British student apprentice and airworthiness engineer with English Electric and British Aircraft Corporation in GB, 1947-1974; Chief Designer on Panavia Tornado programme and Director General Projects with British Aircraft Corporation and British Aerospace in GB, 1974-1991
REEL 1 Background in St Annes on Sea, GB, 1931-1947: family; education; early interest in aviation. Aspects of period as student apprentice with English Electric in GB, 1947-1951: obtaining apprenticeship with company; pattern of apprenticeship; marking out forgings for English Electric Canberra undercarriage; acquiring management skills; impressions of English Electric Canberra; manufacture of English Electric Canberra; pressure testing of forward fuselage of English Electric Canberra; design expertise in company; move of company to Warton; attending design school; explanation of 'moleloft' system. Recollections of period in Stress Office and Airworthiness Department with English Electric Aircraft Company and British Aircraft Corporation in GB, 1951-1974: work of the Stress Office; intense nature of work; stress work on English Electric Lightening; location on tail plane on English Electric Lightning; character of English Electric Lightning.
REEL 2 Continues: work on clearance of English Electric Lightning; start of Airworthiness department; work on hydraulic system of English Electric Lightning; problem of fuel leaks with English Electric Lightning; question of design of English Electric Lightning causing fuel leaks; work on BAC TSR 2 project; problems with BAC TSR 2 undercarriage; character of BAC TSR 2; work on project; reaction to cancellation of BAC TSR 2 project; opinion of US F111; destruction of all aspects of the project; opinion of BAC TSR 2; involvement in SEPECAT Jaguar project including work on fatigue failure on test wing; role of SEPECAT Jaguar.
REEL 3 Continues: working relations with French; work on BAC Strikemaster; problems with landing BAC Strikemaster in desert conditions. Aspects of period as chief designer on Panavia Tornado programme and Director General Projects with British Aircraft Corporation and British Aerospace in GB, 1974-1991: nature of problems with design of Panavia Tornado; story of flight in Panavia Tornado; losses of Panavia Tornado aircraft including description of 'goldfish bowl' effect; investigating causes of crashes; relations with French and Germans on programme including investigating German jet crash at Blackpool Airport.
REEL 4 Continues: responsibilities as Director General Projects; restoring Supermarine Spitfire for Battle of Britain Flight; damage to propeller blade on restored Supermarine Spitfire; sales trips; advising not to take wings of BAe Nimrod and reasons for hold up. Attitude to working on English Electric Lightning and attempts to get it on civil register.