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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I could have improved them half pissed, which generally I was at the time, because in those days you were at the pub every lunchtime and evening, driving home three sheets to the wind to give the wife one over the kitchen table dinner. A remarkable story of the hugely talented engineer who put the power into the Merlin, enabled Rolls Royce to take on Whittle's jet and developed it and other variant designs for military and civilian aircraft, who went on to develop the Bristol Siddeley Olympus engine which powered the V bombers and Concorde. It was a man’s world, and women are scarcely mentioned; his first wife is not mentioned by name, and only obliquely during the difficulties of the marriage breaking down, when Hooker sometimes slept in his office, and his second wife and daughters rate only a brief mention and a photograph taken when he was knighted in 1979. Thus, Hives to Spencer Wilkes, “ Hooker, here, seems to get on very well with Whittle, and knows all about his jet engine.

Of course with the benefit of more information in the last few years it's clear to anyone that China was a grim totalitarian place where oppression was the norm.All fluids have the property of viscosity, though in the case of air it is less obvious than with oil or treacle. What could have turned out to be a bit of a dry read instead turned out to be fascinating and illuminating in equal amounts. 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. Showing slight wear, bumping, some fading to spine and rubbing which is housed in a protective removable sleeve. Such an interesting man, he really did so much and his book is well written, of course it may be hard for some people to follow and he may get bad reviews by people who have done nothing in their lives.

The status of this work was summarised in an internal Rolls-Royce Report in March 1941 and made public by the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust in 1997. It took him three goes at setting the leg, extending over a week, and when he was finally finished, he showed me the X-ray, and there it was with all the jagged bones fitted together like a jig-saw puzzle.I, who had never seen an aero engine at close range, and who only had a schoolboy’s knowledge of its inside, did not even know the names of the engines Rolls-Royce was producing.

However his insight is truly unique and the perspective he was privileged too was wonderful to read. One contemporary there, Frederick Llewellyn Smith, had gone to an engineering career at Rolls-Royce which would eventually lead to his being a director of that company, and in 1935 Hooker, with a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil in Oxford parlance) and a fear that a war was on its way, saw service in the Royal Navy as his next step.Since there was no escape, I decided to try a little harder, and unnoticed I put in a couple of terms’ good work.

PEGASUS - THE HEART OF THE HARRIER: The History and Development of the World's First Operational Vertical Take-off and Landing Jet Engine. Whittle’s W2 engine, of 1,600 lb thrust, was approved by the appropriate Ministry, but for manufacture by the Rover company, already fully stretched with Bristol air-cooled radial engine production and repair. 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.

Most of our PDFs are also available to download and we're working on making the final remaining ones downloadable now. Hooker then used the Orpheus as the basis of an experimental vectored-thrust engine for VTOL aircraft, at that time considered by most to be the next big thing in aircraft design. Then to join Rolls Royce, to deliver his outstanding work on the supercharger development for the Merlin, producing the Merlin 45 and the ultimate version the Merlin 61. Less comfortable must have been his injuries from accidents on the sporting field and motorcycle, which kept him immobile for almost a year. At this time, in the early 1930s, there were few people in the world studying the effects of compressibility on the flow of air.



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