THE start of this new year finds us involved in the war which England had been trying to avoid for a long time, though many of us had feared that, sooner or later, it was inevitable. From the aeronautical point of view, particularly, the postponements that our statesmen had succeeded in bringing about have relieved us of a haunting anxiety that a German blitzkrieg would not find this country prepared with an adequate supply of aircraft. Fortunately, plans had been made and production already started on a programme that at any rate ensured that we should not be overwhelmed at the beginning. The articles that have appeared in these pages during 1939 have shown how well these plans were laid. Before the fog of war descended we were able to publish descriptions of the methods of production adopted for turning out Hurricanes, Spitfires, Oxfords, and Short boats in considerable quantities methods which were not only satisfactory at the time but showed promise of the expansion possibilities which have since become realities. Without making extravagant claims, it can with certainty be said that, so far as experience has gone at present, the British machines have fully justified the belief that was held in their capabilities and the Germans have been very far from gaining an ascendancy in performance. They have not yet sprung any surprises and all the types which they are using are to be found in the article describing them which we published as the leading feature of our October issue.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1940