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Military Aviation Progress

Military Aviation Progress 306 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING November, 1934 A Plea for Reconsideration of Air Ministry Policy for the Advantage of the Industry military duties, and even if bombs and other UCH has been written recently about what may be a satisfactory type in wood items of offensive equipment had t o be attached the improvement in performance of may not be so good in metal. This objection civil aeroplanes of British and foreign could be met by building both—the wooden externally, their efficiency would probably be design and th e very natural question is asked, version to get th e quickest possible flying tests such that they would outclass our comparable Why cannot we have military aeroplanes of an d the metal as a natural development; the military types. equivalent performance? latte r to be delivered not more than six months Similarly the Airspeed Courier and Envoy after the wooden prototype had reached could be rapidly produced in quantities so tha t Again, we are told that a new civil aero­ Martlesham or Felixstowe. a policy of one man, one machine, one bomb— plane can be designed and built in nine months, out and home in the quickest possible time— and wonder why a military version should not The Air Ministry must be more generous in would be overwhelmingly powerful. be "bom " in the same period. the placing of orders for experimenta l machines. If the true costs of such machines were tabu­ When a successful type has been produced Let us examine the problem by considering lated and furnished to th e Air Ministr y it would let each firm's test pilot fly that type and first the chief items of difference which may be realised that the British aircraft industry learn therefrom the degree of manoeuvrability distinguish the military from its civil counter­ is "subsidising" the contracts department and stability which meets the Air Ministry part. and actually providing a series of valuable requirements. Each can learn from another's Foremost we would put the question of experimental establishments as important as success. specification. A clear-cut schedule of re­ the R.A.E. or the N.P.L., and at a fraction If one firm's machine is superior in per­ quirements for a civil aeroplane can be drawn of the cost t o th e taxpayer. formance and another in simplicity of con­ up and worked to with a degree of finality struction and in maintenance features, the Wha t type of aircraft would be produced never yet achieved with any military version. Air Ministry should say so and teach each if war broke out to-morrow? Have we, in Why must there be such a multitude of firm the lessons t o be learned. Let us pool our corrigenda representing changed requirements resources and concentrate on the finest aero­ relating to a specification which must in the planes for the R.A.F. first place have been arrived at only by a When a competition shows that two or even laborious process of official argument and Publication of this article from a three machines are, within fairly close limits, development; conferences of Air Staff and corresponden t does not, of course, Air Ministry experts, each with a host of equal, let there be development contracts for impl y editorial agreement with the thirt y of each typ e for prolonged service trials, requirements set forth in numerous minutes ; views expressed. Since i t does, how­ as it is only when doing the average everyday probably based on a wealth of past experiences duties of a squadron that the suitability, or with other types, but also inevitably influenced ever, represent an attitude that de­ otherwise, of a typ e can be finally determined. by the personal views of the particular indi­ finitely exists it is felt that the vidual who is finally adjudicating ? So far the all-important question of engines opinions put forward are worth has not been mentioned. Just as a new Here, then, may be food for thought. Are ventilating aeroplane may tak e from five to seven years those whoresponsibl e for drawing up t o develop from the design to the production specifications tho are roughl y " alive " to the posi­ stage, so we can say tha t an aero-engine will tion of affairs? Do they fully realize the tak e at least as long or more, probably seven danger in which we stan d because of our lateness fact, got such jigs and tools and skilled metal t o ten years. Therefore it behoves us t o keep in developing new types ? Speed of execution workers as would enable immediate expansion abreas t of developments in this field and not of a programme of new design development of production of any modern service type to let the desire for standardization and economy is almost as vital as the achievement of maxi­ tak e place ? If we have, how long would blind us to the virtues of other makes of mum true air speed. such types hold the field ? Would not each engines than those now in production. The senior officials whose views are expressed protagonist take any and every available More development contracts for various in the specifications issued by th e Air Ministry machine of civil vintage and convert it ? And types , such as the Bristol Phœnix Diesel and during their term of office are themselves would not th e existence of an alternative class the Napier Dagger and Rapier types, are rarely in power long enough either to see th e of labour—to wit, carpenters—and the associ­ essential to serve the needs of progress. fruits of their labours or to receive the blame ated plants of furniture factories be a valuable The delays which occur in supplying to sometimes due on account of a bad specifica­ asset ? Of course they would. There is room contractors th e instrument s and other free issue tion. The new official who takes over may for both wood and metal types just as there is items which he has t o incorporate lead one t o not agree with the views of his predecessor room for high tensile steel and light alloy believe that in this branch also we need a as to the type needed by the R.A.F., and types . livelier policy of encouragement to produce however much he ma y tr y t o judge impartially The modern military aeroplane with its different types, so tha t in time of need there we must admit the possibility of his judgment multifarious duties has become so complex are alternative sources of supply, and so tha t a being warped to the detriment of all those tha t if war broke out we should find it im­ typ e which may no t appea r so good as another contractors who have spent possibly tens of possible t o trai n pilots quickly enough for them on paper or in experimental tests might be thousands of pounds endeavouring to meet t o use their weapons to advantage. There given a chance of development in service. what may at the date of official trials have would be a big change of policy towards speci­ become an obsolete specification. Whenever a foreign machine is produced alisation. What is the use of a machine which shows a n advanc e over our own i t should An advisory board should sit and discuss which is capable of doing ten jobs of work be immediately investigated, and if it embodies tentative specifications and " finalise " them reasonably well if the enemy by specialised features on which we lack data, to equal or before they are issued. On this board the development can produce a better in each bette r it, a specimen should be bought and all aircraft industry point of view should be class ? our designers invited to see it as soon as it represented—a difficult matter if, as is essential, There must be simplification in both design arrives, and the various firms' test pilots be premature disclosure to interested parties is t o conception an d specification requirements. We allowed to fly it. Such full-scale research is be avoided. An S.B.A.C. Advisory Com­ need a production and planning department to cheaper than prolonged model tests. The mittee would undoubtedly be able to give permeate the Air Ministry and awaken those results speak for themselves and the technical valuable constructive criticism of an y tentativ e who are responsible to the dangers of our researches to explain how an d why can follow. specification. present policy. Next in importance to the provision of a Another development which would be essen­ Wh y should we have a general purpose type definite specification of general requirements tial in time of war an d which is now favoured which can be used as a torpedo carrier, bomber, come the detail requirements of "materials arm y co-operation, photographic survey, or in America is tha t of component specialisation. of construction." Here a plea is put forward Let the undercarriage experts be encouraged desert patrol machine? Surely specialisation for a reversion to timber as a material for ex­ so that we have a retractable chassis which an d singleness of purpose will pay better in perimental aeroplane construction—where time DOES work—always. the long run. can be saved thereby in bringing to th e flying If war broke out to-morrow such machines Specialisation means concentrated develop­ stage a new type . This proposal is admittedly as the De Havilland Dragon and the D.H. men t and without it we are becoming open to serious criticism on the grounds that Comet would be immediately converted to stagnant . http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology Emerald Publishing

