THE conference opened with the paper by Mr Woodward‐Nutt, which, together with the other papers, is summarized below. After the first session the conference luncheon was held, and the principal speakers were the Mayor of Southampton, Alderman R. E. Edmunds, who welcomed the conference to Southampton, and Sir Edward Boyle, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply, who referred to current concern about delays in fighter deliveries. He said that there had in the last year been setbacks, but the delays were due to difficulties of development rather than of production. The comparison which was often made of deliveries during the last war was not fair, because the aircraft in question had then been developed. The Spitfire took five years to develop, and this did not compare so unfavourably with the development of the Hunter, when the increase in complexity and the aerodynamic difficulties of the transonic region were considered. Flight trials were the only indication of many of these troubles, and modifications were necessary after the tests. It was for this reason that the Ministry had adopted the policy of ordering up to twenty development aircraft, with the intention that by the time the last one had been built it would be in a form suitable for the production version.
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