Sidewinder: Creative Missile Development at China Lake

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9781557509512: Sidewinder: Creative Missile Development at China Lake
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In the mid-1950s a small group of overworked, underpaid scientists and engineers on a remote base in the Mojave Desert developed a weapon no one had asked for but everyone in the weapons industry desired. This is the story of how that unorthodox team, led by visionary Bill McLean, overcame U.S. Navy bureaucracy and other more heavily funded projects to develop the world’s best air-to-air missile. Author Ron Westrum examines that special time and place—when the old American work ethic and “can do” spirit were a vital part of U.S. weapons development—to discover how this dedicated team was able to create a simple and inexpensive missile. Today, many decades after its invention, the Sidewinder missile is still considered one of the best that America has to offer.

In a time of billion-dollar weapons development contracts, astronomical cost overruns, and defense acquisitions scandals, this revealing, highly readable tale about one of the most successful weapons in history should be of interest to anyone concerned with national security.

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About the Author:

Ron Westrum (b.1914)gained a B.A (cum laude) in Social Relations from Harvard University and a PhD. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. In 1987 he was appointed professor of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Technology at Eastern Michigan University. He is a recognised expert on organizational dynamics in the aviation field. He has made many presentations to international scientific groups such as NATO Advanced Research Institutes, FAA and NTSB-sponsored seminars. He is the author of Complex Organizations: Growth, Struggle, and Change and of Technologies: The Shaping of People and Things.

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9781591149811: Sidewinder: Creative Missile Development at China Lake

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ISBN 10: 1591149819 ISBN 13: 9781591149811
Publisher: Naval Institute Press, 2013
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