The Vickers Wellington is a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber. It was designed during the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, led by Vickers-Armstrongs' chief designer Rex Pierson. Development had been started in response to Air Ministry Specification B.9/32, issued in the middle of 1932. This specification called for a twin-engined day bomber capable of delivering higher performance than any previous design. Other aircraft developed to the same specification include the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley and the Handley Page Hampden. During the development process, performance requirements such as for the tare weight changed and the engine used was not the one intended; the Wellington was used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, performing as one of the principal bombers used by Bomber Command. During 1943, it started to be superseded as a bomber by the larger four-engined "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster; the Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other duties as an anti-submarine aircraft.
It holds the distinction of having been the only British bomber, produced for the duration of the war, of having been produced in a greater quantity than any other British-built bomber. The Wellington remained as first-line equipment when the war ended, although it had been relegated to secondary roles; the Wellington was one of two bombers named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the other being the Vickers Wellesley. A larger heavy bomber aircraft designed to Specification B.1/35, the Vickers Warwick, was developed in parallel with the Wellington. Many elements of the Wellington were re-used in a civil derivative, the Vickers VC.1 Viking. In October 1932, the British Air Ministry invited Vickers to tender for the issued Specification B.9/32, which sought a twin-engine medium daylight bomber. In response, Vickers conducted a design study, led by Chief Designer Rex Pierson Early on, Vickers' chief structures designer Barnes Wallis proposed the use of a geodesic airframe, inspired by his previous work on airships and the single-engined Wellesley light bomber.
During structural testing performed at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, the proposed structure demonstrated not only the required strength factor of six, but reached 11 without any sign of failure, proving the geodesic airframe to possess a strength far in excess of normal levels. This strength allowed for the structure design to be further developed to reduce the size of individual members and adopt simplified standard sections of lighter construction. Vickers studied and compared the performance of various air and liquid-cooled engines to power the bomber, including the Bristol Pegasus IS2, Pegasus IIS2, the Armstrong Siddeley Tiger, the Rolls-Royce Goshawk I; the Pegasus was selected as the engine for air-cooled versions of the bomber, while the Goshawk engine was chosen for the liquid-cooled engine variant. On 28 February 1933, two versions of the aircraft, one with each of the selected powerplants, were submitted to the tender. In September 1933, the Air Ministry issued a pilot contract for the Goshawk-powered version.
In August 1934, Vickers proposed to use either the Pegasus or Bristol Perseus engines instead of Goshawk, which promised improvements in speed, climb rate and single-engine flight capabilities without any major increase in all-up weight. Other refinements of the design had been implemented and approved, such as the adoption of variable-pitch propellers, the use of Vickers-produced gun turrets in the nose and tail positions. By December 1936, the specification had been revised to include front and midship wind-protected turret mountings. Other specification changes included modified bomb undershields and the inclusion of spring-loaded bomb bay doors; the proposal had been developed further, a mid-wing arrangement was adopted instead of a shoulder-mounted wing for greater pilot visibility during formation flight and improved aerodynamic performance, as well as a increased overall weight of the aircraft. Design studies were conducted on behalf of the Air Ministry into the adoption of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.
In spite of a traditional preference of the establishment to adhere to the restrictive tare weight for the aircraft established in the tender, both Pierson and Wallis believed that their design should adopt the most powerful engine available. In response to pressure from Vickers, the Air Ministry overlooked, if not accepted, the removal of the tare weight restriction, as between the submission of the tender in 1933 and the flight of the first prototype in 1936, the tare weight rose from 6,300lb to 11,508lb; the prescribed bomb load and range requirements were revised upwards by the Air Ministry. F. Andrews stated to be "a high figure for a medium bomber of those days". During the development phase of the aircraft, the political and military situations in Europe drastically transformed. With the rise of fascist dictatorships in Germany and Italy, the British government had become keen to reevaluate the capabilities of the nation's armed forces, including the Royal Air Force. By 1936, the need for a high priority to be placed on the creation of a large bomber force, which would form the spearhead of British offensive power, had been recogn
Grand Prix motor racing
Grand Prix motor racing, a form of motorsport competition, has its roots in organised automobile racing that began in France as early as 1894. It evolved from simple road races from one town to the next, to endurance tests for car and driver. Innovation and the drive of competition soon saw speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, but because early races took place on open roads, accidents occurred resulting in deaths both of drivers and of spectators. Grand Prix motor racing evolved into formula racing, one can regard Formula One as its direct descendant; each event of the Formula One World Championships is still called a Grand Prix. Motor racing was started in France, as a direct result of the enthusiasm with which the French public embraced the motor car. Manufacturers were enthusiastic due to the possibility of using motor racing as a shop window for their cars; the first motoring contest took place on July 22, 1894 and was organised by a Paris newspaper, Le Petit Journal. The Paris–Rouen rally was 126 km, from Porte Maillot in Paris, through the Bois de Boulogne, to Rouen.
