Sidewinder: Creative Missile Development at China Lake [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the mid-1950s a small group of overworked, underpaid scientists and engineers, working on a remote base in the Mojave Desert, developed a weapon no one had asked for but that everyone was looking for. Sidewinder is the story of how that unorthodox team at China Lake, lead by the visionary Bill McLean, overcame Navy bureaucracy and more heavily funded projects to develop the world's best air-to-air missile. Based on years of research and hundreds of interviews, Westrum’s study examines the unique ...
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Sidewinder: Creative Missile Development at China Lake

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Overview

In the mid-1950s a small group of overworked, underpaid scientists and engineers, working on a remote base in the Mojave Desert, developed a weapon no one had asked for but that everyone was looking for. Sidewinder is the story of how that unorthodox team at China Lake, lead by the visionary Bill McLean, overcame Navy bureaucracy and more heavily funded projects to develop the world's best air-to-air missile. Based on years of research and hundreds of interviews, Westrum’s study examines the unique military-civilian cult of creativity that helped Mclean and his China Lake team produce an amazing array of technological and engineering marvels. In the intellectual pressure cooker provided by the desert isolation, the scientists dreamed and tinkered while test pilots such as Wally Schirra and Glenn Tierney took to the air, often risking life and limb to test a fledgling system. Against the ongoing story of billion-dollar weapons development contracts, astronomical cost overruns, and defense acquisitions scandals, this revealing, highly readable account of the development of one of the most successful weapons in history provides an instructive contrast.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612513638
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 903,609
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Ron Westrum is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Eastern Michigan University and Professor II of Society and Risk at the University of Stavanger, Norway. He has published two books and many articles on complex organizations, corporate culture, innovation, and systems safety. He has presented many papers to national and international meetings on aerospace, medical, and nuclear safety. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
1 The Weapon Nobody Asked For 1
2 The Gadgeteer 5
3 The Problem Takes Shape 16
4 The Wrong Laboratory 36
5 Struggles with Infrared 47
6 The Weapons Shop 62
7 Systems Engineering 74
8 The Painted Bird 93
9 Crunch Time 108
10 To the Fleet 120
11 Selling the Air Force 133
12 High-Altitude Testing 145
13 The Creative Dialogue 162
14 Early Generations 170
15 Later Generations 190
16 In Combat 207
17 Building People at China Lake 220
18 Building Ideas at China Lake 240
19 The Past and Future Laboratory 254
Notes 275
Index 317
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