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Aircraft manufacturing process in germany WWII

Production of aircraft: A warehouse supplied raw materials to the 2 main centers: the machine tool shop (where parts were made in lathes, grinders, etc.) and the sheet cutting shop (where sheets are cut to size in presses and formed into shape). Sheet metal was then anodized to prevent corrosion. These processes were capital-intensive (i.e., they require costly equipment).

Then the parts were assembled into components and into sub-assemblies; sub-assemblies were painted and joined into sub-systems, and then the aircraft was assembled and the sub-systems installed. These processes were labor intensive (i.e., they require many workers with simple tools, i.e., hand tools, jigs, etc.)
The finished aircraft was test flown and delivered to the air force.

Assembly takes up a lot of space, but it is difficult to destroy because the halls are mostly empty spaces. The shops are more vulnerable, but they can be dispersed or sent to tunnels.

The color graphic in the inset shows the logistic curves of aircraft production of the main belligerents.

The vertical axis indicates the output as a % of the max capacity of the industry. The horizontal axis indicates the year after entering into war. Zero is the year they entered into war, and 2 indicates production 2 years later.

By the second year after entering into the war, the USA operated at 88% of max capacity while GB, USSR, and Germany were at 71%, 63%, and 33% respectively. It must be said that the American factories were never bombed and thus, they constructed huge factories to maximize productivity. The British did well, considering they suffered bombing raids. The best result was that of the Russians. They had to relocate most of the industry (due to the Ger. invasion) to the Urals in a feat never seen then or since. A magnificent achievement.

By the 3rd year of the war, their output was 87%.

Germany’s bureaucrats and industrialists proved less capable. By the 4th year of the war, they were still operating at 61% and even in 1944 were below their max capacity.


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