Count Jules-Albert de Dion was first into Rouen after 6 hours 48 minutes at an average speed of 19 km/h. He finished 3 minutes 30 seconds ahead of Albert Lemaître, followed by Auguste Doriot, René Panhard, Émile Levassor; the official winners were Peugeot and Panhard as cars were judged on their speed and safety characteristics, De Dion's steam car needed a stoker which the judges deemed to be outside of their objectives. In 1900, James Gordon Bennett, Jr. the owner of the New York Herald and the International Herald Tribune, established the Gordon Bennett Cup. He hoped the creation of an international event would drive automobile manufacturers to improve their cars; each country was allowed to enter up to three cars, which had to be built in the country that they represented and entered by that country's automotive governing body. International racing colours were established in this event; the 1903 event occurred in the aftermath of the fatalities at the Paris-Madrid road race, so the race, at Athy in Ireland, though on public roads, was run over a closed circuit: the first closed-circuit motor race.
In the United States, William Kissam Vanderbilt II launched the Vanderbilt Cup at Long Island, New York in 1904. Some anglophone sources wrongly list a race called the Pau Grand Prix in 1901; this may stem from a mistranslation of the contemporary French sources such as the magazine La France Auto of March 1901. The name of the 1901 event was the Circuit du Sud-Ouest and it was run in three classes around the streets of Pau; the Grand Prix du Palais d'Hiver was the name of the prizes awarded for the lesser classes. The Grand Prix de Pau was the name of the prize awarded for the'Heavy' class, thus Maurice Farman was awarded the'Grand Prix de Pau' for his overall victory in the Circuit du Sud-Ouest driving a Panhard 24 hp. In L'Histoire de l'Automobile/Paris 1907 Pierre Souvestre described the 1901 event as: "... dans le Circuit du Sud-Ouest, à l'occasion du meeting de Pau... " The only race at the time to carry the name Grand Prix was organised by the Automobile Club de France, of which the first took place in 1906.
The circuit used, based in Le Mans, was triangular in shape, each lap covering 105 kilometres. Six laps were to run each day, each lap took an hour using the primitive cars of the day; the driving force behind the decision to race on a circuit - as opposed to racing on ordinary roads from town to town - was the Paris to Madrid road race of 1903. During this race a number of people, both drivers and pedestrians - including Marcel Renault - were killed and the race was stopped by the French authorities at Bordeaux. Further road based events were banned. From the 32 entries representing 12 different automobile manufacturers, at the 1906 event, the Hungarian-born Ferenc Szisz won the 1,260 km race in a Renault; this race was regarded as the first Grande Épreuve, which meant "great trial" and the term was used from on to denote up to the eight most important events of the year. Races in this period were nationalistic affairs, with a few countries setting up races of their own, but no formal championship tying them together.
The rules varied from country to country and race to race, centered on maximum weights in an effort to limit power by limiting engine size indirectly. The cars all had mechanics on board as well as the driver, no one was allowed to work on the cars during the race except for these two. A key factor to Renault winning this first Grand Prix was held to be the detachable wheel rims, which allowed tire changes to occur without having to lever the tire and tube off and back on the rim. Given the state of the roads, such repairs were frequent. A further historic confusion arose in the early 1920s when the Automobile Club de France attempted to pull off a retrospective political trick by numbering and renaming the major races held in France before the 1906 French Grand Prix as being Grands Prix de l'Automobile Club de France, despite their running pre-dating the formation of the Club. Hence, the 1895 Paris–Bordeaux–Paris Trail was renamed I Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France.
