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STATEMENT OF DR. HUGH L. DRYDEN, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL
ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR AERONAUTICS Mr. DRYDEN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity of appearing before the committee in support of this bill. It does not involve the appropriation of any additional funds but increases the present limitations on the funds available for the support of additional graduate study and training of our personnel.
We have approximately 2,400 prefessional people. The total professional payroll is approximately $20 million out of a total payroll of $50 million.
We trained about 200 people in the fiscal year 1957. The total average graduate leave time per individual was about 12 man days per year at an average cost of $500. There are a very few people who might be trained for longer periods for $1,000 and a few others who may be given a special course of a week or two or less than 12 days. The average cost per individual has been $500. This has taken, as you can see from these amounts, about one-half of 1 percent of our manyears.
The proposal before us is to increase the limitation and put it on the basis of 2 percent which would amount to approximately $400,000 as compared with the $100,000 in the present limitation.
I have a statement which I can read or I can put it in the record. Chairman RUSSELL. We will have it printed in the record. (The statement referred to is as follows:) Nearly 8 years ago the NACA was authorized by the 81st Congress, under Public Law 472, to grant leaves of absence so that professional personnel could attend, at their own expense, accredited universities for graduate research and study in order to increase the value of their services to the Government. The original limitation on this program was $50,000 in salaries for such leave in any 1 year. In 1954 Public Law 472 was amended to increase this limitation to $100,000 per year. H. R. 6744, now before you, changes the limitation from the fixed dollar amount of $100,000 per year to 2 percent of the total annual salaries of the NACA professional personnel.
During the past 8 years NACA has granted leave for university graduate study and research in science and engineering to over 600 different professional employees. Most of the grants of leave were for cumulative periods of a few weeks each, a few for longer periods, and in half of the cases the employees supplemented their official leave with leave without pay for 50 percent of the period. At present 80 percent of the individuals under the program are granted graduate leave a few hours a day away from NACA laboratories to take specialized graduate study at nearby universities. This has made it possible to increase the number of trained individuals with a minimum of interruption to research work. We have found the specialized study to be of notable value in advancing our research work and in economically developing additional knowledge and skill of our scientists. On the basis of this experience, we find that it would be in the public interest to do more training instead of less and less training which is now the case.
The graduate study leave program has been extremely successful in several ways. Our recruiters tell us that this graduate-study program is one of the most valuable assets in attracting talented young science and engineering graduates to employment with the NACĂ. As NACA research salaries have lagged further behind those paid by industry, the graduate-leave program has been of material aid in our effort to recruit and retain scientific personnel.
The graduate study leave program increases the skills and knowledge of our scientific staff to perform their research duties more effectively. It becomes especially valuable at this time when we cannot, due to inadequate Governmnt pay scales, recruit or retain sufficient numbers of scientists and engineers, that we utilize those we have to the greatest degree possible.
During the past several years the salaries of the individuals granted such leave have increased due to increases in the pay schedules of the Classification Act and, more recently, due to the increases granted under the recruiting above-the-minimum provisions of section 803 of the Classification Act for positions in shortage categories. These salary increases have resulted in a substantial reduction of the amount of leave granted for graduate training, due to the fixed dollar ceiling in the act.
The amendment now being considered provides that the dollar limitation be changed to a percentage of the total salaries paid to our professional staff. The purpose of this change is to allow a needed increase in the program and relate the amount of graduate training to changes in the size of the NACA.
This graduate-study program is modest in scope. In fact in fiscal 1958 it is estimated that only a total of about 10 man-years of graduate training will be granted.
This proposed legislation is noncontroversial, is in the public interest, and will provide for granting of additional leaves of absence without expense to the Government for tuition, travel, subsistence, or academic expenses, and will not require any increase in NACA appropriations.
Mr. DRYDEN. I will now stop for your questions.
I think I understand the purpose of this. I know that we have had contacts with Dr. Dryden here before and I know the fine work he is doing.
