Thomas Jones

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Thomas Jones "began his career as an engineer with Douglas Aircraft. While serving there, he saw a conflict within a conflict during World War II. The invisible conflict he saw was that which existed between incorporating available technology that could be quickly put into combat or waiting for technology leaps while lives were being lost.

"From this frustrating experience, Jones set the strategic course that would direct his life. The pursuit of advanced technology always was always tested by the pilots who faced combat...

"Before the age of 30, Jones carried his credo to Brazil, where he worked for the government as a technical advisor to the Air Ministry in Rio de Janeiro. After returning to the United States, Jones joined the Rand Corporation where he directed and wrote a widely used study called "The Capabilities and Operating Cost of Possible Future Transport Airplanes." His work contributed significantly to America's military and commercial dominance in the field of wide-body, heavy-lift aircraft. The same study caused Jones to add another element to his credo: economics had to be included in the technical equation. He demanded that technology be used innovatively to make new systems effective and affordable throughout their lifetimes.

"His relentless advocacy of these interlocking relationships helped to win acceptance for the Air Force's sweeping initiative in the 1980s. "R and M Two-Thousand" demanded new levels of reliability and maintainability in future weapons systems.

"After joining the Northrop Corporation in 1953, Jones took the opportunity to focus on his philosophies during what turned out to be a 39-year career with Northrop. During most of that time, he served as President, then as Chief Executive and Chairman, retiring as Chairman in 1990." [1]

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  1. Thomas Jones, National Aviation Hall of Fame, accessed October 15, 2008.