Military Aviation Progress

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology , Volume 6 (11): 1 – Nov 1, 1934

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0002-2667
DOI
10.1108/eb029874
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

306 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING November, 1934 A Plea for Reconsideration of Air Ministry Policy for the Advantage of the Industry military duties, and even if bombs and other UCH has been written recently about what may be a satisfactory type in wood items of offensive equipment had t o be attached the improvement in performance of may not be so good in metal. This objection civil aeroplanes of British and foreign could be met by building both—the wooden externally, their efficiency would probably be design and th e very natural question is asked, version to get th e quickest possible flying tests such that they would outclass our comparable Why cannot we have military aeroplanes of an d the metal as a natural development; the military types. equivalent performance? latte r to be delivered not more than six months Similarly the Airspeed Courier and Envoy after the wooden prototype had reached could be rapidly produced in quantities so tha t Again, we are told that a new civil aero­ Martlesham or Felixstowe. a policy of one man, one machine, one bomb— plane can be designed and built in nine months, out and home in the quickest possible time— and wonder why a military version should not The Air Ministry must be more generous in would be overwhelmingly powerful. be "bom " in the same period. the placing of orders for experimenta l machines. If the true costs of such machines were tabu­ When a successful type has been produced Let us examine the problem by considering lated and furnished to th e Air Ministr y it would let each firm's test pilot fly that type and first the chief items of difference which may be realised that the British aircraft industry learn therefrom the degree of manoeuvrability distinguish the military from its civil counter­ is "subsidising" the contracts department and stability which meets the Air Ministry part. and actually providing a series of valuable requirements. Each can learn from another's Foremost we would put the question of experimental establishments as important as success. specification. A clear-cut schedule of re­ the R.A.E. or the N.P.L., and at a fraction If one firm's machine is superior in per­ quirements for a civil aeroplane can be drawn of the cost t o th e taxpayer. formance and another in simplicity of con­ up and worked to with a degree of finality struction and in maintenance features, the Wha t type of aircraft would be produced never yet achieved with any military version. Air Ministry should say so and teach each if war broke out to-morrow? Have we, in Why must there be such a multitude of firm the lessons t o be learned. Let us pool our corrigenda representing changed requirements resources and concentrate on the finest aero­ relating to a specification which must in the planes for the R.A.F. first place have been arrived at only by a When a competition shows that two or even laborious process of official argument and Publication of this article from a three machines are, within fairly close limits, development; conferences of Air Staff and corresponden t does not, of course, Air Ministry experts, each with a host of equal, let there be development contracts for impl y editorial agreement with the thirt y of each typ e for prolonged service trials, requirements set forth in numerous minutes ; views expressed. Since i t does, how­ as it is only when doing the average everyday probably based on a wealth of past experiences duties of a squadron that the suitability, or with other types, but also inevitably influenced ever, represent an attitude that de­ otherwise, of a typ e can be finally determined. by the personal views of the particular indi­ finitely exists it is felt that the vidual who is finally adjudicating ? So far the all-important question of engines opinions put forward are worth has not been mentioned. Just as a new Here, then, may be food for thought. Are ventilating aeroplane may tak e from five to seven years those whoresponsibl e for drawing up t o develop from the design to the production specifications tho are roughl y " alive " to the posi­ stage, so we can say tha t an aero-engine will tion of affairs? Do they fully realize the tak e at least as long or more, probably seven danger in which we stan d because of our lateness fact, got such jigs and tools and skilled metal t o ten years. Therefore it behoves us t o keep in developing new types ? Speed of execution workers as would enable immediate expansion abreas t of developments in this field and not of a programme of new design development of