More on the “Manhattan Project” analogy

Excellent article in the September issue by Paul Marks on “A Manhattan Project for the climate.” Being both an aerospace and history “geek,” I must point out the Manhattan Project was eclipsed in cost by another vital wartime project, the Boeing B-29. Quoting the National WWII Museum website: “The B-29 would not only require a significant amount of American aviation production capacity but would eventually become the nation’s single largest military expenditure of the war: With the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) costing the American taxpayer $2 billion, the B-29 program far surpassed that figure with a price tag of $3 billion.”

The two programs were linked in that the Manhattan Project would not have been militarily successful without the B-29 to serve as the aerial delivery system.

In relation to the article, the Manhattan Project developed the “energy source,” while the B-29 program developed the aircraft. To keep that analogy, the “Manhattan Project” part of building a hydrogen aviation ecosystem would be to develop the energy infrastructure that would supply the fuel with the “B-29 Program” part to be the development of aircraft to utilize hydrogen. In this case, unlike World War II, the green hydrogen energy infrastructure development will far outstrip the cost and time to market of new aircraft.

Keep the insightful articles coming!


R. Steven Justice, AIAA Fellow

Tyrone, Georgia

More on the “Manhattan Project” analogy