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Old 27th November 2020, 22:20
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
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two classic lectures -Br. aircraft industry - Dr. Ron Smith

London’s aircraft firms dominated the industry during the early part of the twentieth century and never more so than during World War I. In this lecture from 2012, Dr Ron Smith takes us on a tour of London’s airfields and manufacturers. As well as exploring the “Big five” – Grahame-White, Handley Page, de Havillands/Airco, Fairey & Sopwith/Hawkers – he looks at many of the smaller companies that were once found within London’s boroughs.
Dr Ron Smith FRAeS addressed a meeting organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Historical Group on 22 February 2012. The lecture was introduced by Peter Elliott and the podcast was edited by Eur Ing Mike Stanberry FRAeS.
The National Aerospace Library
23 November 2020

Starting with the period of exciting experimentation before 1914, Dr Smith gives us a snapshot of the major firms that were part of the industry in 1910. He then moves onto the second stage, the rapid developments brought World War I and gives a flavour of the larger and more diverse companies that made aeroplanes during the period.
Smith goes onto discusses the deep retrenchment after 1918, a period where manufacturers had to diversify and compete for each requirement issued by Government, and which led to the first phase of rationalisation in 1928 and 1934-35. The fourth phase looks at the increase in production brought about the preparations and then fighting the Second Wold War.
Smith concludes by briefly looking at the industry up to the second period of rationalisation of the industry, with the formation of the British Aircraft Corporation & Hawker Siddeley, and then modern times with the establishment of British Aerospace and beyond. These last two sections of the lecture were bolstered by the question and answer sessions, which prompts questions and comments from those who worked and shaped post-war projects.
Dr Ron Smith gave the lecture to the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Historical Group on 2 February 2004. The podcast was edited by Mike Stanberry FRAeS and it was digitised thanks to a grant from the Royal Aeronautical Society Foundation.
The National Aerospace Library
22 January 2019
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