March 31st ASME EVENT

Project Terminated:
 Famous Military Aircraft Cancelations
of the Cold War


Burton Dicht,
Director of University Programs, IEEE

Click here for a biographical sketch.

Co-sponsored by ASME New Haven, the Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID), and the Yale Student Chapter of ASME



If you have ever attended an airshow, you have seen an array of impressive military aircraft that represent the ingenuity and innovation of their designers as well the integration of advanced technologies. This applies to WWII-era aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang and the B-25 Mitchell Bomber to the most advanced aircraft of today like the B-2 Spirit, the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II.

But the aircraft we see at airshows only represent a small glimpse of what is proposed by the aerospace industry. We see only the aircraft that made the cut and were deemed worthy of production. Did you ever wonder what some of the aircraft that never went into production might have looked like and how they might have performed?

In a recent book “Project Terminated,” author Erik Simonsen tells the story of ten aircraft, which for various reasons never went into production. Many of these aircraft pushed the boundaries of technology, but also faced obstacles that were beyond the designers’ control, such as politics.

In this presentation, Mr. Dicht will highlight several of the aircraft identified in Mr. Simonsen’s book.  He will touch on the technological challenges involved for each aircraft and the decisions made to cancel these programs.  A highlight will also include speculation on how these aircraft would have performed had they gone operational.   

In addition, Mr. Dicht will add his own perspective on one of the featured aircraft, the Northrop F-20 Tigershark.  Mr. Dicht served as a senior engineer on the F-20’s design team.

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Food: Light refreshments will be served.

The event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is needed!
If you have any questions, please contact Beth Bennett (ASME) at


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Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID), located on the 1st floor of Becton Center, 15 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT  06511

(Flash Earth)

Parking: Attendees should plan to use metered on-street parking on either Grove Street, Hillhouse Avenue, or Trumbull Street.  It costs $1.50 per hour.

Biographical Sketch

Burton Dicht


Burton Dicht joined IEEE in 2011 and he currently serves as the Director of University Programs.  In this capacity, Mr. Dicht oversees IEEE’s accreditation efforts within ABET, and he is also responsible for the development and implementation of programs for faculty and students that are aimed at improving academic learning and the educational experience. 

Before joining IEEE, Mr. Dicht was the Managing Director of ASME’s Knowledge and Community Sector. Employed at ASME beginning in 1999, Mr. Dicht was responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for ASME’s member-based communities.

Mr. Dicht began his career in the aerospace industry in 1982 and held the position of lead engineer for Northrop Grumman and Rockwell Space Transportation Systems Division.  Mr. Dicht specialized in systems and configuration integration and worked on advanced fighters such as the YF-23A Advanced Tactical Fighter, the F-18E/F Super Hornet, and also the Space Shuttle program.  Mr. Dicht completed NASA’s Summer Employment Training Program in 1980, serving as an engineering intern at the Kennedy Space Center.

Mr. Dicht is a Certified Association Executive (CAE).  Mr. Dicht is a member of IEEE, AIAA, and an ASME Fellow.  Mr. Dicht received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University and an M.A. in History from California State University, Northridge.  Mr. Dicht has authored numerous articles on aerospace history and is a frequent guest speaker on aviation and space topics.  Mr. Dicht serves as a volunteer Exhibit Explainer for the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in NYC and as a 2nd Lt. and Aerospace Education Officer for the Phoenix Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.