Report on Review of Contracts for T-36A Trainer Aircraft

B-118676: Published: Oct 18, 1955. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 1955.

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The Division of Audits, General Accounting Office, has reviewed contracts awarded by the United States Air Force (USAF), to the Beech Aircraft Corporation, Wichita, Kansas, and Canadian Commercial Corporation (Canadair Limited), Montreal, Canada, for the development and production of the T-36A twin engine trainer aircraft.

Our review disclosed that this procurement will result in an estimated cost of more than 77 million dollars, excluding the cost of engines and other accessories separately procured, without receiving any aircraft. During the period of the contracts, the cost of development of the aircraft steadily increased and eventually reached approximately 100 percent over that originally estimated. Some of the factors which led to the increased cost were: 1. Controversy within USAF over the basic design of the airframe for a period of approximately 16 months, which resulted in many engineering changes and contributed to the delay in development of the final engineering data by Beech Aircraft Corporation. 2. Tight delivery schedules which forced Beech Aircraft Corporation to subcontract the major portion of the work. In this connection, USAF reported that the program was retarded due to the inability of Beech to furnish basic engineering data to the subcontractors and that control over the subcontract program was inadequate. 3. Delay by USAF of almost two years after the initial contract had been awarded in making the determination that the design would not meet the requirements for the twin engine trainer aircraft desired.

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