190th Review: De Havilland Enterprises: A History- Graham Simons

  • De Havilland Enterprises: A History

    Graham Simons
    Pen & Sword Books
    2017
    English
    X X X X X
    2017 pg.
    9781473861381
    Review written by: Joris Gonggrijp

    Captain Geoffrey de Havilland  (1882 – 1965) has established on 25 September 1920 the company which is now bearing his name, with financial support from his friends. The life story of – later Sir Geoffrey – shows remarkable resemblance with that of his contemporary Anthony Fokker. Both looking for a profession just after the turn of […]

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    Captain Geoffrey de Havilland  (1882 – 1965) has established on 25 September 1920 the company which is now bearing his name, with financial support from his friends. The life story of – later Sir Geoffrey – shows remarkable resemblance with that of his contemporary Anthony Fokker. Both looking for a profession just after the turn of the century. Started in car manufacturing and there became acquainted with the budding aviation.

    The development of engines was for the car and the ‘flight machine’ of course the axis were both were turning round. That they development alongside each other was obvious. De Havilland has, different than Fokker, developed and produced almost all of her airplane engines herself. The big difference between Anthony and Geoffrey was that the British were controlling the reins over an Empire, where ‘Made in Britain’ was self-evident. British airplane manufacturers had no foreign competition. That brought, next to success as de DH. 82 Tiger Moth, also the outright odd models as the DH. 91 Albatros. Which without chance lost the competition with the Douglas DC-2.

    After WOII it was done with the Empire where the sun wouldn’t settle and there had to be competed with the American – and other airplane manufacturers (Fokker!). The advantage at first, like with the DH. 106 Comet as first jet fighter, turned into stagnation after accidents and into deprivation. A rather sad ending of an airplane industry with which Great Britain of course though had won the Battle of Britain and forced Nazi Germany into the defence.

    This book gives a complete summary of everything that De Havilland factories between 1920 and 1962 have delivered. Later also with subsidiary companies In Australia and Canada. After that the company was incorporated in the UK in Hawker Siddely. It is therefore mainly a reference book, with of each product also one or multiple pictures. Interesting enough as historical documentation, but not suitable as reading book.


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