Oral history of British science
Hooper, Ralph (Part 6 of 11). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee's home, Richmond
Hooper, Ralph, 1926- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 6: Discussion about P1127 Brochures: RH produced much of issue one; expected uses for the aircraft; passenger carrying pods; capability vis a vis helicopter; difficulties caused by it being subsonic, later refuted by the American A10; sending of brochures to Colonel Bill Chapman; later versions of brochure, with reference to Bill Napthine; [09:15] military target market. Remarks on: purposes of P1127, Kestrel and Harrier; visits to NATO in Paris, but to no financial gain; possible cooperation with other companies, such as Breguet; anecdote about Bristol's paperwork troubles, which resulted in favourable rights for their work; ministry support of early aircraft. [15:40] Comments on trips to NATO in Paris: RH's role in visits; accompaniment of Neville Quinn; SC's souvenir shopping; changes in design over course of visits, such as change to oblique nozzles on engine; Bill Chapman's enthusiastic reaction to proposals; anecdote about SC seeing changes to drawings at last minute; [23:50] SC's resistance to Bicycle undercarriage arrangement. Remarks on: shift of effort to P1127; final visit to Paris by SC and Neville Sprigs; problems of VTO aircraft; difficulties of aerodynamics of nozzles. [28:05] Remarks on reaction control system for hovering. Anecdote about deputy director Robert Lickley's [RL] response to Bill Bedford's [BB] problems on a test flight and remarks on other early flights. Comments on team: small size initially; RH's place in project office as only full time on P1127 initially; Robin Balmer, stability and control; Trevor Jordan, performance work; ministry funding; gradual change to become emphasis of work; RH's role solving problems brought up by drawing office. [34:55] Detailed comments on reaction control system development, eventually resulting in a fully variable bleed system.
Interview with aeronautical engineer Ralph Hooper