Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Leslie George Frise BSc FRAeS 1897-1979




Leslie Frise a Brisol graduate joined the Bristol Aircraft Company Staff at Filton in 1916,becoming Chief Designer in 1938 on the death of Captain Barnwell in an aircraft accident. Frise was responsible for three classic fighters – Bristol Fighter (1916), Bristol Bulldodg (1927) and Bristol Beaufighter (1941).

Frise left Bristol Aircraft in 1946 to become Chief engineer of Hunting Percival Aircraft. He designed the Hunting Percival Jet Provost.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Ludwig Bölkow 1912-2003

Born in Schwerin, in north-eastern Germany in 1912, Bölkow was the son of a foreman employed by Fokker, one of the leading aircraft constructors of that time.

Bölkow’s first job was with Heinkel, the aircraft company, before studying aero-engineering at the Technical University in Berlin. On graduation, in 1939, he joined the project office of Messerchmitt AG in Augsburg, where he served initially as a clerk, later as a group leader for high-speed aerodynamics, especially for the Messerchmitt ME-262 and its successors. In January 1943, he was appointed head of the Messerchmitt ME-109 development office in Vienna. A year later, Bölkow returned to the Messerschmitt project office, which had meanwhile moved to Oberammergau. There he set up a program for the development of the Messerschmitt MeP1101 jet fighter.
In 1948, he founded his own engineering office for construction and automation in Stuttgart where he developed innovative construction methods, large-sized automated machines and new construction machinery among other things. After sovereignty over its airspace was restored to Germany, Bölkow began to focus again on the design of defence missiles, airplanes and helicopters in 1955.
In 1968, Bölkow merged with Messerschmitt, and one year later they formed the air and space company Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm which was integrated into DASA, in 1989, before merging to form EADS in 1999.
The Bölkow group developed innovations in aeronautics, military systems, satellites and transport systems.
Bölkow was recognised as a visionary in the field of future energy systems as, for example, the solar hydrogen technology. In 1983, the Ludwig Bölkow Foundation was set up at his initiative. It deals with research in the fields of renewable energies, solar hydrogen technology, transport systems and environmental protection.

Alexander de Seversky 1894-1974


After acquiring an aeronautical engineering degree, Alexander Prokofieff de Seversky was commissioned a lieutenant in the Imperial Navy of Russia in 1915. On his first combat mission he lost his right leg. Less than a year later he was back in the air, flying 57 missions, and downing 13 German aircraft to become Russia's top Naval Ace.
In 1917 de Seversky came to the
USA, offering his services to the War Dept, making outstanding contributions to our production of the British-designed SE-5 fighter and serving as a test pilot. In 1921 he and General Billy Mitchell worked together staging the bombing tests that graphically demonstrated the vulnerability of battleships to airplanes. Then, following his invention of the in-flight refueling method, he worked with the Sperry Gyroscope Co, to produce a gyro-stabilized bombsight in 1923 that was acclaimed the world's best. He was commissioned a major in the USAAC, and founded Seversky Aircraft Corp in 1928.
In 1930 de Seversky again made a most important contribution to his new country's air efforts in the all-metal P-43 fighter, predecessor of the historic P-47 Thunderbolt. Many of its new concepts are universally accepted construction principles for today's aircraft. Capable of speeds over 300 mph, the P-43 gave long-range and high-altitude protection to US bombers. He also developed an advanced design amphibian in which he set world speed records 1933-35, and an all-metal monoplane that set speed records at the 1933-39 Nationals, as well as a transcontinental speed record in 1938.

The outbreak of WW2 found our air arsenal pitifully neglected. To bring the magnitude of this problem to public attention, de Seversky wrote his best-seller book, "Victory Through Airpower." Also made into a movie, it awoke people to the need for better airpower. For that, and for his counsel on the strategic use of air power, he was awarded the Medal of Merit by President Truman.

By then he had become world renown as an expert in the areas of airpower and defense. His Seversky Electroatom Corp of 1952 directed its efforts to defending the
USA against nuclear attack, and to extraction of radioactive particles from the air. Research in that area led to the discovery of the Ionacraft, an aircraft that derived lift and propulsion from ionic emissions. For serving as a special consultant to the Chiefs of Staff of the USAF, he received the Exceptional Service Medal in 1969

William (Bill) Powell Lear 1902 – 1978

William Powell Lear was born June 26, 1902, in Hannibal, Mo. He was an only child; his parents separated when he was 6. Lear came up with his own bluprint for success by the time he was 12.

"I resolved first to make enough money so I'd never be stopped from finishing anything," Lear said later. "Second, that to accumulate money in a hurry - and I was in a hurry - I'd have to invent something that people wanted, and third that if I ever was going to stand on my own feet, I'd have to leave home."

He ran away from home after graduating from the eighth grade. He lied about his age and joined the Navy but didn't like regimentation and got an early discharge.

In 1919, Lear quit a $40-a-week job to be a mechanic at Grant Park Airport in Chicago, servicing many of the first air-mail planes. He was rewarded with flying lessons in place of a paycheck. Lear then formed the first of a string of companies. He was president of Quincy Radio Laboratory in Quincy, Ill., from 1922 to 1924; president of Lear Radio Laboratory in Tulsa from 1924 to 1928; and part-owner of Radio Coil and Wire Co. and Galvin Manufacturing Co., both of Chicago, from 1926 to 1930. About this time, Lear developed the first car radio at Galvin, which was to become the Motorola Corp. Motorola successfully mass-produced the car radio.

In 1930, Lear took his profits and founded Lear Developments, which became Lear Inc. and later Lear Siegler Inc. The companies specialized in aerospace instruments and electronics.

Some have called Lear's 32 years as president and later chairman of the board his most creative time. In 1935, Lear invented the Lear-O-Scope, one of the first commercial radio compasses. He received the Frank M. Hawks Award for designing the Learmatic Navigator in 1940.

In 1950, President Harry Truman gave Lear the Collier Trophy for development of the F-5 autopilot, the first ever for jets. The city of Paris presented Lear its Great Silver Medal for his aid in developing the autopilot for the Caravelle jetliner in 1962. By 1962, his company, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., had 5,000 employees and plants in California, Germany, Michigan and Ohio. But Lear and company officials had a falling-out and that year Lear sold his interests for $14.3 million.

