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Aircraft Engineering in Practice

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 April 1931



IT is a matter for congratulation that we are able to publish this month the fully illustrated article, describing the production of a prominent type of modern aero‐engine, written by Captain J. C. Briggs. We are sure that our readers will join us in warmly thanking Armstrong‐Siddeley Motors Limited for thus revealing the details of their methods. This is a public‐spirited action which cannot be too warmly commended, but which is, unfortunately, far too uncommon—at any rate in England. In some other countries, notably America, designers and manufacturers of air‐craft are always ready and willing to lay their cards on the table and reveal their “secrets.” In England, on the other hand, there is in general a very different attitude of mind, and there is an almost universal feeling that aeroplane production methods are matters to be maintained as closely‐guarded secrets. This is a curiously ostrich‐like policy which is difficult to understand. After all, it usually comes down in the end to the more or less detailed adaptation of tools and machines of general commercial design to special uses. The details of the products turned out cannot be kept hidden, since the whole object of them is that they shall be placed on the market. The attitude of jealousy argues a self‐satisfaction and complacency of mental outlook that can seldom be justified. One would have thought that no one, even a production engineer, would be so certain of his pre‐eminence that he had nothing to learn. And yet if he is unwilling to publish his own methods how can he expect others, from whose experience he might profit, to do so? Furthermore, one would have thought that he would welcome the criticisms that might come from discussion; as they would inevitably, one would imagine, bring fresh ideas to a man of original and inventive mind. Even if, he might say to himself, none of his methods could in themselves be open to direct criticism there might none the less be ideas for detailed improvement to be gained from discussion.


(1931), "Aircraft Engineering in Practice", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 77-78.




Copyright © 1931, MCB UP Limited

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