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Vickers Viscount

The Vickers Viscount is a British medium-range turboprop airliner first flown in 1948 by Vickers-Armstrongs. A design requirement from the Brabazon Committee, it entered service in 1953 and was the first turboprop-powered airliner; the Viscount was well received by the public for its cabin conditions, which included pressurisation, reductions in vibration and noise, panoramic windows. It became one of the most profitable of the first post-war transport aircraft; the Viscount was a response to the Brabazon Committee's Type II design for a post-war small medium-range pressurised aircraft to fly less-travelled routes, carrying 24 passengers up to 1,750 mi at 200 mph. During discussions between the committee and Vickers' chief designer, Rex Pierson, Vickers advocated turboprop power; the committee was not convinced and split the specification into two types, the Type IIA using piston power, which led to the Airspeed Ambassador, the turboprop-powered Type IIB which Vickers was selected to develop in April 1945.

British European Airways was involved in the design and asked that the aircraft carry 32 passengers instead, but remained otherwise similar. The first design in June 1945 was based on the Viking with four turboprop engines and 24 seats and designated the VC-2 or Type 453. A double-bubble fuselage was proposed to give extra underfloor cargo space. Neither was pressurised but it was soon realised that for economical operation an altitude above 20,000 ft was needed, thus pressurisation was required. The decision for pressurisation resulted in the double-bubble and elliptical fuselage designs being abandoned. A circular cross-section variant was offered at the beginning of 1946; the resulting 28-seat VC-2 was financed by the Ministry of Supply with an order for two prototypes. But, before the contract was signed, the government asked for the capacity to be increased to 32; this stretched the fuselage from 65 ft 5 in to 74 ft 6 in and meant an increased wingspan of 89 ft. The contract for the aircraft to Air Ministry specification C.16/46 was signed on 9 March 1946 and Vickers allocated the designation Type 609 and the name Viceroy.

Although George Edwards had always favoured the 800 hp Rolls-Royce Dart other engines were considered, including the Armstrong Siddeley Mamba which the government specified for the two prototypes. The choice of the Mamba engine increased the weight but Vickers made sure the engine nacelle would fit either the Mamba or Dart. While the Dart progressed better in development, the government asked in August 1947 for the second prototype to be Dart-powered; the second prototype was designated the 630 and was named as the Viscount. The first prototype under construction was converted to the Dart as a 630 as well; the resulting Vickers Type 630 design was completed at Brooklands by chief designer Rex Pierson and his staff in 1945, a 32-seat airliner powered by four Dart engines for a cruising speed of 275 mph. An order for two prototypes was placed in March 1946, construction started in the company's Foxwarren Experimental Department. Viceroy after the viceroy of India, Lord Louis Mountbatten, the aircraft was renamed Viscount following India's independence in 1947.

There was work on replacing the Darts with the Mamba, but this was dropped by the time the prototypes were reaching completion. After Pierson's death in 1948, George Edwards took over as chief designer and assumed all technical control over the Viscount project; the prototype Type 630, registered G-AHRF, made its maiden flight from the grass airfield at Wisley on 16 July 1948, piloted by Joseph "Mutt" Summers, Vickers' chief test pilot. The design was considered too small and slow at 275 mph, making the per passenger operating costs too high for regular service, BEA had placed an order for 20 piston-engined Airspeed Ambassadors in 1947. Retrospectively commenting on Britain's aviation industry, Duncan Burn stated: "Had BEA committed itself to full support of the Viscount... it was quite that the smaller version would have gone into production... It was in a sense BEA's lack of enthusiasm for the 630 which made possible the success."Early flight trials, showed the qualities of a turboprop, resulting in a February 1949 order from the Ministry of Supply for a prototype of a stretched version with more powerful engines, the Type 700.

Meanwhile, the first prototype Type 630 was awarded a restricted Certificate of Airworthiness on 15 September 1949, followed by a full certificate on 27 July 1950, which allowed the aircraft to be placed into trial service with BEA on 29 July to familiarise the pilots and ground crew with the new aircraft. It flew scheduled flights between London and Paris, London and Edinburgh until 23 August 1950. 29 July 1950 flight between Northolt and Paris – Le Bourget Airport with 14 paying passengers was the first scheduled airline flight by any turbine-powered aircraft. The second prototype Viscount, the Type 663 testbed, had two Rolls-Royce Tay turbojet engines and first flew in RAF markings as serial VX217 at Wisley on 15 March 1950, it was demonstrated at the Farnborough SBAC Show in September and was used in the development of powered controls for the Valiant bomber. It saw use as a test bed by Boulton Paul Ltd for the development of electronic flight control systems; the designers went back to the drawing board and the aircraft emerged as the larger Type 700 with up to 48 passengers, a cruising speed of 308 mph.

The new prototype G-AMAV first flew from Brooklands on 28 August 1950, served as a development aircraft for the type f

Andrea Ghisi

Andrea Ghisi was a Venetian nobleman, the first Lord of Tinos and Mykonos. There are no sources about him until 1207 when he participated in the expedition organized by Marco Sanudo for the conquest of the Greek islands which, three years after the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade, had not yet been occupied by the victors, he is not to be confused with the 17th-century Andrea Ghisi, from the same family, who devised a game called Laberinto. According to Andrea Dandolo and his brother Geremia received together possession over Tinos, Skyros and Skiathos, after the division of these possessions among themselves, Andrea obtained Tinos and Mykonos; the two brothers were not vassals of Sanudo's Duchy of Naxos, but directly under the Latin Empire. In 1243 he was engaged with his brother in a long dispute with the Republic of Venice. During the campaign of 1207, the island of Andros had been assigned to Marino Dandolo but at an unknown date, Geremia had seized it by force. Dandolo died soon after.

