This whole thing just stinks to high heaven.
I just finished reading this article in Digital Trends about a NASA sponsored competition to produce a new “green” airliner design. I immediately smelled something rotten to the core with this design competition.
For starters, what business does a government agency have sponsoring commercial airliner designs for use in commercial markets? Should the government pay the design costs of refrigerator manufacturers so they can design more efficient refrigerators? How about cars? How about trains? How about any god damn product under the Sun?
ALL MANUFACTURERS ALWAYS STRIVE FOR MAXIMUM PRODUCT COST vs. EFFICIENCY IN THEIR RESPECTIVE MARKETS AT ALL TIMES – ALWAYS – BECAUSE IT WOULD BE RETARDED OF THEM NOT TO DO SO. So this business about NASA wanting to see “green” airplanes is nothing more than a load of BS being used as an excuse to pass R&D costs on. If the public wants “green” airplanes, they will pay for “green” airplanes voluntarily. There is no need to loot the public in order to foist “green” airplanes upon them. In this particular case, we know the public demands cheap flights so airline producers are naturally incentivized to produce highly efficient vehicles. They certainly don’t need public money to get them to do that.
It should be obvious that this ENTIRE OPERATION is a concocted scam by the commercial airline industry to foist their R&D costs on to the tax payer! How many millions of tax payer money did the airline industry take from this “competition”?
Dec. 09, 2010 NASA Selects Boeing For Advanced Aircraft Vehicle Concepts
A team led by The Boeing Company of Huntington Beach, Calif., was selected for a contract worth $5.29 million. The contract has a performance period of one year beginning this month.
As part of the same research effort, NASA previously awarded contracts worth $2.99 million and $2.65 million to teams led by Lockheed Martin in Palmdale, Calif., and Northrop Grumman in El Segundo, Calif.
So the domestic airline industry just scammed you for nearly 11 million in R&D costs. It was nice of NASA to spread the stolen booty around between them all like that. They must have lobbied some politician real hard for all that free loot.
A comment posted on Aviation Week notes:
The taxpayers supports all these phds who arent making thier way out of a paper bag, This country needs better toilet seats and rain gutters etc etc, but our educated classes getting grants, swindling on wall street or sueing each other to pay for drycleaning bills. am i grouchy to day or is this an outrage.
To which another person replies:
BD don’t be a spoil sport! These designs look awesome and that’s at least 50% of the point of making them in the first place. Sure these things aren’t very commercial with their outlandish designs, reliance on composites and unique cargo/passenger requirements, but they sure are fun.
If the airline industry wants to design new planes, why in the hell should tax payers (many of whom do not fly and never will fly) have to pick up the tab?! It must be nice having a lot of friends over in the “Defense” Department and NASA who will throw you multi-million dollar bones for research and development costs. I’m going to apply for a million dollar grant to produce a new generation of high efficiency vibrating eco-dildos.
Further, as the last comment notes, the finished product designs that were presented aren’t even commercially viable! They were simply test beds for risky or expensive technologies that the manufacturers would never have wasted money on in the first place if they were actually planning on bringing a new design to market!