Lear had come up with the idea of building a small, fast and cheap business jet in 1959. Now, with 30 years of experience and cash in the bank, he had the money and freedom to go ahead with his newest dream. "When I designed the Learjet, I didn't design it because I wanted to make a jet aircraft but because I needed an airplane that would compete with the airlines and would be economical enough that I could afford to operate it."- Bill Lear, 1972.

Lear formed a company in Switzerland and began working on the design of the Learjet there. Then he surprised nearly everyone by deciding in 1962 to build the new Learjet in Wichita.

The city agreed to help finance Learjet Corp. and issued its first-ever industrial revenue bonds. Lear set up shop next to Wichita Mid-Continent Airport and began working on the first Learjet Model 23, a simple, sturdy seven-place business jet that would fly 500 mph.

On June 4, 1964, during a routine certification flight, the first Learjet crashed and burned in a cornfield after takeoff. The Federal Aviation Agency test pilot at the controls and the Learjet test pilot riding along weren't injured in the crash, believed to have been caused by human error.

The good news was that the $500,000 insurance policy on the plane enabled the company to make its payroll and gave it financial breathing room. Another Learjet was completed and certified by the FAA just nine months after the crash.

Lear had an odd sense of humor and willingness to try the extraordinary; he once imported a team of midgets from Californa to work inside the slender fuselages of the first Learjets built in Wichita. But by late 1966, hard work and devoted employees weren't enough. Learjet was on the verge of bankruptcy, partly because Lear had branched out too fast into avionics and stereo sets and plastic products.

The company had built 146 Learjets before Lear sold it to the Denver- based Gates Rubber Co. on April 10, 1967. Although Learjet was about $13 million in debt at the time of the sale, Lear eventually made about $18 million from the sale.

In 1968, Lear bought the old Stead Air Force Base at Reno, Nev., for $1.3 million and established Lear Motors Corp. and LearAvia Corp. There Lear worked on a low-pollution engine that could run on steam, hoping to make the internal combustion engine obsolete. The project fizzled.

Returning to aviation, he designed the Learstar 600, a 12-place business jet. Canadair bought the manufacturing rights and renamed it the Challenger. Lear was working on the Model 2100 Learfan, a radical seven-passenger plane with two turboprop engines powering a propeller on the tail, when he died of leukemia May 14, 1978.

Lear was posthumously inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio, on July 22, 1978.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

James H. "Dutch" Kindelberger 1895-1962

James Howard "Dutch" Kindelberger was born in Wheeling, W.Va., on May 8, 1895, the son of steelworker Charles Frederick Kindelberger. Kindelberger started working in the steel industry with his father but, in 1916, when he was 21 years old, went to study at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.

The United States entered World War I in 1917, and Dutch Kindelberger joined the Army to serve in the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps. He was a pilot instructor based at Park Field in Memphis, Tenn. After the war, Kindelberger looked for work in aviation. In 1919, he married Thelma Knarr and, in 1920, became chief draftsman and assistant chief engineer with the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Five years later, he joined Douglas Aircraft in California as chief engineer. Kindelberger remained with Douglas for nine years, leading development of the DC-1 and the DC-2.

In 1934, Kindelberger became president and general manager of General Aviation, later renamed North American Aviation Inc., and served as general manager until 1948, when he became chairman and chief executive officer. Under his guidance, North American Aviation broke technological barriers; produced propeller- and jet-powered fighters and bombers, military trainers, rocket engines, and rocket-powered aircraft; and began its role as the prime contractor for the country's space program.

Kindelberger retired in 1960 as chief executive officer at the age of 65 and was succeeded by Lee Atwood. Kindelberger remained chairman of the board until his death two years later.

James S.McDonnell 1899-1980


James Smith McDonnell was an aviation pioneer and founder of McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, later McDonnell Douglas.

McDonnell (or "Mac" as he was often referred) was a graduate of Princeton University and earned a Master's of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT. While attending MIT he joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. After graduating from MIT, he worked for the Huff Daland Airplane Company and Glenn L. Martin Company. He resigned from Martin in 1938 and founded McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in 1939.

Headquartered in St. Louis, the company quickly grew into the principal supplier of fighter aircraft to the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. In 1950, he founded the James S. McDonnell Foundation to "improve the quality of life," and does so by contributing to the generation of new knowledge through its support of research and scholarship.

McDonnell was, by some accounts, a believer in the occult, and many of his aircraft were given names of supernatural beings or practices (such as phantom, demon, goblin, banshee, and voodoo).
McDonnell Aircraft merged with the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967. The McDonnell corporate heritage now rests with Boeing which merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, including the St. Louis plant that produces the F-15 Eagle and F/A-18 Hornet / F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters.

Donald Wills Douglas 1892–1981

Graduated by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1914, Donald Wills Douglas became chief engineer of the Glenn L Martin Co in 1915. He was appointed chief civilian aeronautical engineer of the Army's aviation section in 1916, then rejoined Martin in 1917, where designed the famous Martin Bomber.
Forming his own company in 1920, Douglas embarked on a career of manufacturing private, commercial, and military aircraft. His Cloudster was the first airplane to lift a payload equal to its own weight and, based on its design, in 1924 he built the DWC World Cruisers that made the first global flight. This brought him fame as an aircraft designer. In the mid-1920s he produced a remarkable series of observation, cargo, transport, mail, and amphibian airplanes. In 1932 came the development of his historic DC series of commercial transports—the DC-2 was an immediate success, and earned Douglas Co the 1935 Collier trophy. Its successor, DC-3, became the world's most widely-used airliner and helped make commercial aviation practical.

With the approach of WW2, his company mass-produced troop and cargo transports, as well as bombers, dive bombers, and attack planes for the Allied forces. After the war, Douglas Co developed new types of military aircraft and missiles, as well as important new multi-engine commercial transports that helped make possible the expansion of domestic and international passenger and cargo air service.



