The report in NL.21 on the Newbold
award presentation to Ralph Hooper reminded Trevor Jordan of some
interesting events in the P.1127/Harrier story that he witnessed and
myself very lucky to have been a member of the Project Office on that
day in June 1957 when I saw Sir Sydney Camm place the Bristol BE.53
brochure on the desk of the Head of the Project Office, RB (Bob) Marsh.
This was the "discarded" brochure to which Ralph refers in his own
account of events published in John Fozard's book 'Sydney Camm and the
Hurricane', page 180.
sixteen years later in early 1973, when the Harrier had been in RAF
service for more than five years, two events related to P.1127/Harrier
development took place.
The first was in late January when a team of six engineers
technicians likely to be involved in the latest development, the Sea
Harrier for which a Ministry of Defence contract was confidently soon
expected, spent three days on the old HMS 'Ark Royal' getting
acquainted with carrier operations. They were: John Apted who led the
team, Richard Cannon, Charlie Cray, John Farrow, one other, and myself.
By coincidence the date was just a week short of the tenth anniversary
of the first ever jet V/STOL aircraft vertical landing on a carrier -
the pilot was Bill Bedford; the date 8th February 1963, the ship Ark
The second event was on
9th February when Jim Calkin and
I gave lectures at the College of Aeronautics at Cranfield on V/STOL
performance prediction and evaluation, respectively. For this I had
prepared some notes which out of courtesy I submitted in advance to
Ralph Hooper, now Executive Director and Chief Engineer, Kingston. In
them I had stated, "Ralph Hooper was the Project Engineer assigned to
investigate the application of the BE.53 engine to a V/STOL aircraft."
Ralph deleted the words "...assigned to investigate..." and replaced
them with "...who interested himself, out of curiosity, in..." This was
one occasion when the 'cat' was not killed, fortunately for all of us.
Well done Ralph - congratulations!