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Brewster Aeronautical Corporation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Brewster Aeronautical Corporation was a North American defense contractor that operated from the 1930s until the end of World War II.

It started existence as an aircraft division of Brewster & Co., a company that originally sold carriages and had branched into automobile bodies and airplane parts. In 1932, James Work, an aeronautical engineer, bought the division for US$30,000 and created the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation. Brewster started out making seaplane floats and wing panels, but with the hire of chief engineer Dayton Brown it embarked on its own designs. It operated three aircraft plants, at the Brewster Building in Long Island City, New York, Newark, New Jersey, and, in 1941, in Warminster Township, Pennsylvania, which was then known as NAS Johnsville.

Brown's first design, in 1934, was a two-seat scout-bomber, the Brewster SBA, which first flew in 1936; subsequently the Naval Aircraft Factory built them, with the designation SBN-1. The Brewster SB2A Buccaneer was a follow-on design that first flew in 1941 and was also ordered by the Royal Air Force, who named it the Bermuda.

A design in 1936 for a carrier-capable monoplane resulted in the Brewster F2A (named Buffalo by the British), which was chosen over an early version of the Grumman F4F Wildcat. The F2A prototype handled well in 1938 tests, and the Navy ordered 54. However, production was slow, at least partly due to an inefficient factory in Queens, New York. The Navy ended up ordering Wildcats, which by 1938 had been greatly improved.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • The Future of AR | John Werner from Meta | Singularity Hub


(upbeat music) - John, can you, zoom me out, can you just tell me a bit about your work specifically at Meta and what Meta does with augmented reality? - So we developed a headset that you put on and you're fully immersed, 90 degree field of view and you could see holograms and you could move them around. And we're excited as you go from desktop, laptop, mobile, we think the next interface with technology is gonna be augmented reality, where you see the physical world and you get digital information on it. And in terms of productivity, collaboration, manufacturing, there are ton of opportunities. And the world has sorta been, I think captivated by virtual reality, where you have a screen in front of you and you're taken to another place, and that's really cool, but I think it's augmented reality that's gonna have more of an impact for the types of people that are coming here and that eventually, virtual reality is gonna be a feature of a device. It's gonna allow you to switch back and forth between augmented and virtual reality. And I think it's a really exciting time and we've been kind of held hostage by rectangles or by keyboards, and the keyboard is defined by how movable type was put. So a movable typist could take a letter and know exactly what letter they got 'cause they're so small and when they created the typewriter they actually moved the keys to be inefficient so they didn't jam and that's how we communicate with computers. And yet our eye can take in ten to the eighths bits per second of information. And so let's think through neuroscience and how the eye works to really create an interface that is smart. The other factor that's converging is that AI or I like to call it EI, extended intelligence, artificial intelligence. - No I love that, extended intelligence, yeah. - And that as you create a headset or a strip a glass or even a mobile device where you can get digital information on the physical world, using AI to inform you on what you're looking at and then how to handle the information, so it becomes more of an extension of you, not something you're subservient to. - Yeah I think virtual reality does have a lot of limitations and augmented or mixed reality opens up so much, also that's very powerful here. Can you talk a bit about how augmented reality is impacting the world of design. - [John] Just last week at Dell World, Nike produced a video using the Meta headset and it had a number of employees designing a sneaker. So people that weren't located in the same place had the headset on and were manipulating a sneaker, they were designing the color, the form factor, and so people who are not co-located could work together simultaneously and instead of using a 2D screen, they're looking at the object in 3D. Instead of using a typewriter, keyboard, or a mouse, they're using their hands to manipulate the object. And so I think as humans we're very creative, we have a lot of ideas, and this is just a great tool to be able to work with. And the fact that you could see the world as you're designing, and then you get this digital information means that you could do it for an extended period of time. So while VR can take you somewhere, you're not gonna wanna be there for 24 hours, you're not gonna wanna be there for a long part of the day. And designers who wanna design things whether it's a part for a, you know aerospace, or a Nike sneaker, this is something that they could do for an extended amount of time. - [Interviewer] And so it literally augments their current reality instead of having to pull them out of it? - [John] Yeah. - And so augmented reality is definitely still a pretty new technology, where do you think we might be in five to 10 years with it? Or what roadblocks might we need to pass to get to that next level? - So augmented reality is pretty new in some ways, it's also not so new in other ways. L. Frank Baum who wrote The Wizard of Oz, before he wrote The Wizard of Oz, wrote a book that referenced a form of augmented reality. Few miles from here Ivan Sutherland in 1968 at Harvard wanted to see a teapot three-dimensional and he created a device called The Swords of Damocles to be able to see it. And it wasn't that he was out to create The Swords of Damocles, it was that he just wanted to see this teapot that he could see right in front of him. That ended up becoming the basis of the Pixar business and I think the military with heads-up displays that fighter jet pilots wear or today if you get in a Boeing 787, as they're flying there's less dials around, there's screens that help people get around. So what's interesting about augmented reality is a lot of the technologies that roll up into it, imaging, the computer vision, the Moore's law, the chip, the Cloud, like all these technologies are maturing. - They're maturing, yeah. - So if you add them altogether, you can create a device that's pretty robust, except we haven't come up with the use cases, we haven't come up with the killer apps for them. So to say that this is new technology, it's actually technology that's been around and that is ready and it's really what our imaginations can come up with, what we can do with it. - Yeah when you talk about the applications, I think definitely there's been discussion of VR and AR, where are we with hype verse reality. So I think it'll be interesting in the coming years to see what concrete applications are developed. So the last question I wanted to ask you is, there are some misconceptions around augmented reality, there's been some scary science fiction films created about people thinking that their reality is actually one that is an augmented reality application. What do you think like are some of the common misconceptions within this technology? - Yeah, no, good question. I mean there are a lot of science fiction novels around the dystopian future and augmented reality technologies in that. I think, in terms of being confused with this is real, this is not, I think it's more virtual reality. I think there are ways that augmented reality can play a role with that, but I think augmented reality we're more in the driver's seat. And here we are at a summit that's bringing together manufacturers and they wanna think about design, manufacturing, safety, repair, and how we can use tools to help be more efficient, help increase cycle time, help make things safer. To me I think, let's figure out some use cases in an industry and show what this is and have this technology be defined about what it can do as opposed to being defined by bad things, so I'm excited for that future. - Definitely, I think that focus on like what the technology can do is so much more applicable and vital. John thank you so much for coming up here and talking with us on the Singularity stage. - Great yeah, love Singularity. Singularity's great. - You hear it from him, I didn't make him say that. - No it's really cool.



