Oral history of British science
Higton, Dennis (Part 15 of 24). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee’s home, Shrewton, Salisbury
Higton, Dennis, 1921-2012 (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
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.
Interview with aeronautical engineer Dennis Higton.