I would like to know, Doctor, these men you are talking about being on leave, you refer to them as doing this scientific work. Is that above the graduate level, that is, they already have bachelor's degrees?
Mr. DRYDEN. They already have their bachelor's degrees and I should make it clear that the tuition is at the expense of the employee. This is the granting of leave with pay. In other words, at present we do not pay the tuition.
Senator STENNIS. They pay the tuition?
Senator STENNIS. And you merely carry them on the payroll; and how long does that continue on the average ?
Mr. DRYDEN. About 12 days per year for the average.
Senator STENNIS. You mean that that is all, 12 days is all the time you carry them for this extra training?
Mr. DRYDEN. What I am trying to say, we try to distribute the opportunity, particularly for training in any subjects, short-term training courses, as widely as we can within the limitation we now have.
Senator STENNIS. I believe that is all, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Bush. I do not quite understand that, Doctor. I am not familiar with this program so I am not as well acquainted as the other gentlemen and Mrs. Smith would be.
You mean that you release a man for 12 days, a course of 12 days in something?
Mr. Dryden. This is the average period. There are many special lecture courses that may be given in a new field, say, in rocket propulsion or, at the present time, there are subjects connected with State universities, such as the University of Virginia which, for example, is close to our Langley Laboratory In California, at the Ames Laboratory, it is Stanford University, and they will have short-term courses. I think there are a very few people that we may release for a full semester.
This is an average figure, we have very few for full semesters and sometimes special cases of a special course.
Now, I am not trying to mislead you when I am speaking about a 12-day period, because, for example, in the laboratory of Stanford University, they are being given in the late afternoon and so this time may be spread over a few hours a day or a few days a week over a long period. In other words, we are releasing a man early from his job to go over to Stanford to take the afternoon courses, so that the 12 days then might extend over a long period.
Senator Bush. Where is your place located?
Mr. DRYDEN. The total NACA personnel is approximately 7,700 people, located primarily in Moffett Field, Calif.; Cleveland, Ohio; and Langley Field, Va.; and about 3,200 people roughly in Langley, and about 1,300 at Mountain View ; 2,600 at Cleveland. I will put the exact figures in the record, I am just giving you a rough idea.
(The figures referred to are as follows:)
NACA employment, as of Feb. 27, 1958
165 3, 179 1, 408 2, 646 294 81 4 2
7,779 Senator Bush. Thank you. Chairman RUSSELL. Senator Kefauver ? Senator KEFAUVER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Dryden, you have stated that over a period of 8 or 9 years 600 different personnel, professional employees have been afforded some opportunity for further study.
Mr. DRYDEN. That is the total participation.
Senator KEFAUVER. And what will be the participation under this new bill?
Mr. DRYDEN. We have about 2,500 employees and 2 percent of 2,500 is about 50 people for the year. You see, that is a cumulative figure that you have over 8 years.
Senator KEFAUVER. I mean, per year, how many do you think will be taking the courses?
Mr. DRYDEN. I have the figures. In 1956 there were 145 and in 1957 there were 206 and this would enable us to go up to something in the order of 4 times as many people for the short courses, or somewhat better training for a fewer number of people.
Senator KEFAUVER. As I understand it, this would enable you to pay them their salary while they are taking the courses.
Mr. DRYDEN. That is right.
Senator KEFAUVER. And will this also enable you to pay their salaries if you want to have one of your men giving special lectures ?
Mr. DRYDEN. That is not the purpose. Senator KEFAUVER. I see. Mr. DRYDEN. This is to make them more valuable in our work. Senator KEFAUVER. Well, I think it is a good program. Thank you. Chairman RUSSELL. Senator Barrett? Senator BARRETT. Just what are the particular and specific duties of your agency-you say, making them more valuable in your work.
År. DRYDEN. Well, we are, shall I say, the largest or major aeronautical research agency in the eld of aerodynamics, propulsion, and aircraft construction.
