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High-Stakes Aviation: U.S.-Japan Technology Linkages in Transport Aircraft
TABLE A-2 U.S. Aerospace Exports (thousand 1992 dollars)
New civil general aviation aircraft
New military aircraft
New civil heliopters
New civil passenger and cargo aircraft over 15,000 kg
Aerospace parts and equipment not elsewhere specified or included
Other civil and military aircraft, balloons, gliders
New and Used Civil and Military Piston Engines and Parts
New and Used Civil and Military Turbine Engines and Parts
Missiles, space vehicles, and parts
New and used civil and military aircraft engines and parts
New and used civil and military aircraft
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce.
other industries and contribute to the overall economy.4 U.S. strength in the development and production of transport aircraft is also an important support for the defense industrial and technology base. Technology developed for commercial transports is often utilized in military programs; the production of commercial aircraft reduces military aircraft costs in companies that manufacture both; and commercial aircraft production helps to maintain the supplier and the work skill base in times of weak military demand.5 Finally, the excellence of American-made aircraft has long played a major role in improving the safety and efficiency of the nation's air transportation system.
The aircraft industry—like many others—is regionally concentrated, so that its economic importance is felt unevenly throughout the country. 6 In
These technologies include "system integration in the design and manufacture of complex, high-performance equipment; project management to meet demanding targets for performance, cost, and delivery; sophisticated manufacturing techniques for fabrication, testing, and assembly; and computer-integrated manufacture, factory automation, and large-scale integrated information processing" as well as "the more obvious ones that affect aircraft performance—aerodynamics, propulsion, advanced structures, and avionics and control ..." National Research Council, The Competitive Status of the U.S. Civil Aviation Manufacturing Industry (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1985), p. 22.
OTA, op. cit., p. 344.
According to Boeing Commercial Airplane Group's brochure, "The Invisible Exporters," between 1987 and 1991 the Boeing Material Division procured an average of $10 billion per year in goods and services from suppliers in all 50 states. More than three-quarters of this amount was purchased from suppliers in four states: Ohio, California, Connecticut, and Washington. Of course, the larger first-tier suppliers in these states made purchases of their own, likely resulting in a greater geographic dispersion (including from overseas) at lower tiers.