Articles and Features
THE BLUE SPITFIRE
My father joined Kodak Ltd just after war was declared in 1939. He had graduated from the University of Nottingham in physics and had intended to read for a Ph.D there but decided he might be more use in the war effort in Kodak’s research laboratory. He worked on the optical systems required for high altitude aerial reconnaissance, and was awarded his doctorate for that. I had read his dissertation on a number of occasions but it made no sense to despite my own engineering degree. Finally, after his death in 2009 I found the clues amongst his papers that pointed to the story behind the development of high altitude aerial intelligence, and why his dissertation was unintelligible!.
At the same time I was able to understand what the blue Spitfire was doing flying regularly over my primary school yard in the early 1950’s and where my fascination for the Merlin-engined Spitfire originated.
“The Blue Spitfire” is our family story but it has led to a lot of research to unearth the little known history of the development of aerial espionage.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC INTELLIGENCE
Researching the “Blue Spitfire” required a deeper understanding of the history of intelligence from the air and this is the groundwork that has led to the book “Winterbotham, Cotton and Miranda”
My rather haphazard career involved a spell with the sports car company Ginetta Cars Ltd, both as a shareholder and a director between 1993 and 2002. The company was eventually sold on in 2006. It was a very turbulent time but my notes reveal a number of stories that some might be of interest. If nothing else there are some good case studies in how not to do things!
I have devoted this page to some of the other published work that I have done recently and also included some topics that are researched and awaiting completion and/or a publisher. Any input to these would be most welcome!
THE LAST DAYS OF RELIANT MOTORS AT TAMWORTH....................
I was recruited by Jonathan Heynes to help with the new models that were intrinsic to the business plan. There was no shortage of ideas..............................
THE POWER TO FLY................
The success of the Photo Reconnaissance Spitfires (and Mosquitos) was very much to do with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. For the first half of the twentieth century the development of racing car engines and aero-engines went hand-in-hand.
In fact, when war was declared on Germany in 1914, one of the Mercedes cars (powered by a derivative of the company's new aero engine), that had won the French Grand Prix a few weeks earlier was proudly on-show in London. On the 4th August 1914 the car was removed from the showroom, and taken to Rolls-Royce Motors in Crewe. Its engine was dismantled, drawn, re-assembled and returned to its owners! The resulting V12 Rolls-Royce aero-engine was the Eagle. Twenty years later the Eagle had become the Merlin...........
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