Glenn Hammond Curtiss 1878-1930


Glenn Hammond Curtiss was raised by his mother after the father died when he was four, moving to Rochester in 1890. In school there, his interest in mathematics and machinery was apparent and, after graduation, he went to work at Eastman Kodak company as a camera assembler.
His interest in 1906 in motorcycles and racing prompted a switch in careers when he was offered a job at a local cycle shop, and later opened his own store to help finance his racing. His thirst for speed led to experiments in gas engines, and he was soon designing and producing his own brand of one- and two-cylinder motorcycle engines. He tried unsuccessfully to interest the Wright brothers in his engine designs for use in their airplanes, but one design caught the attention of Thomas Scott Baldwin, who ordered a motor to use on his airship, California Arrow.

On January 23, 1907, he set a motorcycle speed record of 136.3mph with a 40hp air-cooled V-8 design that would lead directly to the popular OX aircraft motor of WW1. Later that same year, Alexander Graham Bell purchased a Curtiss motor and was so impressed with it that he invited its designer to join him in his Aerial Experimental Association (AEA), where, with Frank W Baldwin, he designed and built the first airplanes to feature movable wing-tip ailerons. These, however, brought on bitter patent-infringement lawsuits that ran on for years in courts until finally ending with a Wright-Curtiss Co merger in 1929.
Curtiss began flying and became Director of Experiments for AEA in 1908. There he designed aircraft and was successful in building the June Bug, a Curtiss-powered aircraft that won the Scientific American Trophy for a first flight in the USA traveling one kilometer.
1909 was A key year for Curtiss, who, after leaving AEA, built aircraft independently for himself and others, notably the Aeronautical Society of New York. One of these was the Golden Flierin which he won the Gordon Bennett Cup in Reims, France, awarded for the fastest flight speed, which was his then-breathtaking 46.5mph. Following this, Curtiss founded his own company and flight school in Hammondsport, America's first such commercial operations.
In 1909 Curtiss joined with Augustus M Herring to form the Herring-Curtiss Co to manufacture powered vehicles. Despite numerous lawsuits, Curtiss continued to advance the cause and technology of aviation, founding the first public flying school (1910) and later a chain of schools across the US, inventing the aileron (1909), the dual-control trainer (1911), and the hydroaeroplane (1911).
At the 1910 Dominguez Hills Air Meet he picked up $6,500 in prize moneys in the categories of fastest speed, endurance, and quick starting. That year the Navy contracted for several flying boats, as well as for training Navy fliers, and this led to experiments with airplanes in operations with ships at sea, in which Eugene Ely's first flights to and from USS Pennsylvaniawere harbingers of things to come. In 1914 a large, multi-engine flying boat, America, was built for an Atlantic crossing, but this was cancelled by the outbreak of WW1. However, America's war preparation saw the development of his famous JN-4 "Jenny" and OX-5 motor, and his NC-4 flying boat finally made the first transatlantic flight in 1919.
Because of patent lawsuits and legal battles, by 1918 Curtiss, then 40, had retired from active participation in his company to develop real estate in Florida, but remained on the company roster as a design consultant. He died at 52 from complications after an appendicitis operation, but the Curtiss marque continued with a line of historic aircraft until its doors closed shortly after WW2.
Some major awards were: Scientific American Trophy, 1908, 1909, 1910; Gordon Bennett Trophy, 1910; Collier Trophy, 1912; Langley Medal, 1914.


Glenn L. Martin 1886-1955

At the time he taught himself to fly in 1909 and 1910, Glenn Luther Martin was a youthful businessman, the owner (at age 22) of Ford and Maxwell dealerships in Santa Ana, California. Although he had taken courses at Kansas Wesleyan Business College before his family moved west in 1905, Martin lacked a technical background. His first planes were built in collaboration with mechanics from his auto shop, working in a disused church building that Martin rented. In 1909 Martin made his first successful flight; by 1911 he numbered among the most famous of the "pioneer birdmen." Never forgetting his original business training, Martin was not content with simply performing. In 1912, he set up as a manufacturer, incorporating his operation as the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company. Unlike the companies launched by the Wright Brothers and Glenn Curtiss, which soon came to be managed by people other than their namesakes, the Martin Company remained for forty years under the direct control of its founder. During these four critical decades Glenn Martin was the senior aircraft manufacturer in the United States.

From the early years of the company, Martin hired trained engineers to design his planes and talented managers to run his factories. The Martin Company provided training and experience to a remarkable number of other aviation manufacturers who later struck out on their own. William Boeing, Donald Douglas, Lawrence Bell, and James S. McDonnell founded companies that bear their names. Charles Day, chief designer for Standard Aircraft in World War I, and Charles Willard, co-founder of L.W.F. Engineering in 1917, were both former Martin employees as were J.H. Kindleberger and C.A. Van Dusen, who ran North American and Brewster, respectively, during World War II.

Glenn Martin had a taste for large planes, and his company came to depend on military orders. As these pages will testify, this meant bombers. The vast majority of the more than 11,000 planes built by the company before it ceased producing aircraft in 1960, "Martin Bombers" pioneered the doctrine of airpower in the 1920's and '30's and served in all theaters in World War II. Martin Marietta, corporate successor to the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company, continued to be a major defense contractor, producing missiles, space hardware, guidance systems, sonar, and avionics. Through its merger with Lockheed in 1995, it rejoined the ranks of aircraft builders.

Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson 1910-1990


Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson (February 27, 1910 – December 21, 1990) was an aircraft engineer and aeronautical innovator. As a member and first team leader of the Lockheed Skunk Works, Johnson worked for more than four decades and is said to have been an 'organizing genius.'[1] He played a leading role in the design of over forty aircraft including several that were honored with the prestigious Collier Trophy. Johnson acquired a reputation as one of the most talented and prolific aircraft design engineers in the history of aviation.
Born to immigrant Swedish parents from the city of Malmö, county of Scania, in the remote mining town of Ishpeming, Michigan, Johnson was 13 years old when he won a prize for his first aircraft design. He worked his way through school, first at Flint Junior College, and then at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.


At Michigan, he conducted a wind tunnel test of Lockheed's proposed twin-engined Lockheed Model 10 Electra airliner. He found that the aircraft did not have adequate directional stability, and proposed adding a "H" tail to address the problem. Lockheed accepted his suggestion and the Model 10 went on to be a success. This brought Johnson to the attention of Lockheed management. Upon completing his master's degree in 1933, Johnson joined the Lockheed Company as a tool designer at a salary of $83 a month. After assignments as flight test engineer, stress analyst, aerodynamicist, and weight engineer, he became chief research engineer in 1938. In 1952, he was appointed chief engineer of Lockheed's Burbank, California plant, which later became the Lockheed-California Company. In 1956 he became Vice President of Research and Development.

