IF we were asked the essential requisite for British aeroplane design to retain its commanding lead over the two enemy countries, we would reply, “Research; more research and then still more research.” In so doing we should in this instance be using the word “research” in its widest and most commonly adopted sense to cover not only both long‐scale and ad hoc research proper, but also experimentation and what is usually referred to in Service circles as “development.” By which we mean that it is not enough merely to advance by day‐to‐day improvements on existing practice. It is necessary that vision should be used and future developments, as far as possible, foreseen and planned. The tendency in times of war stress is undoubtedly to live for the moment and adopt the attitude that “there is no time now” for this or that activity which involves thought. The “get it done” and “we want it NOW” attitude can be overdone and is one of the dangers of the tendency in war time for bringing in men famed for their “drive.” This quality is all very well if it is used with restraint and directed into the right channels, but it is capable of becoming in fact a clog on real progress. It usually involves a certain impatience of mind and desire to “see results,” which are by no means always compatible with the achievement of the best quickly. An immediate step can so often be merely a step sideways and not a step upwards and forwards on a carefully flagged line of advance.
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