production of any modern service type to let the desire for standardization and economy is almost as vital as the achievement of maxi­ tak e place ? If we have, how long would blind us to the virtues of other makes of mum true air speed. such types hold the field ? Would not each engines than those now in production. The senior officials whose views are expressed protagonist take any and every available More development contracts for various in the specifications issued by th e Air Ministry machine of civil vintage and convert it ? And types , such as the Bristol Phœnix Diesel and during their term of office are themselves would not th e existence of an alternative class the Napier Dagger and Rapier types, are rarely in power long enough either to see th e of labour—to wit, carpenters—and the associ­ essential to serve the needs of progress. fruits of their labours or to receive the blame ated plants of furniture factories be a valuable The delays which occur in supplying to sometimes due on account of a bad specifica­ asset ? Of course they would. There is room contractors th e instrument s and other free issue tion. The new official who takes over may for both wood and metal types just as there is items which he has t o incorporate lead one t o not agree with the views of his predecessor room for high tensile steel and light alloy believe that in this branch also we need a as to the type needed by the R.A.F., and types . livelier policy of encouragement to produce however much he ma y tr y t o judge impartially The modern military aeroplane with its different types, so tha t in time of need there we must admit the possibility of his judgment multifarious duties has become so complex are alternative sources of supply, and so tha t a being warped to the detriment of all those tha t if war broke out we should find it im­ typ e which may no t appea r so good as another contractors who have spent possibly tens of possible t o trai n pilots quickly enough for them on paper or in experimental tests might be thousands of pounds endeavouring to meet t o use their weapons to advantage. There given a chance of development in service. what may at the date of official trials have would be a big change of policy towards speci­ become an obsolete specification. Whenever a foreign machine is produced alisation. What is the use of a machine which shows a n advanc e over our own i t should An advisory board should sit and discuss which is capable of doing ten jobs of work be immediately investigated, and if it embodies tentative specifications and " finalise " them reasonably well if the enemy by specialised features on which we lack data, to equal or before they are issued. On this board the development can produce a better in each bette r it, a specimen should be bought and all aircraft industry point of view should be class ? our designers invited to see it as soon as it represented—a difficult matter if, as is essential, There must be simplification in both design arrives, and the various firms' test pilots be premature disclosure to interested parties is t o conception an d specification requirements. We allowed to fly it. Such full-scale research is be avoided. An S.B.A.C. Advisory Com­ need a production and planning department to cheaper than prolonged model tests. The mittee would undoubtedly be able to give permeate the Air Ministry and awaken those results speak for themselves and the technical valuable constructive criticism of an y tentativ e who are responsible to the dangers of our researches to explain how an d why can follow. specification. present policy. Next in importance to the provision of a Another development which would be essen­ Wh y should we have a general purpose type definite specification of general requirements tial in time of war an d which is now favoured which can be used as a torpedo carrier, bomber, come the detail requirements of "materials arm y co-operation, photographic survey, or in America is tha t of component specialisation. of construction." Here a plea is put forward Let the undercarriage experts be encouraged desert patrol machine? Surely specialisation for a reversion to timber as a material for ex­ so that we have a retractable chassis which an d singleness of purpose will pay better in perimental aeroplane construction—where time DOES work—always. the long run. can be saved thereby in bringing to th e flying If war broke out to-morrow such machines Specialisation means concentrated develop­ stage a new type . This proposal is admittedly as the De Havilland Dragon and the D.H. men t and without it we are becoming open to serious criticism on the grounds that Comet would be immediately converted to stagnant .

Journal

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 1, 1934

There are no references for this article.