Archive for the 'sea control ship' Tag


The seductive allure of paper designs and dreams has a long and storied past in the naval services. Supported by superficial analyses and less than rigorous engineering, some made the leap from paper to prototype – and failed miserably. Today’s story is one of the more infamous and yet, curiously, less known examples. Presented herewith, the XFV-12A debacle. – SJS

It is clear that the XFV-12A program will not enhance the image of naval aviation. Note that in this case the outcome was not only predictable, but was in fact predicted. As is so often the case, all of the principals in the decision have moved on in both OSD and the Navy. The task of justification will fall on others and will be difficult. It is to be hoped that the same mistakes will not be made again, although the entire V/STOL program certainly has the potential.
– George Spangenberg, 1977 memo to RADM Ekas, USN (NAVAIR)

The 1970’s — disco balls, cardigan sweaters in the White House, double digit inflation and unemployment. The nation was in the grip of stagflation and post-Vietnam malaise; defense spending and investment was down substantially and traditional big ticket items, like nuclear aircraft carriers, were increasingly difficult to fund. It was, in a word, an age of diminished expectations.

Read the rest of this entry »