Johnson became Vice President of Advanced Development Projects (ADP) in 1958. The first ADP offices were nearly uninhabitable; the stench from a nearby plastic factory was so vile one of the engineers began answering the intra-Lockheed "house" phone "Skonk Works!" Big Barnsmell's Skonk Works– spelled with an "o"– was where Kickapoo Joy Juice was brewed in the comic strip L'il Abner by Al Capp. When the name "leaked" out, Lockheed ordered it changed to "Skunk Works" to avoid potential legal trouble over use of a copyrighted term. The term rapidly circulated throughout the aerospace community, and became a common nickname for research and development offices– however, reference to "The Skunk Works" means the Lockheed ADP shop. Here the F-104 Starfighter, and the secret reconnaissance planes, the U-2 and the SR-71 Blackbird, were developed.

On December 16, 1953, Johnson personally witnessed a UFO, and would later reflect on this experience by saying that "for at least five years I have definitely believed in the possibility that flying saucers exist - this in spite of a good deal of kidding from my technical associates. Having seen this particular object on December 16th, I am now more firmly convinced than ever that such devices exist, and I have some highly technical converts in this belief as of that date.

In 1955, at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency, Johnson initiated construction of the airbase at Groom Lake, Nevada, later known as Area 51. This project provided a secret location for flight testing the U-2.

He served on Lockheed's board of directors from 1964 to 1980, becoming a senior vice president in 1969. He officially retired from Lockheed in 1975 and was succeeded by Ben Rich, but continued as a consultant at the Skunk Works. In June 1983, the Lockheed Rye Canyon Research facility was renamed Kelly Johnson Research and Development Center, Lockheed-California Company, in honor of Johnson's 50 years of service to the company.

Chauncey (Chance) Milton Vought 1890-1930


A young Chance (neé Chauncey) Milton Vought first applied his basic mechanical engineering skills to the 1910 McCormick-Romme Umbrellaplane and the 1911 Blaney Monoplane at Cicero (IL) flying field, neither of which, unfortunately, failed to fly.

However, his craft improved after he learned to fly, earning pilot license #156 in 1912, and gained first-hand experience both in advanced schooling in aeronautical engineering and as an instructor pilot for the Max Lillie School of Aviation, where he was involved in the design of an aircraft of Lillie's concept. He then went on to work for several other aircraft manufacturers for the next five years as a designer, including the Mayo, Curtiss, Wright and Wright-Martin companies, until opportunity suddenly knocked on his door.
When the USA entered WW1 in April 1917, Vought decided to take advantage of the need for trainer aircraft by our fledgling Air Service and, with Birdseye Lewis, formed the Lewis & Vought Corp in June that year. It turned out to be a wise and profitable decision as the company, under various names, would remain in continuous operation ever since then—it was the second oldest airframe manufacturer in the nation, close behind Boeing Co.
Sadly, his participation ended abruptly in 1930 when he died of blood poisoning after a tooth operation at age 42, but the name of Vought stayed on as his monument.


William 'Bill' Edward Boeing 1881-1956


William Edward Boeing was the son of a German immigrant who had built a successful timber business in the Northwest. After graduation from Yale's Sheffield Scientific School, Boeing followed this father in the lumber business, as well as buying a small Seattle boatyard. In 1914 he had his first airplane ride and became interested in the science of aeronautics, took flying lessons from Glenn Martin and bought a seaplane from him. Teaming that year with then-USN Lt Conrad Westervelt, they designed and built the B&W, based partly on the Martin. When Westervelt was recalled by the Navy in 1916, Boeing formed Pacific Aero Products Co, and changed its name to the Boeing Airplane Co in 1917. As well as producing a few of is own designs, the new company profited by producing Thomas-Morse Scouts under contract for the Army and rebuilding De Havilland DH-4s with welded steel-tube fuselages—the first American company to use welded tubes.Boeing Co prospered and dwelt heavily on research, producing a series of innovative civil and military aircraft through the '20s and '30s. In addition, he established his Boeing Air Transport for the San Francisco-Chicago passenger and mail route in 1927—the first airline to offer stewardesses—which served as a basis for United Air Lines in 1930. The United Aircraft & Transport Corp resulted from Boeing's formation in 1929 of his operations with the Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton, Stearman, and Vought companies, all of which continued to make products under their own names. However, in 1934 the government considered UATC a monoply and ordered it broken up, at which time Boeing announced his retirement. In 1934 he was also awarded the Guggenheim medal for his part in pioneering and for achievements in aviation and air transportation. Despite official retirement, he remained active in his company's development, contributing to aircraft designs, even returning during WW2 to help reorganize the workforce to build B-17 and B-29 bombers.


Jack Northrop 1895-1981

John Knudsen Northrop's family moved to Santa Barbara CA in 1914, where he developed an deep interest in aeronautics in high school. In 1916 he had went to work for the Loughead Brothers as an engineering draftsman, contributing to the design of their twin-engine F-1 flying boat.

Moving in 1916 to Douglas Co in Santa Monica, he went from draftsman to designer to project engineer on several early Douglas aircraft. The next major move came in 1927, when he went with Lockheed, there designing the original Vega. However, needing to develop his own ideas about all-metal airplanes, he struck off on his own in 1929 to form Northrop Aircraft Co, there producing the Alpha, an airplane that was regarded as well ahead of its time. Following the success of Alpha, he developed the all-metal design into Beta, Delta, and Gamma.

Northrop Corporation was formed in 1932, and became a subsidiary of Douglas, to produce his designs of the USAC A-17 attack planes for and USN BT-1 dive bombers, as well as export models for foreign countries. In 1938 he sold his interests in the corporation to Douglas and formed Northrop Aircraft Inc, becoming its president and chief engineer until his retirement in 1952. There, in addition to many successful military aircraft, he developed his pet flying-wing project, the visionary concept of which, stalled by bureaucracy at the time, finally proved its value in our present stealth aircraft designs.