This, did not prevent the Great Council of Venice on 11 August 1243 from condemning the Ghisi brothers to confiscation of their property, ordering the Doge of Venice Jacopo Tiepolo to force the restitution of the island. Andrea and Geremia were ordered to present themselves before the Doge and submit to the Council's decision by 29 June 1244, on pain of exile from Venice and the auctioning of their possessions for the benefit of the dispossessed Dandolo family; the Ghisi continued their occupation of Andros, as it was more beneficial to them than the Republic's conditions. As Geremia died some time after August 1243, it was Andrea alone, exiled from Venice and his possessions auctioned off. By 1251, both sides softened their stance and Andrea resolved to submit to new and more lenient demands. From the terms of the agreement, it is clear that he was no longer in direct possession of Andros, which may have devolved to a vassal of the Duchy of Naxos. After fulfilling his obligations, on 28 March 1253, his exile was lifted by the Great Council, but the reclamation of his auctioned goods was long-drawn out affair.

The last information about Andrea Ghisi comes from an act signed in 1266. He had died by 19 March 1277, when his son Bartholomew appears as lord of Mykonos. Apart from Bartholomew, Andrea had six sons and one daughter, who married Pietro Querini. Andrea Ghisi had a brother. Ravegnano, Giorgio. "GHISI, Andrea". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Volume 54: Ghiselli–Gimma. Rome: Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana. Retrieved 15 March 2014

Sebastian Beach

Sebastian Beach is a fictional character in the Blandings stories by P. G. Wodehouse, he is the butler at Blandings Castle, seat of Lord Emsworth and his family, where he serves for over eighteen years. Beach's name was inspired by Beach Road, a road in the town of Emsworth, that leads to the seashore; the road is located near a cottage called Threepwood. Like all butlers in properly run Edwardian homes, Beach is always known by his surname, he is a heavy-set man, whose favourite pastime is drinking port in the pantry, though he switches to brandy during crises. He has a pleasant singing voice, a mellow baritone reminiscent of a cask of old, dry sherry, he is somewhat more emotional than Wodehouse's other famous domestic servant, although, when in the company of his masters, Beach limits himself to a raised eyebrow when moved. According to Richard Usborne, Beach is a hypochondriac in Something Fresh and complains about corns, an ingrowing toenail, swollen joints, nervous headaches, the lining of his stomach.

However, this is not the case in the books. Before joining the staff at Blandings, he was once employed by the somewhat eccentric Major-General Magnus, he has grown proud of the castle and of its museum. A discerning man, he regrets Lady Constance's fondness for artistic types, finding their dress sense inappropriate, he is very proud of the Hon. Galahad, who, in the general opinion of the Servants' Hall, sheds lustre on the Castle, he is fond of Ronnie Fish, whom he has known from childhood and used to take fishing on the lake. Grateful for Ronnie's reliable racing tips, he is at one point persuaded to assist Ronnie in keeping the Empress of Blandings in a cottage in the woods; the strain on his conscience is, grave. He repeats the feat, helping Fish load the pig into the dicky of his car, he has similar relationships with Angela, whom he has known since her childhood and for whose entertainment he impersonated a hippopotamus, as well as with Millicent, who sported in Beach's pantry when a child.

His mother lives in Eastbourne. As mentioned in Galahad at Blandings, Beach won a choir boys' bicycle race in his youth, won the Market Blandings Darts Tournament, he inherits the library of thriller novels. Beach plays some part in all of the Blandings stories. In early stories, such as Something Fresh and Leave It to Psmith, he is required to do little more than buttle, which he of course does with effortless dignity, he decides to give notice on one occasion, because of Lord Emsworth's beard, an admittedly dubious fixture which Beach fears will ruin Emsworth's respectability in the community. Since he cannot honorably criticise his employer while serving as a butler, Beach makes the painful decision to resign first, but is prevented from doing so by his master's decision to shave, in "Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best", he is placed in a similar position soon afterward, when Emsworth expects him to stand in the moonlight practising pig-calls, a practice he considers beneath his dignity, but is persuaded to overcome his foibles by the presence of young Angela, in "Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey".

His strength of character is sorely tested, when called upon by Ronnie Fish to help in his schemes involving the Empress, in Summer Lightning and Heavy Weather. However, Emsworth cannot do without his butler, he assures his faithful servant of continued employment, in "The Crime Wave at Blandings", he buttles on through Uncle Fred in the Springtime and Full Moon, but returns to the fore in Pigs Have Wings, where not only does he celebrate a birthday, but he is called on once again to assist in the affairs of the Empress and her challengers, feeding one of Parsloe-Parsloe's pigs when it has been kidnapped by Galahad, moving it when its location has been discovered by the enemy camp. His pantry is the scene for several councils of war between Gally and Penelope Donaldson, while his niece Maudie pays a visit to the castle under an assumed name. In the short "Sticky Wicket at Blandings", his position at the castle is again threatened, when Lady Constance decides he has become rather slow and wheezy in his old age, considers replacing him with a younger, smarter butler.

Her scheme is foiled after Gally persuades Beach to undertake a daring and dangerous night-time rescue of his master from the clutches of Colonel Fanshawe. TelevisionFelix Felton played Beach in a televised play based on the short story "Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey" in 1954. Raymond Rollett portrayed the character in televised plays adapted from "Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey" and "Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend" in 1956. In the BBC's 1967 series of Blandings short-story adaptations, broadcast as the first series of The World of Wodehouse, Stanley Holloway played Beach. John Savident portrayed Beach in the 1981 television film Thank P. G. Wodehouse. In the 1995 television film Heavy Weather made by the BBC and partners, broadcast in the United States by PBS, Beach was played by Roy Hudd. In the 2013–2014 BBC series Blandings, he was played by Mark Williams in the first series and Tim Vine in