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Miss Shilling and her Orifice


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#1 Tim Murray

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 21:06

I was on the net checking out the availability of Matthew Freudenberg's biography of Tilly Shilling when I came across the following interesting fact in a review of the book on this page:
 

Unfortunately but understandably, Brooklands was demolished during WWII as it stuck out like a sore thumb and would have made an ideal navigation reference point for German bombers.

How on earth did this strange fallacy originate?



Moderator note: This thread has been 'mined' from the old Blood Pressure thread; see further explanation in post 16.

Edited by Tim Murray, 20 July 2016 - 17:32.


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#2 john winfield

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 21:14

I was on the net checking out the availability of Matthew Freudenberg's biography of Tilly Shilling when I came across the following interesting fact in a review of the book on this page:


How on earth did this strange fallacy originate?


Tim,
I wonder whether someone mixed up Brooklands with the towers at Crystal Palace. I believe they were demolished for the reason mentioned. I expect Brooklands was 'disguised' a little, if only to protect the wartime activities taking place there. My mother-in-law worked at Brooklands during the war; munitions or parachute packing, I think, although I can't be sure.


#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 21:55

Crystal Palace was my immediate thought too. The remaining tower was demolished with explosives at 12.30 pm on April 16th 1941. The other one had suffered a similar fate during practice for (IIRC) the first Crystal Palace meeting in 1937 - on that occasion no prior warning was given!

Edited by Vitesse2, 10 October 2010 - 21:57.


#4 Allan Lupton

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 22:58

I was on the net checking out the availability of Matthew Freudenberg's biography of Tilly Shilling when I came across the following interesting fact in a review of the book on this page:
Unfortunately but understandably, Brooklands was demolished during WWII as it stuck out like a sore thumb and would have made an ideal navigation reference point for German bombers.

How on earth did this strange fallacy originate?

It is tempting to ask which side one supports with a name like Matthew Freudenberg!
There's no need to go there even. Had he looked at Google Earth he would have seen that the whole landmark effect is still recognisable even after the events of the last decades, some half a century after the war.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 10 October 2010 - 22:59.


#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 23:27

I've not (yet) seen the Freudenberg book, but I should guess that the Brooklands error was made by the American reviewer of the book and not Mr Freudenberg, who was listed in the review with a Somerset address, and who has also written a biography of motorcycle racer Les Graham.

#6 Allan Lupton

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 08:04

I've not (yet) seen the Freudenberg book, but I should guess that the Brooklands error was made by the American reviewer of the book and not Mr Freudenberg, who was listed in the review with a Somerset address, and who has also written a biography of motorcycle racer Les Graham.

Sorry but I've now looked at the review. He also makes points about Shilling's appearance that show he has no idea how RAE scientists/engineers, male or female, looked when they were working.
If it is the same Graham White, I had the job of consultant editor for the publishers of a book he wrote (published 1995) and he had ideas that did not tally with facts and refused to accept that they were in error, even when a detailed explanation was offered. However he did credit Shilling's work on the Merlin.

#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 08:38

Sorry but I've now looked at the review. He also makes points about Shilling's appearance that show he has no idea how RAE scientists/engineers, male or female, looked when they were working.
If it is the same Graham White, I had the job of consultant editor for the publishers of a book he wrote (published 1995) and he had ideas that did not tally with facts and refused to accept that they were in error, even when a detailed explanation was offered. However he did credit Shilling's work on the Merlin.

Allan, perhaps you can settle another item in Mr White's review that's worrying me. I've always understood that Miss Shilling's famous orifice was a diaphragm with a suitably-sized orifice that was fitted into the SU float chamber to restrict the movement of the fuel within the chamber. In the review White says it was 'a restrictor orifice fitted to the fuel supply line'. Google throws up other sources which say the same. As I see it a restrictor in the fuel supply line would have done nothing to prevent the initial engine cutout in negative g, when all the fuel moved to the top of the float chamber and starved the engine of fuel. I'd love to have some clarification, one way or the other, as I no longer have easy access to the relevant sources to do my own checking.

#8 plannerpower

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 09:36

I've never seen a drawing of Miss Shilling's Orifice but, as far as I know, it was a large disc or "washer" that fitted in the float chamber above the float; the hole was sized so as to allow the required full-power fuel-flow into the float area but no more.

There were at least two hole-sizes to suit different marks of the engine.

The problem was that, if the aircraft nose was put sharply down, fuel would be flung past the float into the top of the chamber; the float would then fall to the bottom in a reverse of the usual situation.

This caused initial starvation then, since the needle-valve was left wide open, flooding.

Tilly's Orifice, by only allowing fuel to pass either way through its central hole, slowed the rate at which fuel was flung to the top of the chamber while allowing sufficient fuel for proper engine operation to pass into the chamber.

Fuel that was flung up the chamber periphery in a dive, bypassing the float, was impeded by the circumferential barrier of the "washer".

That's my limited knowledge; I would love to know more about this simple device.



