Clever Thinking

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butlersrangers
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 pm
Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Clever Thinking

Post by butlersrangers »

During WW-2 the U. S. Army Air Corps and Navy were losing bombers at an unsustainable rate.
Air Base ground crews were collecting considerable data, regarding damaged areas, on aircraft that survived missions and made it back to base.

In an effort to increase survival of aircraft, increased armor was to be added to bombers.
The initial inclination was to add more armor to the areas of a plane, that were commonly known to take hits.

A statistical research group at Columbia University was presented with the problem of "How to minimize Bomber Losses, due to enemy fire".

A refugee Hungarian-Jewish Mathematician, Abraham Wald, realized that the 'missing data' was more important than the data that was available.
The charted damage was from planes that were survivors.
The aircraft that were lost contained the 'unknown data' and had likely been hit in the areas not marked on the 'survivor' bomber drawing.

This insight resulted in the additional armor being efficiently placed to improve protection to engines, fuel tanks, and flight crews.
Allied Bomber loses decreased.
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