Jack Northrop was a widely-known and well-respected name in aviation by that time, and he was awarded the Presidential Certificate of Merit for his "extraordinary contributions to the nation's defense in World War 2." He presided over the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences in 1946, and became an honorary fellow in its successor organization, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a fellow of the Royal Aeronautics Society. In 1947 he received the St Louis Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for "meretorious service in the advancement of aeronautics."
Investiture in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame came in 1972 and in the Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974


Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky 1889-1972


Learning of the works of the Wright brothers and Count Zeppelin, Igor Sikorsky's interest in aviation was kindled as a boy. Graduated from Petrograd Naval College, studied engineering in Paris, returned to Kiev in 1907 to enter Polytechnical Institute. In 1909, he went back to Paris—then the aeronautical center of Europe—to learn more about the fascinating science of flight. Having learned what he could of aviation as it was then known in Europe, he bought an Anzani engine and went home to begin construction a rotary-wing aircraft.

His first attempts failed due to a lack of power and an understanding of the complex rotary-wing art. Undaunted, he turned his efforts to conventional aircraft and found success with the S-2, the second airplane of his design and construction. His fifth airplane, the S-5, brought him national recognition as well as FAI pilot license Number 64. In 1912 his S-6-A received the highest award at
Moscow's Aviation Exhibition, and that year his aircraft won first prize in military competitions at Petrograd. This led to a position as head of the aviation subsidiary of the Russian Baltic Railroad Car Works, where, as a result of clogged carburetor and subsequent engine failure, he conceived the idea of an aircraft having more than one engine—a radical idea at the time. The result of this was an engineering project that gave the world its first multi-engine airplane, the four-engined "Grand." This revolutionary aircraft also offered an enclosed cabin, upholstered chairs, lavatory, even an exterior catwalk on the fuselage where passengers could walk while in flight.

There followed an even bigger aircraft, Ilia Mourometz, named for a legendary tenth-century folk hero. More than 70 military versions of the Ilia Mourometz were built for use as bombers during The World War. The Revolution ended Mr. Sikorsky's career in Russian aviation, and he emigrated to
France, then to the USA in 1919. Unable to find a position in aviation he resorted to teaching and lecturing in New York, mostly to fellow emigrants. Then some students and friends who knew of his reputation in Russia pooled their resources in 1923 to fund the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation.

The first product from the young and financially shaky concern was the S-29-A ("A" for
America), a twin-engine, all-metal transport which proved a forerunner of the modern airliner. Other aircraft designs followed, but the company achieved its most notable success with the twin-engine S-38 amphibian, which Pan American Airways used to open air routes to Central and South America. Later, as a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation, the company produced luxurious Flying Clippers which pioneered commercial air transportation across both oceans. The last Sikorsky flying boat, S-44, would for years hold the record for fastest transatlantic flight.

The dormant concept of the helicopter resurfaced, and Sikorsky turned once again to notes and sketches he had jotted down ideas for possible designs, some of which were patented. On
Sep 14, 1939, he took his VS-300 a few feet off the ground to give the western hemisphere its first practical helicopter, the child from which today's helicopter industry grew. Military contracts followed and, in 1943, large-scale manufacture made the R-4 the world's first production helicopter.

Awards and honors accorded to Igor Sikorsky would fill many pages, and include the National Medal of Science, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, the Collier Trophy, the
USAF Academy's Thomas D White National Defense Award, the Guggenheim Medal, and the Royal Aeronautical Society's Silver Medal. He was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in 1968.Even after his retirement in 1957 at age 68, Sikorsky continued to work as an engineering consultant for his company, and was at his desk the day before he died.

Leroy Randle Grumman 1895-1982

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Lord Brabazon of Tara 1884-1964



Lord Brabazon of Tara (1884-1964) Pioneer Aviator and holder of British Aviation Licence No 1
Lord Brabazon of Tara was born in England, February 8, 1884 and died in London, May 17, 1964. He first soloed in a French Voisin biplane at Issy-les-Montineaux, Paris, France, in November, 1908. French F.A.I. brevet #40 was issued to him under the name of Brabazon Moore, on March 8, 1910, before he became a member of the House of Lords in England. British F.A.I. Airplane Pilot's Certificate Number 1 was issued to him by the Royal Aero Club, making him the first person to be licensed in Great Britain as an Airplane Pilot. In 1909 he made the first live cargo flight by airplane, by tying a waste-paper basket to a wing-strut of his Voisin airplane. Then, using it as a "cargo hold", he airlifted one small pig. In October of that year Mr. Moore Brabazon won the first all-British competition of L1000 offered by the Daily Mail for the first machine to fly a circular mile course. His aeroplane was fitted with a 60-horse-power Green aero engine. In the same year M. Michelin offered L1000 for a long-distance flight in all-British aviation; this prize was also won by Mr. Brabazon, who made a flight of 17 miles. Charles Rolls and Lord Brabazon of Tara made an ascension in the first spherical balloon made in England, which was built by the Short Brothers. In the First World War, he took a leading roll in the developement of aerial photography.

Henry Phillip Folland 1889–1954

Henry Philip Folland was an English aviation engineer and aircraft designer.

He worked at the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough from 1912,where he was the lead designer on the S.E.5 during the First World War. He also designed the Ruston Proctor Aerial Target, an anti-Zeppelin pilotless aircraft to use A M Lows control systems.

He left the Royal Aircraft Factory in 1917, joining the Nieuport & General Aircraft company as chief designer designing the Nieuport Nighthawk, which was adopted as a standard fighter by the Royal Air Force but did not enter service owing to the failure of its engine.Nieuport & General ceased operations in 1920 and his services were taken up by the Gloster Aircraft Company, who had built Nighthawks under license during the First World War, joining them in 1921.He was the chief designer for Glosters for many years,and numbered among his successes the Bamel racer—winner of the aerial Derby in 1921, '22 and '23—and the Gloster I I I , IV and V Schneider Trophy racing seaplanes. Fighters bearing the Folland stamp were the Grebe, Gamecock, Gambet, Goldfinch, Gauntlet and Gladiator biplanes, and the F.5/34.
He leftthe company in 1937, following the takeover of Gloster by Hawker, feeling that Hawker designs would be favoured over his own. He brought the British Marine Aircraft Company at Hample, near Southampton, renaming it Folland Aircraft Limited.

