14. Weight Predictor


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C Merrell: 14. Weight Predictor. 1941.



Swami Anderson sits quietly at his table gazing intently at a three-view drawing. Occasionally he leans back and peers into the smoke rising from his pipe. He mutters softly to himself, ‘Truss spar — monocoque – .064 skin pay load – rear gunner – twin tail —-‘.
Now and then he frowns and grabs his slide rule for a few quick calculations. Eventually he leans back easily in his chair and a look of satisfaction smoothes his furrowed brow. He has looked far into the future and is now about to predict the detailed weight of an airplane which is as yet only pretty picture.
It isn’t long, though, before his serenity is shattered. Soon the Sales Department’s phoning from Washington, D.C.
‘Hey, listen,’ a voice complains to Engineering, ‘we’re not selling aluminum. The customer wants some payload in this airplane. If you can’t pare the weight down, we can’t get the contract.’


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