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As commercial aviation grew in the post war period aircraftmanufacturers were naturally looking to develop aircraft that would bebigger better and most importantly faster As early as 1958 BoeingDouglas and Lockheed claimed a SST prototype could be designed andproduced in as little as two years By 1970 the Mach 2 SST should haveoperating costs comparable to that of subsonic planes The industry wasfavorable to SST development while airlines were more cautious Theywere concerned about the cost share they would have to bare Kennedy AdministrationWhen JFK took office the prospects for the SST began to rise Hecampaigned to get American back on track and he did so with increasedexpenditures for aeronautic research Another key figure in promotingthe SST was Najeeb Halaby the new administrator of the Federal AviationAdministration Through his persistent he got both President Kennedysand Congress approval for 12 million for research with no limit As aresult he gain support from the FAA Department of Defense and NASAPresident Kennedy also appointed Halaby head of a presidential taskforce for national aviation goals for the 1960s The task force releaseda report called Project Horizon calling for a Mach 3 SST giving that analuminum based Mach 2 SST would soon be obsolete It also called for 1billion of government financing that placed emphasis on technical ratherthan economical feasibility Critics argued that the SST was not andshould not be a crash program like the Manhattan project which was builtwithout regard to cost Furthermore the FAA had no experience managingsuch a large project Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara put an abruptstop to any further SST action in 1962 when he stated that the SSTneeded to be justified economically like any business venture The FAAagreed to examine cost and market analyses before the program continuedany further Halaby also wanted the president to publicly supportdevelopment and funding commitments to the SST Under advise from theBureau of the Budget Kennedy did not make any public announcement Initial ConcernsAirline executives were not enthusiastic about
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