Oral history of British science

Higton, Dennis (Part 19 of 24). An Oral History of British Science.

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  • Type

    sound

  • Duration

    00:50:09

  • Shelf mark

    C1379/41

  • Subjects

    Aeronautical Engineering

  • Recording date

    2011-05-23

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee’s home, Shrewton, Salisbury

  • Interviewees

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

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 19: Further remarks on time in Washington: view of status of British and American developments, with example of Carbon Fibre; DH subordinates in different specialities; DH Monday morning meetings; example work of report on gas turbines; involvement with British purchases of American aircraft; [06:55] responding to telephone inquiries; DH expecting to leave Washington with favourable report; subordinates lengthy tours of facilities; importance of making contacts; [10:50] George Bush and transfer of carbon fibre technology; DH visit to Ames air force Base; DH joining subordinates at a meeting in the Pentagon; goals of meetings; value of asking the same question in different places; social links with contacts; [17:10] Morian Morgan visiting DH in Washington; Americans eager for DH opinions of their projects; DH learning of use of strain gauges on a visit to Ames. [19:35] Remarks on Carbon Fibre: technology transfer, criticisms of George Bush; development at Farnborough; criticism of patent agent Robbie [Robinson]; possibility that George Bush was over generous in supplying Americans with Carbon Fibre technology. [24:15] Remarks on: frequent work connected to engines; John Seddon's assistance on F-111 engine intakes; DH links with John Seddon; The Special Relationship, American's often asking why Britain didn't join Vietnam war. [27:15] Remarks on DH view on The Special Relationship: DH experience from earlier visits; conversations and limits of trust; wide scope of American efforts; familiarity of Americans with Defence Research Staff; risks of making mistakes in language; importance of contacts. [32:00] Remarks on security: knowing limits they could talk too; caution in answering questions; examples from Buccaneer experience; people wanting to find things out from DH; integrity; [38:00] anecdote about DH fishing with Bell Helicopter staff; familiarity with Americans; questions over British involvement in Vietnam. [40:00] Remarks on: DH enjoying time in US, but recognising he was approaching the limits of his integrity; Pentagon; wife's limited knowledge of DH's work; DH sadness over losing aeroplanes and pilots, with example of Buccaneer loss; differences between British and American test pilots; DH missing being in England; [45:40] patriotism, American comments about Perfidious Albion; duty; DH visit to an impressive American facility; America-Britain relationship; DH links to US Navy.

  • 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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