Aircraft designers.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pattle, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. pattle

    pattle Member

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    While some aircraft designs seem to be credited to a single designer other designs seem to be credited more to the company that manufactured them than to an individual. Obviously the talents of noted designers such as Sydney Camm were crucial but did they receive more credit than was due to them? My own opinion is that as aircraft designs became more sophisticated the design of such aircraft created more work than could be expected of one person, for example while Camm was able to design the Hurricane largely by himself he must have been forced to delegate more and more of the design work out to juniors as aircraft became more sophisticated . So how much did the individual talents of designers such as Sydney Camm actually count for and who were the most indispensable of the World War Two aircraft designers?
     
  2. OldSkeptic

    OldSkeptic Active Member

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    Oh Camm was a bit of character and autocrat and tended to rather hog the limelight. Willy Messerschmitt ... well he was an odd one, as much a businessman and political animal as a technologist, plus another headline hogger. Since he was the managing director after 1938 it is hard to imagine him having the time to have that much direct involvement in the later designs, except perhaps in a negative way (as per the 210).

    Mitchell and Tank were much more team oriented and gave (correctly) far more credit to their teams.They also seemed to work better as a teams too, in that their designs were better than the comparable Hawker ones at the time (Spit vs Hurricane, 190 vs Typhoon). In the case of Camm, it took until the Tempest before he really woke up to the more advanced aerodynamics of the era.
    Messerschmitt followed a weird path, from disaster to disaster, with some good designs in between and a couple of great designs.
    North American was another far more team oriented group.

    Mitchell would have been horrified by all the fuss about him after he died, he was an extremely modest person.

    One person couldn't do it, it required so many different talents all working together well. If anyone claimed that they did it all by themselves, they were lying.
     
  3. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The philosophy and creativeness should be credited to the Leader of the design team, as it often has. He has a vision, builds or inherits a team, cajoles the group while listening to good ideas - but ultimately consolidates and presents to senior management for approval.
     
  4. pattle

    pattle Member

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    Looking at the USSR I find it peculiar that a communist country which held it's chief aircraft designers under armed guard with threat of death allowed the designs to bear the name of their designers while in America it was almost the reverse, when I read of American aircraft the designers identities often do not figure so prominently as in other countries.
     
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