Frederick Handley Page 1885-1962






Frederick Handley Page, born in 1885, grew up in a modest-size town in Gloucestershire, England. In 1902 he entered college in London and enrolled in a program in electrical engineering. Graduating in 1906, he swiftly secured a position as chief engineer with a small electrical manufacturer. He proved so capable that only a year later, he was offered a position with Westinghouse, a manufacturer of electrical equipment, in the United States.
By then, however, he had begun to learn about aviation. Seized with enthusiasm, he took to carrying out experiments at his place of employment that had nothing to do with the task at hand—which soon got him fired. He started working on his own in a shed, carving wooden propellers for aircraft and building an airplane that a fellow aviation enthusiast had designed. In June 1909, he turned his shed into the firm of Handley Page, Ltd. This was Great Britain's first publicly traded aircraft manufacturing corporation.
Handley-Page built a succession of biplanes and monoplanes. Then in August 1914, Britain entered World War I. He approached the Admiralty and offered to provide planes for the Navy. A senior official took him up on his offer and asked him to create "a bloody paralyzer of an airplane" to hurl back the Germans. This led to the development of the twin-engine 0/100 bomber, which first flew late in 1915.
The 0/100 started the company on its way. Built as a biplane, it led to two larger successors: the 0/400 and the V/1500. The 0/400 was selected for production in the United States. The V/1500 was one of the first four-engine aircraft. Weighing 15 tons when fully loaded, it was built to bomb Berlin. The first of them entered service late in 1918, but the war ended just before they began to carry out their raids.
There was little further demand for bombers after the war, but Handley Page found new opportunities in carrying passengers. London and Paris were two of Europe's largest cities and were only about 200 miles (322 kilometers) apart. But the journey required the inconvenience of a transfer from a train to a boat for the trip across the English Channel and then a transfer back to a train to get from the coast to London. Moreover, the war had severely damaged the railroads in northern France. However, the distance between these cities was well within the range of the aircraft of the day.
The 0/400 had a fuselage that was large enough for passengers. Several of them became airliners with minimal modification, while the new firm of Handley Page Transport, which opened in 1919, became one of the world's first airlines. The V/1500 was too large for commercial use, but it had attractive design elements. These went into a modified 0/400, the W.8, which became the company's standard. In 1924, Handley Page Transport merged with three other carriers and formed Imperial Airways, Britain's first national airline.
Handley Page also had a strong commitment to research. His company may well have been the first to install its own wind tunnel for in-house experiments. He was keenly interested in air safety, more so because he had lost close friends in crashes. A serious problem of the day lay in the tendency of airplanes to go into a spin and often crash, and he looked for ways to counter this.
He decided that a solution lay in running a slot down the length of the wing from the fuselage to the wing tip. This in effect divided it into two wings set closely together. Airflow through the slot would flow evenly over the rear wing to produce more lift for better control. A German inventor, Gustav Lachmann, had developed similar ideas on his own, and Handley Page brought him into the company. Handley-Page received a patent for the invention on October 24, 1919, and slotted wings became a key to the firm's fortunes, as sales of patent rights earned £750,000 (about $3.6 million at the time) in payments from other planebuilders. In turn, slotted wings led to the development of flaps for wings. These extended to give extra lift and also greater drag, permitting takeoff and landing at relatively low speed. The flaps then folded into the rear of the wing, for the reduced lift that was appropriate at high speed during cruising flight.


Handley-Page remained involved with airliners during the next decade. In 1931, Imperial Airways began flying the Handley Page Hannibal, a four-engine biplane. It was built for comfort, with wall-to-wall carpeting and a bar. Stewards served four-course hot lunches and seven-course dinners, while soundproofing diminished the roar of the motors. The Hannibal carried up to 40 passengers and remained in service through the 1930s.
Like the 1920s, the first years of the 1930s were lean years for the company, when few orders came in. That situation changed in 1935, for with the threat of war in Europe now looming again, the British government launched a military buildup. Handley Page contributed a twin-engine monoplane bomber, the Hampden. The fortunes of war soon would give this plane a key role in saving Britain from Nazi invasion.
This happened in 1940, during the Battle of Britain. Nazi air fleets hammered hard at airfields of the Royal Air Force, slowly weakening it. Had they continued, they might well have won air superiority, opening the way for a German conquest of England. However, on August 24 the RAF sent a force of medium bombers, including Hampdens, to attack Berlin.
The bombers did little damage, but this raid prompted the Nazis to seek revenge. German leaders ordered their own bombers to strike the city of London. They killed and injured a great many people—but they did not continue their attacks on the RAF itself. This gave the RAF time to recover. It went on to defeat the Germans in the air, forcing them to abandon their plans for invasion. That British raid on Berlin was small in its destruction but very large in its consequences. The Handley Page Hampden played a central role.
By then, the company was already producing the Halifax, a large four-engine bomber. It was one of three such aircraft designed and built by Britain, the others being the Avro Lancaster and the Short Stirling. More than 6,000 Halifaxes came off the assembly lines, with other planebuilding companies sharing in the production. At the height of Britain's bomber offensive, the Halifax comprised 40 percent of the strength of the RAF Bomber Command.
Frederick Handley Page was knighted in 1942, becoming Sir Frederick. After the war, he again had to seek new opportunities. For a time he continued to find them in military orders, for the Cold War with the Soviets soon began, and Britain upheld its centuries-old policy of maintaining its own offensive force. Sir Frederick contributed the Victor, a four-engine jet bomber.
Full of years and honors, he died in 1962.

Sir Geoffrey de Havilland 1882-1965



Although never having seen an airplane in flight, Geoffrey de Havilland in 1909 constructed his first machine and through trial and error taught himself to fly. Since his early trials on the meadows at Seven Barrows, the name of de Havilland has been carried aloft by more than fifty aircraft. Notable among these were the classic DH-2 fighter of World War I, and the DH-4 light bomber which saw worldwide service and played a major role in the establishment of the U.S. Air Mail.
He established the new De Havilland Company at Stag Lane near London in 1920, beginning the long line of DH commercial and sport aircraft. The DH-18 was the first of his designs intended from conception to carry passengers. Then came the racers that established so many world records. Perhaps most significant were the beautiful Moths, born in 1925, which can rightfully claim to be the genesis for all light sport aircraft, and today after 47 years may still be found flying worldwide.
Flying was always the primary interest of Geoffrey de Havilland, even to his use of the private airplane as the normal mode of travel where others might use surface means. In his 70th year, he was still flying for sport. From the very first, he was the test pilot, always making the first flight of a new model. His was the ultimate relationship between design and test flying. He was the presiding genius and innovator who typically gave credit to the team.
The great De Havilland triumph in World War II was the magnificent Mosquito light bomber of novel design and the fastest aircraft of its time. In 1943, De Havilland entered the jet age with the Vampire fighter powered by a DH Goblin jet engine. De Havilland led the world in entering the era of jet passenger flight with its first turbine powered aircraft, the Comet in 1949. Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, the grand figure of British aviation, spent his life looking forward with a view toward service to mankind.