Buffalos were exported to Finland starting in 1939, and more were intended for Belgium, but before deliveries could begin, Germany conquered the country. The United Kingdom also received Buffalos, which eventually ended up in the Far East. They suffered badly in combat against Japanese Zeros. The Buffalos were most popular with the Finnish Air Force, which used them successfully against the Soviet air force, and began a program to build an indigenous version named the Humu. The Dutch also purchased 92 Buffalos and assigned most to the Militaire Luchtvaart KNIL in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) where they fought against the Japanese. Several captured by the Japanese were repainted with Japanese Hinomaru insignia and extensively tested.

During World War II, it became apparent that Brewster was mismanaged. The company had grown from a relatively minor aircraft parts supplier to a full-fledged defense giant in only a few years. Brewster ranked 84th among United States corporations in value of World War II military production contracts.[1] Jimmy Work had hired Alfred and Ignacio Miranda as the company salesmen. They had been involved in frauds, spending two years in prison for selling illicit arms to Bolivia, and had over-promised Brewster production capabilities to customers.

As the war swelled the defense industries, the quality of the newly hired work force was inferior in skills and often motivation, and the work was plagued by illicit strikes; even outright sabotage was suspected. The Navy installed George Chapline as president of the company, easing out Jimmy Work, in the hopes of speeding up production, but then in early 1942 Jimmy Work regained control, just in time to be sued for $10 million for financial misdeeds. On April 18, 1942, the Navy simply seized Brewster and put the head of the Naval Aircraft Factory, G. C. Westervelt, in charge.[2] In mid-May, a new board of directors was appointed by the Navy, with Brewster making the F3A-1 Corsair under license.[2][3]

When the Navy cancelled Brewster's last contract, for assembly of the Corsair, on July 1, 1944,[2] the company was in serious trouble. In October, after reporting a large loss, the management decided to shut down the company, and on April 5, 1946, the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation was dissolved by its shareholders.


External links


  1. ^ Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (1962) Harvard Business School p.619
  2. ^ a b c Birkett, Gordon. "Brewster Bermuda: Almost in Australian Service" (PDF). Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  3. ^ Herman, Arthur. Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, pp. 280-83, Random House, New York, NY. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4.
This page was last edited on 3 October 2017, at 02:06
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