An aviation museum, air museum, or aerospace museum is a museum exhibiting the history and artifacts of aviation. In addition to actual, replica or accurate reproduction aircraft, exhibits can include photographs, models, dioramas and equipment used by aviators. Aviation museums vary in size from housing just two aircraft to hundreds, they may be owned by national, regional or local governments or be owned. Some museums address the history and artifacts of space exploration as well, illustrating the close association between aeronautics and astronautics. Many aviation museums concentrate on military or civil aviation, or on aviation history of a particular era, such as pioneer aviation or the succeeding "golden age" between the World Wars, aircraft of World War II or a specific type of aviation, such as gliding. Aviation museums may fly some of them. Museums that do not fly their aircraft may have decided not to do so either because the aircraft are not in condition to fly or because they are considered too rare or valuable.
Museums may fly their aircraft in air shows or other aviation related events, accepting the risk that flying them entails. Some museums have sets of periodicals, technical manuals and personal archives; these are made available to aviation researchers for use in writing articles or books or to aircraft restoration specialists working on restoring an aircraft
Aerospace industry in the United Kingdom
The aerospace industry of the United Kingdom is the third-largest national aerospace industry in the world and the third largest in Europe, with a global market share of 6.4% in 2016. In 2013, the industry employed 84,000 people. Domestic companies with a large presence in the British aerospace industry include BAE Systems, Britten-Norman, Cobham, GKN, Hybrid Air Vehicles, QinetiQ, Rolls Royce and Ultra Electronics. Foreign companies with a major presence include Boeing, Airbus, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Safran and Thales Group. Current manned aircraft in which the British aerospace industry has a major role include the AgustaWestland AW101, AgustaWestland AW159, Airbus A320 family, Airbus A330, Airbus A340, Airbus A380, Airbus A400M, BAE Hawk, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, Boeing 787, Bombardier CRJ700, Bombardier CSeries, Bombardier Learjet 85, Britten-Norman Defender, Britten-Norman Islander, Eurofighter Typhoon, Hawker 800, Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
Current unmanned aerial vehicles in which the British aerospace industry has a major role include BAE Taranis, HAV 304 Airlander 10, QinetiQ Zephyr and Watchkeeper WK450. The British aerospace industry has made many important contributions to the history of aircraft and was or jointly, responsible for the development and production of the first aircraft with an enclosed cabin, the first jet aircraft to enter service for the Allies in World War II, the first commercial jet airliner to enter service, the first aircraft capable of supercruise, the first supersonic commercial jet airliner to enter service, the first fixed-wing V/STOL combat aircraft to enter service, the first twin-engined widebody commercial jet airliner, the first digital fly-by-wire commercial aircraft, the largest commercial aircraft to enter service to date. 1862: First flight of an observation balloon in Aldershot, Hampshire 1875: First flight of the Aerial Steamer, a tethered aeroplane 1879: First flight of the British Army's first balloon, the Pioneer 1890: British Army Balloon Factory is established 1893: First experimentation by British Army of a Man-lifting kite 1896: First flight of Frost Airship Glider 1907: First flight of British Army Dirigible No 1 1908: First flight of British Army Aeroplane No 1 1909: First flight of De Havilland Biplane No. 1 The desire by private individuals amateur gentlemen, to fly as a hobby provided the initial stimulus to the UK aviation industry.
By October 1913 there were over 80 private airworthy aeroplanes, more than the airworthy planes in the formed Royal Flying Corps. Before the First World War there were no regular air services and commercial aviation only started in 1919 after the development of suitably sized aircraft during the First World War. Whilst it was the military market, the source of aviation development, in the years leading up to 1914 it was, in the UK, rather sporadic. In 1909 development on behalf of the Government was stopped as being too costly. In April 1911 Britain had only 6 military aeroplanes; the French War Department owned 208. However, by the start of WW1 the Naval Wing of the R. F. C. had 93 and the Military Wing had 179. As a new technology, there was a great deal of interest from a variety of sources but it was individuals just enthused by aviation. Between 1909 and 1914 there were about 200 active constructors, although many of them only made one or two planes, but the production of the larger firms was not substantial and Colonial Aeroplane Company, one of the largest produced just over 200 planes between 1910 and 1914.
