon, Air Force and Navy decides to fund and build aircraft, I highly recommend reading this book [1]. It's about the father of the A-10, F15 (sort of), F-16 and FA-18. Fascinating read about how the armed forces will completely ignore data on flight characteristics due to politics. (it's about the life of John Boyd, not just how aircraft a chosen but its covered quite a bit in the book)

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Boyd-Fighter-Pilot-Who-Changed/dp/031...




Also, note the Vanguard rocket. We lost the space race due to politics. We had the people who knew how to build it--who later built the Saturn V--and after they did, were promptly kicked out.

The Soviets had childish, despicable politics of their own going on, with important rocket engineers like Korolev being accused by his colleague Glushko of treason, sending Korolev to the gulag for Glushko's professional advantage.[1]

Korolev went on to help design to Tupolev tu-2, a formidable bomber in WWII, from prison. Later he was Chief Designer of the Soviet's rocket program before dying of cancer (had he not, his plan to go to the Moon may have been realized).

Maybe the reason we see no signs of life in the universe is that all life evolves to conquer itself.

1 -https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Korolev#Imprisonment


> The Soviets had childish, despicable politics of their own going on, with important rocket engineers like Korolev being accused by his colleague Glushko of treason, sending Korolev to the gulag for Glushko's professional advantage.[1]

It went both ways, Glushko consisered Korolev to be irresponsibly cavalier and autocratic with anything outside of [Korolev's] specialities, which included Glushko's (liquid-fueld rocket engines).

> had he not, his plan to go to the Moon may have been realized

Probably not: Glushko's OKB-456 controlled the design of high-power liquid-fueld engines (which would ultimately lead to the RD-170 and its various derivatives), Korolev refused Glushko's engine design (RD-270), Glushko thus refused working with Korolev and on LOX/Kerosene engines[0].

It was Korolev who decided to go with a metric fuckton of NK-15 instead of listening to Glushko.

[0] he would ultimately design the LOX/Kerosene RD-170, but 20 years after the F1, one of the reasons for refusing to do so for the N1 was the lacking techno-industrial environment and inferior coke-prone fuels available to him in the 60s)


We could debate the merits of either's designs, but Korolev was the first to (1) develop an ICBM (2) put a satellite in orbkt, and (3) impact and orbit a payload on the moon


Sure, and then he failed to put a man on the moon.


The way I read it, there was some question that orbiting spacecraft would violate airspace, and with itchy fingers on the launch button, Eisenhower was unwilling to provoke the Soviet Union. He delayed the space program until the Soviets launched Sputnik, which settled the issue. If that's true, it was a good, pragmatic decision.


I have heard that as well, but to the best of my knowledge I don't believe it is accurate. Here is Wikipedia, from the Space Race page.

>The Space Race began on August 2, 1955, when the Soviet Union responded to the US announcement four days earlier of intent to launch artificial satellites for the International Geophysical Year, by declaring they would also launch a satellite "in the near future". The Soviet Union beat the US to this, with the October 4, 1957 orbiting of Sputnik 1, and later beat the US to the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin, on April 12, 1961


>there was some question that orbiting spacecraft would violate airspace

Almost. He didn't want to avoid launching satellites, he wanted to avoid launching _military_ satellites, which is why they had to use Vanguard (which was a civilian rocket). Once Sputnik launched on an R-7, there was no more need.


> the armed forces will completely ignore data on flight characteristics due to politics

There's a comedy/dramatized-history called "The Pentagon Wars" starring Cary Elwes, following the development of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXQ2lO3ieBA


Ill watch this later. They talk about testing the Bradley in the book and how they pretty much fudged all the tests to get it into service even though people knew it would be a tomb for soldiers if they ever went to war in it.


This is hilarious.


I find it's applicable to some software projects as well.


Indeed. I was thinking exactly the same thing.


I second this book recommendation. Reading one of Boyd's more epic slide decks might be interesting to some: http://www.ausairpower.net/JRB/poc.pdf

The priority placed on tight OODA loops jibes well with the Lean Startup doctrine, I think. Of course, since there's always an aggressive competitor for resources in Boyd's field, he emphasizes messing up their OODA loop as well.


There is a great book that translates Boyd's philosophy to business: https://www.amazon.com/Certain-Win-Strategy-Applied-Business...

I generally love reading about how other fields do what we call Agile. It allows you to set the principles behind the implementations.


Could you give an example of how it helped you figure out something in business?


That book (i.e. Boyd's story) is amazing. I had no idea what he'd done. For anyone interested in military aviation, it's a must read.




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