Oral history of British science

Higton, Dennis (Part 14 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 14: Remarks on others in A squadron: Cambridge mathematician Kay Harrison who married Tony Richardson; disagreements with Pete Thorne; ex air-force personnel, analysis staff; Ron Starr, who married Jean, a good engineer who DH could had problems getting promoted and sent to work on aircraft carriers. [08:44] Remarks on: career progression, career grade; other squadrons at Boscombe Down. [10:25] Remarks on DH tasks connected with Swift: Boscombe hope that DH could find way of getting aircraft into service; Handel Davies and Pete Thorne; Pete Thorne's test flights; Swift casualties; unexpected problems; pilot's notes. [16:40] Story about DH breaking leg whilst skiing in Austria with Handel Davies and Ron Starr. [20:15] Remarks on A Squadron work clearing of aircraft for service. Story about DH visit to France to discuss flight testing, design of French pilot control stick, air brakes on Hunter and Etendard. [24:55] Remarks on: comparison between UK and French aviation industry; French consideration of aviation as art form; anecdote about Dai Morris in France on annual visit; limited involvement in Hunter; TSR2 work at Boscombe before its cancellation. [29:10] Story about being asked to transfer to C-Squadron to look after naval aircraft on request of pilot Stan Orr. [32:10] Comments on: Stan Orr, rough diamond, got on well with DH; trials of prototype DH110 Sea Vixon and Scimitar; David Dick and other being sorry to see Handel Davies transferred; good relations with navy. [35:10] Remarks on deck landing trials: mirror landing system; previous DH110 accidents; DH flying DH110 with Stan Orr to deck landings ashore; crash of a Scimitar piloted by Tony Riquel; DH boarding aircraft carrier; anecdote about DH and Orr landing on carrier in Lime Bay; [41:50] Scimitar tests with Mike Lythgoe; nose leg on DH110 collapsing on landing; success a boost for DH career; experience of arrested landing in a DH110; reports, drawbacks; [47:00 pause] other tests on aircraft, drawbacks. [49:39] Comments on getting on well with navy. [52:00] Comments on: NA39 naval strike aircraft leading to Blackburn Buccaneer; developments of Scimitar and Sea Vixen; DH visiting firms to discuss problems and flying test flights. [57:20] Remarks on: Bucanneer; differences in outlook between DH and Boscombe; poor engines on first Buccaneer; visiting Lossemouth base; DH changing Boscombe procedures; DH entertaining naval pilots at home, such as Dick Grado[?] [1:03:25]; visiting firms, such as Supermarine on Swift; problem of pitch up; engine problems and meetings on Buccaneer; small service culture of navy; [1:06:25] improved atmosphere at Boscombe, need for engineers. [1:07:50] Story about loosing a plane [piloted by Ozzie Brown] in a trial to a fault, trial film recovered, blown flaps. [1:10:50] Comments on DH fixing problems with Buccaneer, flying with Mike Crossley, using Bedford computers to help solve problems. [1:14:50] Remarks on selection of Buccaneer.

  • 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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