WE well remember how a speaker at a conference held in 1935 to discuss the organization of research in relation to the needs of industry electrified his audience by suggesting that it was quite fantastic to produce engines for military aeroplanes designed to have a service life of thousands of hours. It would be far better, and more realistic, he argued, to face the fact that the rate of casualties in wartime would be such that any individual engine could only have a life of a few hours—or a few hundred hours at most. If the engines were designed on this basis and those which survived the perils of war automatically withdrawn and scrapped when the end of the short life for which they were designed was nearing it would put an entirely new conception on the whole theory of engine design. Every part could be very much more highly stressed, the power stepped up to undreamed‐of heights and in consequence the Royal Air Force equipped with aeroplanes of infinitely higher performance.
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