Not Much Of An Engineer:- An Autobiography

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Not Much Of An Engineer:- An Autobiography

Not Much Of An Engineer:- An Autobiography

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Just prior to the bankruptcy, at the end of 1970, Hugh Conway (group managing director, gas turbines) agreed that Hooker should come out of retirement to go to Derby to survey the situation, insisting Hooker be accorded the status of technical director at Derby. The department had a small wind tunnel, and I was able to make experiments on the flow of air and found, somewhat to my surprise, how much I enjoyed such work. And what was I going to do in the formidable Rolls-Royce company, which represented the very pinnacle of engineering excellence?

Hooker would then spend the rest of his long career involved at the cutting edge of jet engine design with both Rolls-Royce and the Bristol Aero Engine company and his engines powered all of the icons of British aircraft such as Vulcan, Concorde, TSR2 and the VTOL Harrier. In late 1937, while working at the Admiralty he applied for a job at Rolls-Royce, and after being interviewed by Ernest Hives, started there in January 1938.He was employed first at Rolls-Royce where he worked on the earliest designs such as the Welland and Derwent, and later at Bristol Aero Engines where he helped bring the troubled Proteus turboprop and the Olympus turbojet to market. In the late 1980s, test pilot Bill Bedford gave a talk in Christie's auction room in South Kensington in London.

The book opens with a graphic description of “ a damp, cold day in January 1938” when he walked along Nightingale Road toward the Rolls-Royce works in Derby. It was about eight feet square and contained a desk, a chair, an empty bookcase and a telephone, and nothing more.He made it clear that the achievements in engine development made could in no way be attributable to any single person. Design work on what became the Olympus had started in 1946, and by 1950 it was developing 10,000 lb thrust, with the help of its low and high pressure spools, able to provide immediate maximum thrust without fear of compressor stalling. In a television series produced by Johnathan Lewis, Sir Kenneth Keith stated: 'I always thought that Stanley was a near-genius.



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