Most of the aviation pioneers, such as Geoffrey de Havilland, Thomas Sopwith, Richard Fairey, Robert Blackburn, Frederick Handley Page, A. V. Roe and the Short Brothers had a training in engineering and their companies were privately financed. There were several large engineering companies who got involved, such as Vickers in 1911, Armstrong Whitworth in 1912 British and Colonial Aeroplane Company in 1910 and Aircraft Manufacturing Company in 1912. Along with these companies there was the early development of seaplanes near Southampton, by companies such as S. E. Saunders and Pemberton-Billing. There were several French subsidiary companies who built aero-engines. Unsurprisingly the run up to and onset of the First World War led to a massive increase in the number of companies engaged in aircraft production. Between 1912 and 1916 aircraft production was moved on to a mass production basis, but it was only by 1917 that production problems and procedures were sorted out such that there was a steady flow of aircraft and spares.
By October 1918 there were 1,529 companies involved in the manufacture of aircraft. As well as aviation companies making aeroplanes there were other engineering companies involved in making aircraft and engines. Companies such as shipbuilders Harland and Wolff in Belfast, engineering manufacturer, G & J Weir in Glasgow; the motor industry had a capability to manufacture aeroplane
Sopwith Aviation Company
The Sopwith Aviation Company Sopwith Aviation & Engineering Company was a British aircraft company that designed and manufactured aeroplanes for the British Royal Naval Air Service, Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force in the First World War, most famously the Sopwith Camel. Sopwith aircraft were used in varying numbers by the French and American air services during the War. In April 1919 the company was renamed Sopwith Engineering Company Limited. In September 1920 the company entered voluntary liquidation after a move to build motorcycles failed; the patents and assets were bought by a new company H. G. Hawker Engineering; the Sopwith Aviation Company was created in June 1912 by Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith, a wealthy sportsman interested in aviation and motor-racing, when he was 24 years old. Following their first military aircraft sale in November 1912, Sopwith moved to the company's first factory premises which opened that December in a closed roller skating rink in Canbury Park Road near Kingston Railway Station in South West London.
An early collaboration with the S. E. Saunders boatyard of East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, in 1913, produced the Sopwith "Bat Boat", an early flying boat with a Consuta laminated hull which could operate on sea or land. A small factory subsequently opened in Woolston, Hampshire in 1914. During the First World War, the company made more than 16,000 aircraft. Many more of the company's aircraft were built by subcontractors rather than by Sopwith themselves; these included Fairey and Shuttleworth, William Beardmore and Company and Ruston Proctor. Towards the end of the war, Sopwith took out a lease on National Aircraft Factory No.2, constructed in 26 weeks during the winter of 1917 a mile to the north of the Canbury works in Ham. The company were able to increase production of Snipe and Salamander fighter planes as a result. At the beginning of the war the company had 200 employees. After the war, the company attempted to produce aircraft for the civil market based on their wartime types; these included aircraft such as a single-winged Camel and the Dove, a derivative of the Pup and the Swallow, but the wide availability of war-surplus aircraft at knock-down prices meant this was never economical.
In 1919 the company was renamed as Sopwith Aviation & Engineering Company and the factory was re-organised to produce ABC motorcycles under licence. In September 1920 the Kingston factory closed for stocktaking and the company decided to enter voluntary liquidation. At a meeting of creditors held in October 1920 it was explained that although the company had accumulated a surplus of £900,000 in 1918, following a slump in the sale of motorcycles the company had liabilities of £705,430 and assets of £862,630; the amount of excess profit duty was being disputed by the company which had paid £450,000 in duty. The meeting concluded; the Ham factory, included in 38 acres of freehold land, was sold to Leyland Motors. The newly formed H. G Hawker Engineering Company obtained the Sopwith patent rights and a government contract to refurbish Sopwith Snipe biplanes. Upon the liquidation of the Sopwith company, Tom Sopwith himself, together with Harry Hawker, Fred Sigrist and Bill Eyre formed H. G. Hawker Engineering, forerunner of the Hawker Aircraft and Hawker Siddeley lineage.