Senator BARRETT. Do you work with the Air Force? nautical research agency in the field of aerodynamics, propulsion, and with the civil agencies as well.
Perhaps I may give you 1 or 2 examples. Right now one of our large jobs, with the support of the military, is the bomber program, a tentative bomber to succeed the B52. We are working very closely with the Air Force. We are working in wind-tunnel investigations that bear on that particular design.
Our more specific function is the general one of advancing the technology that is used in later design, but this is one of the jobs. In connection with civil aviation, General LeMay is lending one of his KC-135 tankers, which is almost identical with the Boeing 707 jet transport. At the request of Mr. Pyle, Civil Aeronautics Administrator, and working with his people, we are flying that airplane in simulated approach to airports and so on, traffic control patterns, to help them to work out the regulations with regard to putting the new jet transports into service.
It is a very large operation. I wish you could see our laboratories sometime.
Senator BARRETT. Do you work with people like Dr. von Braun, people of that type, for instance?
Mr. Dryden. Dr. von Braun is a member of our Advisory Committee and we have worked with him.
For example, when the second or third Jupiter went up in flames, which curled down at the back-end of the rocket and burned down the end, he came to us and within 6 weeks we had a setup in a wind tunnel with model rockets and we burned the rockets and studied how the flame curled around the edges.
Senator BARRETT. You are available to all Government agencies?
Mr. DRYDEN. Yes, there is a provision for doing work for reimbursement for purely proprietary jobs. There is very little of that done; most of our work is at the request of the military services or Civil Aeronautics.
Senator Bush. How much of your work is civil and how much is military!
Mr. ÞRYDEN. Under the present conditions, I would say 90 percent of our work is more closely related to the immediate military problems. Of course, the military problems become civilian problems 10 years from now. In the civil field, there is the item of safety of aircraft, the noise, the loads to which civilian aircraft would have to be designed, and the problems of flying through storms and the prevention of fires or the crashing of aircraft—these are the types of things which are in our area. Senator Bush. I would like to ask you about this noise.
Are you getting anywhere with that? Mr. DRYDEN. It is possible to reduce noise substantially. You would not call it quiet, but it costs you something, you have to leave off 4 or 5 passengers to do it.
In other words, like any other technical area, it is a matter of compromise. You cannot get your noise reduction without paying for it and in this specific case you have to lose a little of the thrust of the engine, perhaps, and so it can be done, but at the present time it would cost some passengers in order to silence the aircraft, and this, I believe, the jet transports are prepared to do.
Chairman RUSSELL. Well, the British have gone a long ways toward solving it. Taking the Viscount, I thought that when you got into different types of propulsion that we would have the noise and vibration problems pretty well solved.
Mr. DRYDEN. The Viscount is a very fine airplane, but it is also relatively low-powered. It has four 1,000-horsepower engines and the noise goes up when your power is larger, when you plan a bigger engine, then you have more noise.
Chairman Russell. Then, is it a fact that the power of the engine in the Viscount has more to do with its relative quite than the fact it is a different type of engine?
Mr. DRYDEN. That is correct.
Chairman RUSSELL. And the noise on a Viscount, with a jet engine, would be just as great?
Mr. DRYDEN. If you put four 1,000-horsepower engines in it-the less power there is, the less noise.
Chairman RUSSELL. Well, I am glad that you came here this morning because I thought it was the type of the engine in the Viscount that was the reason it was so much quieter and had so much less vibration.
Mr. DRYDEN. No; it is primarily due to the fact that you have these four 1,000-horsepower engines and a smaller diameter propeller, that goes with smaller power.
Senator BARRETT. One more question, Dr. Dryden.
I have been somewhat impressed with the fact that we have so many unusual scientific people in the Army and Navy and Air Force, and your agency here, but it seems to me they are all working on their own and that we have no way of getting them to collaborate along with one another.