Saturday, 21 April 2007
Sir George Robert Edwards 1908-2003
George Edwards wag born on July 9, 1908 at Highams Park, England. On graduation from London University in Engineering, he joined the design section of Vickers-Armstrongs, Limited at Weybridge. In 1939, he was appointed Experimental Works Manager and in 1941 was seconded to the government to advise on expedited aircraft production. In September 1945, he was appointed Chief Designer of the team that produced the Viking, Valetta, Varsity, Viscount and Valiant.
While serving as Managing Director of Vickers-Armstrongs Aircraft, he was knighted in 1957. In this period, he was associated with development of the Vanguard, VC 10 and TSR 2. In May 1961, Sir George as Executive Director - Aircraft, British Aircraft Corporation, initiated the BAC One Eleven jet airliner. Then came a series of major international ventures for the British aircraft industry. These would include Concorde, Jaguar and the Panavia Tornado, Multi Role Combat Aircraft.
Sir George retired as Chairman, British Aircraft Corporation, Limited, in December 1975.
In large measure, the survival and ultimate successes of the British aviation industry in the post-World War II era are directly attributable to the technical skills, managerial acumen and foresight of Sir George Edwards. His initiative in advocating design innovation and pioneering multi-national projects such as Concorde, Jaguar and Tornado were responsible for the introduction of a multitude of advances in the aerospace sciences.