Sir Robert Mclean 1884-1964


Sir Robert McLean, who with designer R. J. Mitchell was mainly responsible for the Spitfire fighter, and who vigorously fought Air Ministry opposition to the singleseat monoplane fighter during the 1930s. He was the man who named the aircraft.

He joined the board of Vickers-Armstrongs in 1929, on returning to Britain from the general managership of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, and he became the first chairman and managing director of Vickers Aviation Limited. In this post he was responsible for the acquisition of the Supermarine Company wherein, of course, the Spitfire evolved. In 1938 he left Vickers-Armstrongs' board, though staying for a short period as an advisor, and it was later revealed that he had been dismissed —probably at Ministerial insistence.
Sir Robert described his tussles with the Air Ministry as a "bitter, brutal and hostile battle that was to become more hostile as time went on." Fortunately, it was one that Sir Robert McLean, despite his dismissal, was later seen to have won.

Wilfred George Carter 1890-1969


George Carter was the chief designer at Glosters from 1937, was awarded the C.B.E. in 1947 and was appointed Technical Director of Gloster Aircraft in 1948 remaining on the board of directors until 1954. He continued to serve Glosters for a number of years after his retirement in a consultancy role until 1958.

Carter joined the Gloucestershire (later Gloster) Aircraft Company in 1925 previously having worked for Sopwith, Shorts and for Hawker where he was responsible for the Heron and Hornbill fighter aircraft. At Gloster Aircraft, he was instrumental in the design of two of the most significant biplane fighters for the RAF, the Gauntlet and Galdiator. Carter also designed the Gloster F.9/37 a promising twin-engine fighter design that never entered production, before he turned to work on jet aircraft.

It was during a visit by Frank Whittle to Gloster that Carter became involved in the development of jet aircraft. At the time Gloster were working on a twin-boom fighter to be powered by a Napier Sabre piston engine which attracted the attention of Whittle who thought that the layout would be suitable for his new engine. Although the design Whittle saw would not progress beyond the project stage, within a few weeks, Carter was asked by the Air Ministry to submit plans for a brand new aircraft to use Whittle's engine. He agreed to the project before seeing the engine for himself. While not impressed with the engine itself, when he saw it running he was convinced that it could develop into a suitable powerplant given what they had managed to achieve in the somewhat primitive conditions at Lutterworth.
The Gloster E28/39 was designed primarily to prove the concept of turbojet powered flight, the Air Ministry however insisted that the design include provision for four guns and 2,000 rounds of ammunition even if these were not be be fitted in the prototype. The contract to build the E28/39 also known as the Pioneer was placed with Glosters on the 3 February 1940. The aircraft was built in secret at the Regents garage, Cheltenham and first flew on 8 April 1941 at Hucclecote, becoming the first British and Allied jet aircraft.
Even before the Pioneer flew, the Air Ministry encouraged Carter to design a practical jet fighter since the Pioneer was not suitable because it was unlikely that an engine of at least 2,000 lbs thrust would be available in the near future. Carter therefore decided that the design would require two engines. The result was designated the F/9-40 which first flew on 5 March 1943 and would find worldwide fame as the Gloster Meteor. His later designs included the E.1/44 and Gloster Javelin.

Sir Archibald Russell 1904-1995










Archibald Russell was born in 1904 and raised in the Forest of Dean. His family moved to Bristol when he was 15 and was awarded a BSc degree in Engineering at the University of Bristol. He joined the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1925 as an assistant stress calculator when they were still making Bristol Fighter biplanes. He became the company’s expert in wing design and was involved in the design of the Second World War Blenheim and Beaufort bombers and the Beaufighter.
As Chief Engineer, he was responsible for the Freighter (1944), Brabazon (1949) and Britannia (1951). In 1959 he designed the Bristol Type 223 supersonic airliner. This aircraft was built by a consortium of French and British companies and named Concorde. Shortly after the maiden flight of Concorde in 1969, Russell retired as Chairman, Filton Division, British Aircraft Corporation. He was knighted in 1971 and died in 1995.

Sir Sydney Camm 1893–1966


Royal Aero Club signed Dinner Menu 1954


One of the most famous of British designers, Sir Sydney Camm began with model aircraft before World War 1, and then joined the Martinsyde Company, with which he gained aircraft engineering experience. He joined the H.G. Hawker Company in 1923 and it was his work with the company for which he is best remembered. The first aircraft he designed was the Cygnet light plane that was entered in the Lympne Light Aeroplane Competition of 1924.Camm was given the post of Chief Design in 1925. His first products were mostly adaptations of the Woodcock fighter with his first production success being the Hawker Horsley bomber. A prolific series of aircraft designs flowed from his office, but his first real winners came in 1929 when he produced the Hornet single-seat bomber, powered by the Kestrel engine. The Hornet was faster than any RAF fighter sent up to intercept it in exercises. It remained in production for nearly a decade spawning a whole family of two-seat biplanes. The Hornet, renamed Fury, achieved equal fame as an RAF fighter in the thirties. Although preoccupied with many variants of the Hart, Sydney Camm turned his attention to one of the most significant aircraft of its time, the Hurricane. This was a monoplane fighter with retractable undercarriage and the new Merlin engine. Fitted with eight machine-guns, it entered service with the RAF in 1937 and bore the major part of the German onslaught in the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane was a war-winner, but Camm did not rest on his laurels. Taking the new and more powerful Sabre and Vulture engines, he drew up fighter designs around them. The Sabre-engined Typhoon was the scourge of German armor during the 1944 invasion of France. It was with jet aircraft that Sydney Camm's eye for beauty of line blossomed, with the Sea Hawk naval fighter and then the Hunter, one of the most successful jet fighters ever produced. But his most imaginative design was the P.1127 VTOL fighter which, as the Harrier, pioneers a new fighter concept and is now in squadron service with the RAF as the first operational VTOL fighter in the world, and a worthy epitaph to the late Sir Sydney Camm.

Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle 1907-1996




Frank Whittle was born on 1 June 1907 in Coventry, the son of a mechanic. His first attempts to join the RAF failed as a result of his lack of height, but on his third attempt he was accepted as an apprentice in 1923. He qualified as a pilot officer in 1928.
As a cadet Whittle had written a thesis arguing that planes would need to fly at high altitudes, where air resistance is much lower, in order to achieve long ranges and high speeds. Piston engines and propellers were unsuitable for this purpose, so he concluded that rocket propulsion or gas turbines driving propellers would be required: jet propulsion was not in his thinking at this stage. However, by October 1929, Whittle had considered using a fan enclosed in the fuselage to generate a fast flow of air to propel a plane at high altitude. A piston engine would use too much fuel, so he thought of using a gas turbine. After the Air Ministry turned him down, he patented his idea himself.
In 1935 Whittle secured financial backing and, with RAF approval, Power Jets Ltd was formed. They began constructing a test engine in July 1936, but it proved inconclusive. Whittle concluded that a complete rebuild was required, but lacked the necessary finances. Protracted negotiations with the Air Ministry followed and the project was secured in 1940. By April 1941 the engine was ready for tests. The first flight was made on 15 May 1941. By October the Americans had heard of the project and asked for the details and an engine. A Power Jets team and the engine were flown to Washington to enable General Electric to examine it and begin construction. The Americans worked quickly and their XP-59A Aircomet was airborne in October 1942, some time before the British Meteor, which became operational in 1944.
The jet engine proved to be a winner, particularly in America where the technology was enthusiastically embraced. Whittle retired from the RAF in 1948 with the rank of air commodore. He was knighted in 1976 and went to work in the USA shortly afterwards, becoming a research professor at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. Whittle died on 9 August 1996.

Roy Chadwick CBE 1893–1947


Roy Chadwick C.B.E. (1893-1947) Considered by many to be Britain's greatest aircraft designer, he designed many of his aircraft in premises in what is now the offices of British Aerospace on Greengate in Chadderton, Oldham, including the Avro Lancaster.
Roy Chadwick was born on 30th April 1893 at Marsh Hall Farm, Farnworth, when man’s desire to fly was still a dream. By the time of the Wright Brothers’ epic flight in 1903, Roy was already building and flying models of his own design and it was a dream come true when he joined A.V. Roe & Company in 1911. Alliott Verdon Roe himself interviewed the youngster, and was so impressed that he employed him immediately at a salary of One Pound per week. Roy quickly became Personal Assistant to ‘A.V.’ before eventually being made Chief Designer in 1919 at the age of 26. He was considered by many to be one of the world’s great aircraft designers with a stable of aircraft types to his name: Avro 504, Baby. Avian, Tutor, Anson, Lancaster, Lincoln, Tudor, York, Shackleton and even the original design for the Avro 698 which became the Vulcan.
Roy Chadwick was always one step ahead with his thinking and planning of new designs, and early in the development of the jet engine he spoke of a turbo-prop version, then still a long way off. Chadwick’s early sketches of a delta wing design are now well known, and formed the basis of a shape which eventually became the Avro Vulcan.
Sadly, Roy Chadwick died on Saturday 23rd August 1947 in the Avro Tudor 2 in what should have been a normal flight over the Lake District. The aileron controls had been assembled incorrectly, causing the aircraft to bank sharply right. The aviation world had lost a wealth of irreplaceable experience with this crash, and Chadwick’s death at the age of 54 cut short a career, which could have produced even greater designs. He had been awarded the CBE in 1943 for his special modification to the Lancaster design for the famous Dams Raid, and many feel that had he lived, he would have been knighted

Albert G Elliot CBE 1889-1978





Albert G Elliot was born on November 3rd, 1889, and was educated at Northampton College and London University. He joined Napiers in 1909 and Rolls-Royce in 1912, and in his first year was attached to Mr. F. H. Royce's personal design staff. He was senior designer on the Rolls-Royce Eagle,Hawk, Falcon, Condor and Kestrel aero engines and in 1929 was appointed chief designer, being responsible for both aero and car engines. Under Sir Henry Royce he was personally responsible for the design of the Rolls-Royce R engine, which in a Vickers-Supermarine seaplane, was the means of winning the Schneider Trophy outright. Mr. Elliot was also in charge of the design of the Merlin.
In 1937 he was made chief engineer of the aero division, later becoming chief engineer of the company. He was made a director of Rolls-Royce, Ltd., in 1945 and became joint managing director in 1951.
His awards include the C.B.E. (1941) in recognition of his work on aero engines and the British Gold Medal for aeronautics (1954). Mr. Elliot was appointed executive vice-chairman in 1954.
He is a member of the Air Registration Board, a Governor of Loughborough College, a council member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a member of technical board and technical
department for S.B.A.C.

David Keith-Lucas CBE 1911-1997




David Keith-Lucas was one of the sons of Keith Lucas, who invented the first aeronautical compass.
He was an apprentice and engineer with C.A. Parsons and Co. from 1933 to 1940, then moved to the aerodynamics office of Short Brothers, Rochester, famous for their flying boats, becoming their chief aerodynamist in 1944.
From 1845 to 1965 he was with Short Brothers and Harland Ltd in Belfast, holding the posts of chief designer, technical director and research director. His work included research on swept-wings which culminated in the Short SB-5 research aircraft. Other projects included the Short Belfast heavy freighter, the Short Skyvan and the SD-330 and SD-360 freight-commuter series.
The Short SB-4 Sherpa (a shoulder-wing cantilever monoplane powered by two Blackburn Turbomeca Palas turbojet engines) was a single-seater twin-jet aircraft built in the early 1950s to prove the possibilities of Keith-Lucas's aero-isoclinic wing. In 1951, he designed the Short SB-6 Seamew as a lightweight anti-submarine platform.