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August, 1935 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING 201 A Report of an Important Conference held i n London Last Month research workers. The practice of visits to H E Aircraft Conference, which was held tion, " and "Ephemeral." It was hinted the firms to discuss the progress of experiments a t the City and Guilds College of tha t reports coming under the first three and las t headings were of little service to the by the Head of the Aerodynamics Department Engineering, Exhibition Road, London, designer and that the fourth heading—which a t the N.P.L. and the Secretary of the A.R.C., on July 10th, 11th, and 12th, proved to be of exceptional interest and importance. constitute 66 per cent of the whole in the was evidently considered very valuable. N.A.C.A. list, and 40 per cent in that of the The Object of the Conference A.R.C.—was the one by which the value of An Industrial Research Association th e work should mainly be judged. The Th e object of the Conference was "t o review Discussions on the question of closer contact efficacy of this par t of the case was somewhat th e present position of research in aeronautic s in between the research work carried out and marred by the fact that R. & M. No. 1422 relation to th e needs of industry. " I t was decided th e practical needs of designers crystallised (" Experiments on th e Hawker Hornbill ") was to hold the conference in order tha t certain views in an insistent pressing of the industry to form specifically quoted as an example of the might be thoroughly ventilated and a definite its own industrial research association, whose ephemeral ; whereas, it was later pointed out opinion arrived a t as to whether it is now desir Director, it wa s pointe d out, could appropriately in th e discussion, the fact tha t the Hornbill was able to mak e some changes—and, if so, what— be its representative on the Aeronautical chosen for these experiments was purely in in th e organization of research in England. Research Committee. An analogy was drawn cidental, the object of the investigation being The theme of th e principal paper—which set with the gradua l evolution of a similar research t o obtain information on the effect on lateral forth the criticisms of the existing state of association for the electrical industry. It was stability of the shape of the lift curve, for affairs—was that the Aeronautical Research pointed out—to begin with—that there was an general application. Committee is out of touch with the research example of the practical value of "funda requirements of the industry and that the mental " research with no original practical The Discussion work it encourages and supervises is too "bias, " since the whole industry developed "academic " and remote from the practical Generally speaking, it can be said that the directly as a result of researches undertaken by day-to-day needs of designers. views which found expression in this paper re scientific workers in laboratories without any ceived surprisingly little suppor t even from those relation to practical purposes, but with even Closer Co-operation Needed other technical members of the industry from tually great practical results. The plea was pu t forward that this should be whom it might have been most to be expected. overcome by closer co-operation between the I n the ensuing discussion it was agreed on all The Electrical Industry's Example A.R.C. and the industry, which could best, or sides that the closer co-operation called for I n spite of all the work tha t was done in this only, be secured by having two o r thre e members between the A.R.C. and designers is un form at the N.P.L., at universities and else appointed by the industry as representatives on doubtedly desirable, there being considerable where, the electrical industry some years ago room for improvement in this respect. th e A.R.C. It was proposed tha t a new estab formed an electrical research association. This lishment, combining the National Physical On the question of "secrecy " it was early a t first did no research itself whatever, but Laborator y and part of the Royal Aircraft pointed out tha t when research work in progress was merely an organisation for the chief Establishment, should be built and equipped was kept secret, it was usually a t the instance technical people to meet and discuss common with the latest apparatus, tunnels, etc. The of the industry itself. This point was driven problems and for the dissemination of technical work done here should be "entirely of an home when members of th e Conference arrived information derived from the research work at original nature, looking more to the future for a visit to the National Physical Laboratory various centres. It was only this year tha t the tha n the immediate present; in fact, the on the afternoon of the second day and they Electric Research Association was opening a exploitation of theories." The work could were told tha t the whole of the Aerodynamics laboratory of its own. A strong hint was not be extensive, bu t should be highly selective, Department , and some others, was open to thrown out to the aircraft industry that it an d here secret work should be carried out, the m with the exception of two wind tunnels would do well to take an example from this though Government research staffs were re in which "secret " experiments were being precedent and do something of the same sort minded that "this secrecy business is very carried out for the Society of British Aircraft itself. much overdone." All th e research work, ad hoc Constructors. For the Editor of AIRCRAFT aircraft model tests, engines, fuels, equipment, The suggestion that a new research estab ENGINEERIN G this aspect was further etc., should be carried out by the universities lishment could be built and seven or eight emphasised during the visit, on the next after English universities equipped for carrying out an d the industry, all British universities em noon, to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at aeronautical researches for any such sum as bracing the science of engineering being Farnborough. He found that he was barred " a third of a million pounds" was scouted, equipped with plant and laboratories capable admission to only one building, and this on th e and it was asked where the money was t o come of carrying out work on aeronautics; the ground that it contained models of proprietary suggestion being thrown out tha t each univer from to maintain these laboratories, provide aeroplane designs of various firms in the sity should work in close touch with the units the m with staffs and pay the post-graduate industry who would not like his being allowed of the aircraft industry in its neighbourhood. students who would be required. to see them. The Cost of Research Representatives of the Industry Two Series of Reports I t was stated tha t for th e yea r 1935 th e total As regards the suggestion that members of A suggestion put forward, which received cost of British Government research in aero th e industry should be nominated to serve on support in connexion with the criticism of the nautics is "ove r a third of a million pounds" ; th e Aeronautical Research Committee, the A.R.C. series of R. & M.s was that this might which, it was suggested, would be "mor e than poin t was mad e by a number of speakers that be divided into two series—one containing the ample " to provide the necessary money for "academic " and "fundamental " reports and it would be impossible to find persons truly th e establishment to take the place of the th e other, of a more practical character, embody representative of the whole industry, and not N.P.L . and R.A.E. and for financing research merely of individual firms; that the views pu t ing the results "of general application." A both at the universities and in the industry. forward by each individual might not be accept corollary to this was tha t more use might be The format and contents of th e A.R.C. Research able to others; while, on the other hand, it mad e of the technical press for putting out to Reports and Memoranda were criticised and would be difficult to avoid these individuals th e industry the results of work done at the compared to their disadvantage with the obtaining access to confidential information in N.P.L . and R.A.E. more promptly and in a Technical Reports of th e N.A.C.A. Each report regard to researches being made in Government more suitable form for immediate practical use issued by the two bodies during the last ten establishments for rival firms. in design. years was "classified and valued" under the Th e general view was tha t closer co-operation The other papers read dealt more in detail headings, "Academic," "Fundamental" , "Of could best be obtained by personal contacts with specific problems of immediate interest in Special Application," "Of General Applica between individuals on the design staffs and aeroplane and aero-engine design.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 1935
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