Sopwith was Chairman of Hawker Siddeley until his retirement. Hawker and its successors produced many more famous military aircraft, including the inter-war Hart, Demon; these jet types were manufactured in the same factory buildings used to produce Sopwith Snipes in 1918 as Hawker Aircraft bought the Ham Factory when Leyland's lease expired. Tom Sopwith himself, assisted by his former personal mechanic Fred Sigrist, led the design of the company's types. Following a number of pre-war designs for the Royal Naval Air Service, such as the Three-seater and the Bat Boat, Sopwith's first major success was the fast and compact Tabloid, a design which first showed the influence of the company's test pilot, the Australian Harry Hawker. A float-equipped version of this aircraft won the Schneider Trophy in 1914; the landplane version was used by both the RFC at the start of the war. With higher power and floats, the type evolved into the Sopwith Baby, a workhorse of the RNAS for much of the First World War.
In 1916, Herbert Smith became Chief Engineer of the Sopwith company, under his design leadership its other successful World War I types included the larger Type 9901. This aircraft, better known as the 1½ Strutter due to its unconventional cabane strut arrangement, was used from 1916 by the RNAS, RFC and the French Aviation Militaire as a single-seat bomber, two-seat fighter and artillery spotter and trainer. Soon after came the small and agile single-seat Scout, which became better known as the Pup because of its obvious descent from the 1½ Strutter; the Pup and 1½ Strutter were the first successful British tractor fighters equipped with a synchronisation gear to allow a machine gun to fire through the rotating propeller. This gear was known as the Sopwi
Michael John "Mike" Lithgow, OBE was a British aviator and chief test pilot for Vickers Supermarine who became the holder of the World Absolute Air Speed Record in 1953 flying a Supermarine Swift. He died when the prototype BAC One-Eleven airliner crashed in 1963. Mike Lithgow was educated at Cheltenham College. Joined Fleet Air Arm March 1939-December 1945Lieutenant Commander HMS Ark Royal Flew Swordfish torpedo bombers, was one of the pilots attacking the Bismarck He retired from the Navy and moved to Vickers Supermarine as a test pilot in January 1946 and became the company's chief test pilot two years later. In September 1946 he took part in the Lympne high speed air race, flying a Supermarine Seafang, competing against Bill Humble in a Hawker Fury, Geoffrey de Havilland in a D. H. Vampire and G. H Pike in a D. H HornetOn 26 September 1953 flying the Supermarine Swift F.4 prototype, WK198, Lithgow broke the World Air Speed Record near Tripoli in Libya, reaching a speed of 735.7 mph. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club and the Geoffrey de Havilland Trophy in 1953He did extensive test flying on the Supermarine Attacker, Swift and the Vickers Vanguard and BAC 1-11.
Lithgow died test flying the prototype BAC One-Eleven G-ASHG from Wisley airfield on 22 October 1963 when during stall tests the aircraft entered a deep stall and crashed near Chicklade, Wiltshire. Six other BAC flight test. Autobiography: Mach One.. Allan Wingate Ltd. ASIN: B0000CIZSW Editor: Vapour Trails.. Allan Wingate Ltd. ASIN: B0000CJFFQ "World's Fastest Air Race". Flight: 236. 5 September 1946. "The One-Eleven Accident". Flight International: 708–709. 31 October 1963. Supermarine Swift history
Brooklands was a 2.75-mile motor racing circuit and aerodrome built near Weybridge in Surrey, United Kingdom. It opened in 1907 and was the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit as well as one of Britain's first airfields, which became Britain's largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918, producing military aircraft such as the Wellington and civil airliners like the Viscount and VC-10; the circuit hosted its last race in August 1939 and today part of it forms the Brooklands Museum, a major aviation and motoring museum, as well as a venue for vintage car and other transport-related events. The Brooklands motor circuit was the brainchild of Hugh F. Locke King, was the first purpose-built banked motor race circuit in the world. Following the Motor Car Act 1903, Britain was subject to a blanket 20 mph speed limit on public roads: at a time when nearly 50% of the world's new cars were produced in France, there was concern that Britain's infant auto-industry would be hampered by the inability to undertake sustained high-speed testing.
