Oral history of British science

Higton, Dennis (Part 15 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 15: Comments on development of powered controls at Farnborough: Fairey and Bolton Paul Delta experimental aircraft; DH work at Boscombe Down; recommendations to firms to correct faults in aircraft control system; [05:15] artificial feel of powered controls; later development of fly-by-wire; [08:00] eventual computerisation of control systems; DH role as boffin in Boscombe performance division, difficulties with Swift. [10:35] Remarks on Swift: political problems; differences between Farnborough and Boscombe regarding failure; performance limitations of aircraft; relationship with aircraft firms; [15:00] value of boffin's experience at Boscombe in deciding what is acceptable and limitations; value of boffins being able to fly. [17:15] Comments on difference of DH's Farnborough experience and research mindset with situation at Boscombe, which also involved aircraft firms, political and financial considerations, value of Boscombe experience in later career. [23:00] Remarks on overseas liaisons: DH visits to American research centres at Edwards Airforce Base and Patuxent River, Bretegne and aircraft factories in France; [28:40] relationship with American scientists and pilots; differences between American and British test flight practices; [31:48] differences between British and American Boffins and their relationships with test pilots; story about DH interaction with a Crusader test pilot in the USA.

  • 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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