Poll : Reasons projects fail.

What do you think is the main reason for projects not succeeding?

  • Market Changes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other Reasons

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


ACCESS: Secret
24 July 2009
Reaction score
Hi everyone,

I have no specific aviation industry experience and only know about most of these projects through historical research, and I am intrigued to know what other users of this forum think are the main reasons for projects never leaving the drawing board or not progressing beyond the prototype stage.

I realize this is not going to give an historically accurate figure, but I am more interested in peoples perceptions.

1. Financial. Costs too high, overunning, lack of captital investment, withdrawal of funding etc.

2. Poor Design. Simply not fit for purpose, does not meet specification etc.

3. Technology failure. Technology too advanced or not practical etc.

4. Polictical Decisions. Polictical changes, interference, etc

5. Market Changes. No market exists, customer changes mind etc.

6. Other. Self explanatory.

It would also be interesting to know what percentage of "Paper Planes" ever make it to the prototype stage or into production.

Regards Bailey.
As a person with some technical background, it seems the press is too happy just parroting NASA and industry lines. Hence technically right from the start very unrealistic programs get a far too easy treatment. NASP being a good example.
At the end i think that points : 1, 3,4 explain very well the reasons of failure of some projects !
For Ships i remember more political reasons : an example is Treaty of Washington of 1922 .
A quick question first. Are you asking about military or civilian or both? I'd have different responses for civilian than I'd have for military. I know this isn't a scientific study, but I thought I'd ask.

Mod: I suggest the deathly silence is because there is neither a general, nor an Aero-specific A to your Q. Why, from oodles of storyboards, does the UK feature film industry actually make >2,000 p.a, of which some hundreds get some form of cinema exposure, of which a dozen make serious (?any) money? It's for all your 5 reasons. Same in Aero. The conspiracist Noam Chomsky,Deterring Democracy,Verso,91,P21 has: “the military-industrial complex (as a) welfare state for the rich (which ensures) a guaranteed market for waste production (The) Cold War had a functional utility for the Superpowers: one reason why it persisted.” So, any bright military idea can attract funding...until it seems likely to come second in combat, so gets chopped. Hence Mark I versions of so many types seeing only brief deployment.

(The l)ong period (between start, R&D, and) ultimate production makes (Aero) cost estimates almost worthless” UK PM H.Macmillan,Memoirs/III,P576. UK PM H.Wilson,The Labour Government,Weidenfeld, 71,P43: 1965: “almost universal experience (of new a/c that) first estimates of costs turned out to be only a small proportion of the final figure.” Industry always says the Customer keeps changing his tiny; the Customer says industry offers whatever it takes to win, then drifts and bloats as it spends Other People's Money. The wonder, maybe, is that anything gets funded through to deployment. And then its electronic bits are cursed with the obsolescence of the tangible.
8. Incompetent design team.

Of course I have never eeeeven remooootely been involved with an incompetent design team ;D but in my opinion this one ranks very high - maybe at the top on par with politics - for program failures.

Blue Streak is a perfect example for all points

1. Financial. Costs too high for Silo deployment
2. Poor Design: good Rocket, but a bad ICBM
3. Technology failure: as BS was ready, Solid fuel ICBM was state of art
4. Political Decisions. Go and Stop by Torey's between Labors Party's
5. Market Changes. No more Need for ICBM need Skybold, no, now SSBM !
6. BS take to long development 1954 to 1960
Best explanation from the movie "The Right Stuff" - No bucks no Buck Rogers ;)

Similar threads

Top Bottom