Oral history of British science

Higton, Dennis (Part 8 of 24). An Oral History of British Science.

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  • Subjects

    Aeronautical Engineering

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee’s home, Shrewton, Salisbury

  • Interviewees

    Higton, Dennis, 1921-2012 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 8: Comments on modifying aircraft windows with flat panel glass, on direction of Frank Smith. Story about flight testing wooden prototype solution on a Lancaster with John Charnley. [04:25] Comments on: Aero F office, John Charnley having small office; anecdote about John Charnley's work on blind landing. [05:40] Remarks on John Charnley: meeting him fresh from university c. early 1943; civil engineer background. [06:55] Further remarks on Lancaster glass modifications: risky testing; skilled chippies designing modification. [07:50] Remarks on Frank Smith receiving test results. [08:55] Remarks on: Crystel Fougiere, joined from tunnels; mathematician, inexperienced with apparatus; French personnel in tunnels; French good at Aerodynamics, because of its artistic leanings; story about visiting France and being unimpressed with the Etendard's tiny air brake. [12:00] Remarks on: beauty of aeroplanes, differences between John Charnley and DH outlook on art; story about John Charnley and DH visiting France to help Hartshorn establish French flight testing arrangements; reasons for friendship; DH teaching John Charnley about aeroplanes, anecdote about their first flight together; anecdote about taking a car engine to pieces. [17:50] Remarks on relations with others in department: good relations with Morian Morgan, eventually head of aero department, visited DH in Washington, wonderful singer. [19:45] Description of Morian Morgan: more affable than Ron Smelt, very Welsh, Cambridge educated, enjoyed flying, spent retirement lump sum on grand piano, DH thought he was looking out for him in his civil service career; holidaying with Morian Morgan and Bob Shilling in Gunwalloe. [23:00] Remarks on: level of contact with other sections of Aero F department; anecdote about Frank Smith being horrified that he, a scientist, was confused with a fitter, whilst rubbing down a special low drag test wing on a King Cobra. Remarks on crinoline stretchers on chairs.

  • Description

    Interview with aeronautical engineer Dennis Higton.

  • Related transcripts

    Dennis Higton interviewed by Dr Thomas Lean: full transcript of the interview

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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