The Most Dangerous Enemy: The Definitive History of the Battle of Britain

Category: Europe
Author: Stephen Bungay
4.6

Comments

by osullivj   2018-08-25
Wonderful piece for those interested in early WWII aviation. There are lessons for software development in there. Brad Cox's classic Planning the Software Industrial Revolution [1] highlights the importance of gauges to Eli Whitney's project to built firearms with interchangeable parts, and asserts we need a similar technology in software to enable construction from reusable components. In Most Dangerous Enemy [2], Stephen Bungay points out that it took 2.5 times more man hours to build a Spitfire than an Me109. German production engineering was far better than British. This piece illustrates that perfectly. Rolls Merlin engine was a great piece of design engineering, but it was inefficient in terms of production engineering. What is intriguing about this article is the detail on the effort needed for Packard to port the Merlin design to their production engineering standards, and then for Rolls and Merlin to share design changes. Effectively sending each other pull requests!

[1] http://bat8.inria.fr/~lang/hotlist/free/licence/papers/cox/C... [2] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Most-Dangerous-Enemy-History-Britai...