King commissioned Colonel Capel Lofft Holden of the Royal Artillery to design the projected circuit and work began in 1906. Requirements of speed and spectator visibility led to the Brooklands track being built as a 100 ft wide, 2.75 miles long, banked oval. The banking was nearly 30 feet high in places. In addition to the oval, a bisecting "Finishing Straight" was built, increasing the track length to 3.25 miles, of which 1.25 miles was banked. It could host up to 287,000 spectators in its heyday. Owing to the complications of laying tarmacadam on banking, the expense of laying asphalt, the track was built in uncoated concrete; this led in years to a somewhat bumpy ride, as the surface suffered differential settlement over time. Along the centre of the track ran a dotted black line, known as the Fifty Foot Line. By driving over the line, a driver could theoretically take the banked corners without having to use the steering wheel; the track was opened on 17 June 1907 with a luncheon attended by most of Britain's motor manufacturers, followed by an informal inauguration of the track by a procession of 43 cars, one driven by Charles Rolls.
The first competitive event was held on 28–29 June, with three cars competing to break the world record for distance covered in 24 hours, the first race meeting was held on 6 July, attracting over 10,000 spectators. Drawing inspiration from the development at Brooklands, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built soon afterwards, held its inaugural race in August 1909; the Brooklands Mountain Circuit was a small section of the track giving a lap 1¼ miles long, running from the Fork to the rear of Members' Hill and back. It was created in 1930 using movable barriers. On 28–29 June 1907, eleven days after the circuit opened, it played host to the world's first 24-hour motor event, with Selwyn Edge leading three specially converted Napier cars around the circuit. A statement of intent had been made in 1906, Selwyn Edge entered into a physical training program to prepare for the event, his car, "804" was extensively modified, having a special fuel tank, bodywork removed, a special windscreen. Over 300 red railway lamps were used to light the track during the night.
Flares were used to mark the upper boundary of the track. Edge drove his car for the full duration, with the drivers of the other two cars taking the more familiar shift approach. During the event Edge covered a distance of 1,581.74 mi at an average speed of 65.91 mph, comfortably beating the existing record of 1,096.187 mi set at Indianapolis in 1905. Women were not allowed to compete for several years. Dorothy Levitt, S. F. Edge's leading driver, was refused entry despite having been the'first English-woman to compete in a motor race' in 1903, holding the'Ladies World Land Speed Record'. Edge completed 2,545 km at a record which stood for 17 years; the first standard race meeting would be held the next week, on 6 July. George E. Stanley broke the one-hour record at Brooklands race track on a Singer motorcycle in 1912, becoming the first rider of a 350 cc motorcycle to cover over 60 miles in an hour; the world record for the first person to cover 100 miles in 1 hour was set by Percy E. Lambert at Brooklands, on 15 February 1913 when driving his 4.5 litre sidevalve Talbot.
He covered 103 miles, 1470 yards in 60 minutes. A contemporary film of his exploits on that day can be viewed at the Brooklands Museum. In July and August 1929, Violette Cordery and her younger sister Evelyn drove her 4.5 litre four-seater Invicta for 30,000 miles in less than 30,000 minutes, averaging 61.57 mph and earning her second Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club. Brooklands closed to motor racing during World War I, was requisitioned by the War Office and continued its pre-war role as a flying training centre although it was now under military control. Brooklands soon became a major location for the construction and supply of military aeroplanes. Motor racing resumed in 1920 after extensive track repairs and Grand Prix motor racing was established at Brooklands in 1926 by Henry Segrave, after his victories in the 1923 French Grand Prix and the San Sebastián Grand Prix the following year raised interest in the sport in Britain; this first British Grand Prix was won by Louis Wagner and Robert Sénéchal, sharing the drive in a Delage 155B.
The second British Grand Prix was staged there in 1927 and these two events resulted in improve