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Not Much Of An Engineer:- An Autobiography

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At the same time Rolls decided that their existing piston engines were a dead end, and moved all future jet work from Barnoldswick to Derby, their main engine site.

Born in 1907 into humble circumstances in Kent, south-east England, after unspecified “ various vicissitudes through World War I”, from the ages of 12 to 15 Hooker found that he could coast through Grammar School with minimal effort, but in each annual examination came away with First Prize in Mathematics and Physics. To the immense surprise of masters, boys and myself, I did very well indeed in the examination; so well, in fact, that the school was granted a half-day’s holiday in celebration. But he earned his keep early on, adding many horsepower and much performance to the famous Merlin engine which powered the hurricanes, Spitfires, Lancaster and Mosquito bombers amongst others. Back to Hooker’s youth; that examination was followed by three more years at school, and in 1926 Hooker went to Imperial College, London with what were, for those days, lucrative scholarships.But before that he managed to upgrade the power of the the Rolls Royce Merlin, the heart of the Spitfire, Hurricane, Mosquito and more, by a number of redesigns to the supercharger. It was to be another two years before, under Sir Kenneth Keith, [14] they were at last permitted to go ahead with its full development. Apart from one farmer, who came in to have a hernia fixed, I was the only male patient for the several months I was there. He was adept at devising experiments to verify his theories, many of them of fascinating simplicity.

What could have turned out to be a bit of a dry read instead turned out to be fascinating and illuminating in equal amounts. He clearly just could not understand that the hordes of villagers and workers greeting their group from RR were almost certainly rounded up and told in no uncertain terms that they would be happy and smiling. Frameworks allow a Frameworker to build software products in a way similar to how IKEA allows me to build shelving units. I was fortunate enough to play a small part in the design of the latest Trent engine design programme and saw the marvel and might of Rolls-Royce today. Declining the suggestion to use turbocharging, [6] Hooker instead designed a two-stage supercharger for the engine, with the resulting two-stage-supercharged Merlin 61 being fitted into the Spitfire Mk IX, the second most-produced Spitfire variant, which entered service in July 1942.I went home to Kent in March 1930 but on Good Friday I had a motor-cycling accident, breaking my leg again, and this time my right arm for good measure. This man made a great contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany, his innovative work with superchargers increasing the power of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine by 100%; had a great deal to do with the vectored thrust turbofan engine that powered the Hawker Harrier Jump-jet; Concorde; was brought back from retirement to help sort out the problems of the RB211 engines that had sent Rolls-Royce into bankruptcy in early 1971; and rubbed shoulders with the men whose careers had been molded by their work with Henry Royce.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book (what a career this man had) and wouldn’t dream of leaving a negative review.The next year, all the Fifth Form were compelled to sit the Matriculation Examination for London University, and Hooker “ decided to try a little harder, and, unnoticed, I put in a couple of terms’ good work. The dreariness of the street, with its terrace of redbrick workers’ houses on the left, interspersed with the odd conversion to a general grocer’s or tobacconist, and on the right a small open lot used as a works car park, matched the foreboding in my mind. Once the story became the developement of the jet engine I found that even more interesting, considering my life long fascination has been the piston engine.

But fate intervened, and in December 1929, I suffered a broken leg in a football match against University College Hospital. Hooker’s work with ducting came together with the design of Sidney Camm (the same man who had designed the Hawker Hurricane in the early 1930s) to produce the Hawker-Siddeley Harrier. I had anticipated that I would have been put into the charge of some awe-inspiring engineer, who would have allocated me some simple tasks while instructing me in the mysteries of the super aero engines that Rolls-Royce was designing and producing. While this proved to be a successful design, it was not used widely on British aircraft, and Rolls eventually sold a licence to the United States, and later, several engines to the Soviet Union, which then went on to copy it unlicensed. BAE Systems will collect and process information about you that may be subject to data protection laws.

They didn't know what to do with him, never having had such and esoteric person working there before.

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