Make Brewster Aircraft less terrible

Ya know when you really look into Brewster's problems it's kind of amazing the Buffalo was as good as it was. That's not saying the Buffalo was good by any means. Just that it's amazing it wasn't worse.

Really reading into Brewster's corporate and labor issues is like reading a tragicomic opera. I mean it's amazing that the company's corporate and labor leadership were so ridiculously cancerous, incompetent, and moronic. I mean having your Unions president openly say to a fucking reporter on the record that he'd be fine with his brother being killed in combat by Nazi's if it helped his union during the middle of WW2. It's amazing the guy didn't die via forgetting to breathe.

I'm with fellow Maryland resident 100% here. Given everything I've read about the company itself it's amazing their planes flew at all let alone enjoyed anything remotely resembling any success in combat.
 
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I'm with fellow Maryland resident 100R% here. Given everything I've read about the company itself it's amazing their planes flew at all let alone enjoyed anything remotely resembling any success in combat.

It's equally amazing that a company could be so badly run and manned that something like the Buffalo could be seen as it's "Golden Age Product".

I mean the USN's more or less official guess as to the cause of the companies problems was "Probably Nazi Sabotage". Instead it was pure old complete and total incompetence. It's hard to beat 'Workers regularly sabotaged production lines and equipment that would be sent into combat in order to make their own shift look less incompetent or to get extra paid smoke breaks.".
 
I mean the USN's more or less official guess as to the cause of the companies problems was "Probably Nazi Sabotage".

Never ascribe to malice that which can easily be explained by incompetence.
 
I mean the USN's more or less official guess as to the cause of the companies problems was "Probably Nazi Sabotage".

Never ascribe to malice that which can easily be explained by incompetence.

From the previous link (again (and last time): https://wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/two-companies-which-didnt-survive-the-peace/)

"Kaiser found the Corsair order in shambles. The Pennsylvania factory was locally called the “Bucks County Playhouse” because of the carefree, lazy atmosphere. About $50,000 worth of tools were missing and presumed stolen by employees. Engines and fuselages sat idle because nobody had ordered bolts nor cared to do so. Several employees were arrested by the FBI for wartime sabotage, not on behalf of the Axis but rather because shifts were intentionally causing problems to make themselves look less bad by making other shifts look even worse."
 
I mean the USN's more or less official guess as to the cause of the companies problems was "Probably Nazi Sabotage".
The FBI did bust a Nazi spy ring in the States right before the war. (Who managed to steal some tech and patents before they were caught)
It's understandable if the first suspects were the Nazis.
 

Ming777

Monthly Donor
Plus, it probably seemed mind-boggling that the workers at Brewster were that selfish to sabotage their part of the war effort. The theory of Nazi sabotage sounded more plausible.
 
Otherwise terrible companies making one decent aircraft?
Blackburn's Aircraft weren't that bad (Roc and Botha aside). They may not have been the best but they were generally adequate for the task required and met the specifications. Blackburn was also a real company not a criminal enterprise designed to milk as much money from government contracts as possible while doing the absolute minimum.
 
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Blackburn's Aircraft weren't that bad (Roc and Botha aside). They may not have been the best but they were generally adequate for the task required and met the specifications.

Firebrand/Firecrest surely goes on that list too? The Blackburn II, the Dart and its proposed successor the Cubaroo (a 1000hp single-engined torpedo bomber with 10hrs endurance carrying a full-size 21" torpedo... in 1922 - you can't say they lacked ambition!) worked alright but were jaw-droppingly ugly even by the standards of the 1920s.
 
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I am puzzled that more people didn't spend time in jail over this shabby balagan. Considering it was wartime and these were defense plants. Putting aside the dishonesty and shoddy management there was fraud and sabotage? I think by 1943 the company should have been broken up into separate pieces and handed over to other aviation firms to operate for their own purposes.

How to improve Brewster? Have them lose the Navy contract for the F2A Buffalo back in 1936. Without the influx of money pushing the company beyond its competency they would have remained the small sized firm with the one inefficient medium sized factory in Queens successfully building components and assemblies for better designed airplanes during WW2. That would have been alright. Then the money and resources that were wasted at Brewster would have been repurposed elsewhere hopefully more usefully.

Anybody heard of this airplane design before? The Brewster 33A. Reminds me of the Moskalev Sam-13. Though the Russian plane is a pusher-puller design.

Brewster 33A
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Moskalev Sam-13
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Workers in every nation sabotaged for class reasons at the factory level. Look at the strike rates in 1944/5 for example. Just because external threats existed didn’t change the continuously contested wage bargain. Brewster is unique in the institutionalisation of sabotage, and in that workers didn’t agree with the general principle of war production. Only a few non-orthotrot agitators otherwise held such a line.
 
You really need to go back to sometime between about 1910 & 1920 & shoot the entire Brewster management.

The thing is, AIUI (reader health warning: fuzzy recall, not source in front of me), every auto company by 1925 had converted to assembly line--but Brewster was still building bodies by hand: in short, they were incapable of even bodying a mass-produced car. (Forget building a whole one.) You'd need Brewster's financial woes to, say, attract a company to buy up the body division & make it into a subsidiary, like LeBaron for Chrysler.

I imagine Packard doing it, myself, which would mean Brewster increases production capacity and improves quality control (because Packard insists). Between better quality control & Packard's OTL dabbling in aviation, I imagine the OTL F2A (TTL's F2P?) being more advanced than OTL, & better overall.

I'd also imagine a Packard Brewster instead of the OTL 120, priced like a Caddy instead of a Buick; a Packard-Brewster entry in the Plywood Derby (maybe not good enough to win, against Elco & Higgins...); & Packard surviving long enough to merge with Rambler instead of Stude, as the luxury division of *AMC.
 
