A rare 1st edition of Sydney Camm’s Aeroplane Construction, published by Crosby Lockwood in 1919. Written at the end of WW1, the book includes details of the design and construction of first world war era biplanes. Camm intended it to be a “survery of the principles and details of modern aeroplane construction. The details and methods dealt with are, in the author’s opinion, represenatative of those most generally used in machines of present-day design”. Subjects covered include: materials, spars and struts, plane construction, interplane struts, wing trussing systems, fuselage construction, undercarriages, control systems, wires, engine mountings, erection and alignment. Above all, the book provides an invaluable insight into the early work of one of the world’s foremost aircraft designers, who went on to design numerous iconic aircraft, including the Hawker Hurricane, Typhoon, Tempest and Harrier, during a career that began with wood and canvas biplanes, and ended in the era of the jet powered VTOL Harrier jump jet.
Sydney Camm (1893–1966) was an aeronautical engineer who contributed to many Hawker aircraft designs, from the biplanes of the 1920s to jet fighters. The most celebrated aircraft he designed was the Hawker Hurricane that played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. Camm was interested in aviation from an early age, starting with model aircraft and gliders. Just before the start of WW1 Camm was employed as a shop-floor carpenter at the Martinsyde aircraft company at the Brooklands racing circuit in Surrey. From there he progressed to the drawing office, where he worked during WW1. After the company went into liquidation in 1921, Camm was employed by George Handasyde, who had created his own aircraft manufacturing company, which was responsible for the creation of the Handasyde Monoplane. In November 1923 Camm joined the Hawker Aircraft Company (later Hawker Siddeley) based at Canbury Park Road in Kingston upon Thames as a senior draughtsman. His first design was the Cygnet, the success of which led to his being appointed chief designer in 1925. In 1925, in association with Fred Sigrist, Hawker's managing director, Camm developed a form of metal construction that used jointed tubes as a cheaper and simpler alternative to welded structures. During his employment at Hawker he was responsible for the creation of 52 different types of aircraft, of which a total of 26,000 were manufactured. Among his early designs were the Tomtit, Hornbill, Nimrod, Hart and Fury. During the 1930s the vast majority of the aircraft flown by the RAF were designed by Sydney Camm.
Camm went on to design the aeroplanes that would become mainstays of the RAF in WW2, including the Hawker Hurricane, Hawker Typhoon and Hawker Tempest. With the Hurricane, Sydney Camm moved from the technology of the biplane to contemporary monoplane fighter aircraft. Among the engineers who worked with Camm at Hawker were Sir Frederick Page (later to design the English Electric Lightning), Leslie Appleton (later to design the advanced Fairey Delta 2 and Britain's first air-to-air missile, the Fairey Fireflash), Stuart Davies (joined Avro in 1936 and later to be chief designer of the Avro Vulcan), Roy Chaplin (became chief designer at Hawker in 1957) and Sir Robert Lickley (chief project engineer during the war, and later to be chief engineer at Fairey).
Camm continued to design aircraft for Hawker after WW2, creating many of the most significant jet aircraft of the Cold War era, including the Hunter and the revolutionary P1127 and Kestrel FGA1, which led directly to the Harrier ‘jump jet’. For his major role in the development of crucial vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) technologies such as vectored-thrust engines and reaction control systems, and for his invaluable contribution to British aviation Camm was knighted in 1953. He also served as President of the Royal Aeronautical Society from 1954 to 1955. Camm worked for Hawker until his retirement in 1965. He died on 12th March 1966, aged 72.
In very good condition. The boards are in very good condition, with minor signs of wear and some marks to the rear board. The binding and hinges are very good and secure. The text is in very good condition.