You really need to go back to sometime between about 1910 & 1920 & shoot the entire Brewster management.

The thing is, AIUI (reader health warning: fuzzy recall, not source in front of me), every auto company by 1925 had converted to assembly line--but Brewster was still building bodies by hand: in short, they were incapable of even bodying a mass-produced car. (Forget building a whole one.) You'd need Brewster's financial woes to, say, attract a company to buy up the body division & make it into a subsidiary, like LeBaron for Chrysler.

I imagine Packard doing it, myself, which would mean Brewster increases production capacity and improves quality control (because Packard insists). Between better quality control & Packard's OTL dabbling in aviation, I imagine the OTL F2A (TTL's F2P?) being more advanced than OTL, & better overall.

I'd also imagine a Packard Brewster instead of the OTL 120, priced like a Caddy instead of a Buick; a Packard-Brewster entry in the Plywood Derby (maybe not good enough to win, against Elco & Higgins...); & Packard surviving long enough to merge with Rambler instead of Stude, as the luxury division of *AMC.

I imagine if OTL Brewster made a boat it would probably be made entirely out of lead and every production model would be missing the hull (because it was stolen.)

Though this does seem one of the better possible "Better Brewster" responses. Thank you.

I guess the greatest mark of Brewsters complete and total state of fuck upedness would be that Henry Kaiser perhaps the greatest and most efficient industrialist couldn't get the company to actually work on anything other then a mediocre level. While some of his most famous accomplishments were more propaganda pieces then actual production (the famous Liberty ship made in a day was built from carefully preprepared pieces by crews of extremely well trained workers who practiced for weeks) but the man managed to make virtually every industrial effort he touched into a work of efficient high tech art. And even he could barely make Brewster mediocre for a while.
 
I imagine if OTL Brewster made a boat it would probably be made entirely out of lead and every production model would be missing the hull (because it was stolen.)
OTL Brewster actually did try making boats after the War for a bit, they used machinery for making PBY Catalina floats. The Boats were not very big sellers
 
The thing is, AIUI (reader health warning: fuzzy recall, not source in front of me), every auto company by 1925 had converted to assembly line--but Brewster was still building bodies by hand: in short, they were incapable of even bodying a mass-produced car. (Forget building a whole one.) You'd need Brewster's financial woes to, say, attract a company to buy up the body division & make it into a subsidiary, like LeBaron for Chrysler
Ford's original Piquette Avenue factory building, built over 30,000 cars in 1910, without the moving assembly line. This was later sold to Studebaker, whi had a nearby factory building(E.M.F.) to start manufacturing cars on their own, though didn't reach Ford's 32000 for many years.Three stories high, over 67,000 square feet.
Ford didn't need it anymore, the Kahn designed Highland Park Plant was 102 acres was ready in late 1910, and Model T assembly time dropped from 728 minutes to 93, thanks to the new moving assembly line and Taylorism.

The New York Brewster Building was 400,000 square feet, new in 1911. They had been one of the main Coach builders for supplying bodies to Rolls Royce USA, before that came to a halt in 1931.
At that time they did have a workforce able to do very high quality work
 
I imagine if OTL Brewster made a boat it would probably be made entirely out of lead and every production model would be missing the hull (because it was stolen.)
Yeah, that sounds right... :rolleyes:
Though this does seem one of the better possible "Better Brewster" responses. Thank you.
TYVM.:):cool:
I guess the greatest mark of Brewsters complete and total state of fuck upedness would be that Henry Kaiser perhaps the greatest and most efficient industrialist couldn't get the company to actually work on anything other then a mediocre level. While some of his most famous accomplishments were more propaganda pieces then actual production (the famous Liberty ship made in a day was built from carefully preprepared pieces by crews of extremely well trained workers who practiced for weeks) but the man managed to make virtually every industrial effort he touched into a work of efficient high tech art. And even he could barely make Brewster mediocre for a while.
Yeah. And that linked page, saying cancelling the Corsair contract was unfair to Brewster--seriously?:rolleyes: This is the company that committed fraud & sabotage,:eek: on top of incompetence.
Ford's original Piquette Avenue factory building, built over 30,000 cars in 1910, without the moving assembly line. This was later sold to Studebaker, whi had a nearby factory building(E.M.F.) to start manufacturing cars on their own, though didn't reach Ford's 32000 for many years.Three stories high, over 67,000 square feet.
Ford didn't need it anymore, the Kahn designed Highland Park Plant was 102 acres was ready in late 1910, and Model T assembly time dropped from 728 minutes to 93, thanks to the new moving assembly line and Taylorism.

The New York Brewster Building was 400,000 square feet, new in 1911. They had been one of the main Coach builders for supplying bodies to Rolls Royce USA, before that came to a halt in 1931.
At that time they did have a workforce able to do very high quality work
I'm not saying Brewster lacked the space or manpower. They didn't have the right approach. Henry's shift to the assembly line was a gigantic deal in the industry. Companies that didn't shift, even without the Depression, would fold pretty fast--& I'm unaware of Brewster doing it. (I'll happily be corrected on that.)

Had Brewster installed an assembly line (lines!) in its 400K sq ft, it could probably have sold bodies to a couple of GM divisions, or stolen sales from Le Baron, Fisher, Briggs (Packard around 1955), & IDK who else. Brewster might have become the #1 coachbuilder in the U.S.

That still requires management that isn't crooked & labor leadership that's not crazy.:rolleyes: By appearances, that's ASB.

It's also not (exactly) addressing the OP, so maybe it wants its own thread.:) (I'll happily start one, if anybody's interested.)

As an aside, I will say, as brilliant at production as Kaiser was, his judgment on product planning left a crapload to be desired...:eek::rolleyes:
 
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