#9 Allan Lupton

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 09:47

Thread drift continues!
In 1990 Alec Harvey-Bailey of RR was a speaker at our symposium celebrating 50 years since the first flight of the Mosquito. In response to a question, he said the following (transcribed verbatim from a recording and checked with him by the editor of the book of the symposium):
"Well, it [negative G problem] was known and it was thought about. It was said that the single-engined fighters would be tackling bomber formations and the negative G manoeuvre would not be part of the combat regime. As a matter of fact we have here today a colleague of the late much lamented Tilly Shilling of the RAE who sorted it all out for us. She saw through a barn door much farther than most of us. She realised that the Merlin had a twin geared fuel pump and these had been designed with a safety factor so that each would take the maximum requirement of the engine plus 20% with a relief valve in the system. When you got negative G the first thing that happened was that the engine went 'lean' because all the fuel rose in the float chamber, the float lost control and then there was this enormous 'squirt' of fuel from the two pumps, giving about twice the requirement of the engine. This caused it to fluff. Tilley introduced the RAE restrictor which limited the flow through the carburettor to something just over maximum take-off demand and that improved things a lot. She then introduced the 'Anti-G' version of the SU. Tilly did two things. She put a control on the setting of the float which limited the amount the needle valve came up when the float lost control, but also fitted an excrescence on the tip of the needle that acted like an RAE restrictor which cut off the flow under the negative G condition. There were also ball valves to stop the fuel flooding out of the carburettor through the air vents under negative G. This was all done retrospectively and it worked very well and is all due to the late Tilly Shilling, God bless her!"



#10 Tim Murray

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:23

I'm beginning to get the picture - I think.
 

Tilley introduced the RAE restrictor which limited the flow through the carburettor to something just over maximum take-off demand and that improved things a lot.

This presumably was the disc/washer/diaphragm fitted into the float chamber to restrict fuel movement within the chamber, as Plannerpower and I understood it.
 

She then introduced the 'Anti-G' version of the SU. Tilly did two things. She put a control on the setting of the float which limited the amount the needle valve came up when the float lost control, but also fitted an excrescence on the tip of the needle that acted like an RAE restrictor which cut off the flow under the negative G condition. There were also ball valves to stop the fuel flooding out of the carburettor through the air vents under negative G.

This then was a further development, which could indeed be described as restricting the fuel supply to the carburettor. So perhaps Mr White and the numerous other sources are not completely wrong, although I find the definition 'a restrictor orifice fitted to the fuel supply line' a bit misleading. However, the term 'Miss Shilling's orifice' can surely only ever be the initial disc/washer/diaphragm with its calibrated orifice.

Thanks PP and Allan for helping to improve my understanding of all this.

#11 kayemod

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:53

Thanks PP and Allan for helping to improve my understanding of all this. Back to blood pressure ...


Not so fast there, there's more to this story. The Merlin fuel problem was very real, and Miss Tilly's Orifice was a clever and much need temporary fix, but clever RAF pilots had already devised their own solution as a stopgap. When going into a steep dive, they used to flick inverted as they pushed the stick forward, and this meant that power was uninterrupted. 109's thought they could escape by diving out of an engagement, but quite a few were caught out by this dodge. Not sure where I saw this, probably somewhere like Reach for the Sky, or The Last Enemy, I read every one of those WW2 memoirs as a teenager.


#12 Tim Murray

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 11:02

When going into a steep dive, they used to flick inverted as they pushed the stick forward, and this meant that power was uninterrupted. 109's thought they could escape by diving out of an engagement, but quite a few were caught out by this dodge.

As I understand it, this trick overcame the Merlin fuel problems, but the additional manoeuvre wasted vital split seconds, which meant that the German aircraft (with fuel injection) still had an advantage.

#13 plannerpower

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 19:56

Many thanks to Allan; I've long wanted to know more about the Orifice.

Spitfire pilots developed the half-roll, so beloved of film-makers, to overcome the problem; this manoeuvre "threw" fuel into the bottom of the float-chamber instead of into the top.

But, as Tim said, this cost precious milli-seconds so it was only a stop-gap measure until Miss Shilling came along; later a pressurised carburettor was used and, finally, a fuel injection system was adopted.

It's my understanding that Rolls Royce knew a lot about fuel injection but, for reasons that I haven't been able to discover, they thought that carburetion was better when the supercharger was involved.

I also understand that only Spitfires were fitted with the orifice; Hurricanes (a fine aircraft somewhat overshadowed by the glamour of the Spitfire legend) did not receive the device.

Edited by plannerpower, 12 October 2010 - 05:18.


#14 Tim Murray

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:58

It's my understanding that Rolls Royce knew a lot about fuel injection but, for reasons that I haven't been able to discover, they thought that carburetion was better when the supercharger was involved.

The reduction in temperature as the air passed through the carburettor venturi increased its density and thus mass flow rate, resulting in increased power.

Edited by Tim Murray, 20 July 2016 - 18:48.
Edited to remove dead link


#15 Allan Lupton

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:26

The reduction in temperature as the air passed through the carburettor venturi increased its density and thus mass flow rate, resulting in increased power.

Taking advantage of the latent heat of evaporation of the fuel to cool the charge was also the reason why, when RR went to fuel injection, they used a single point system spraying into the eye of the supercharger, rather than direct injection.

#16 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 15:46

This thread was originally a discussion in the Blood Pressure thread. This was a thread which ran between 2009 and 2011 where we all had a good moan about things which were raising our blood pressures, mostly concentrating on misuse of the English language. Eventually it was considered to have run its course, and was binned. There were however some interesting discussions in it worth preserving, and this is one of them. Any further contributions would be very welcome.

#17 LotusElise

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 11:55

As Tilly Naylor, Miss Shilling as-was was a decent racing driver, mostly after the war. The story goes that she refused to marry her husband until he proved himself by lapping Brooklands at 100mph.



#18 Tim Murray

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 18:35

Here's a fascinating account of a visit to the Naylors in their later years by someone researching their Elvas:

http://www.elva.com/...jottings02.html

(scroll down to paragraph 7)

#19 Sharman

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 10:25

Tim

Please keep prospecting in the much missed Blood Pressure thread, as you are aware the OP was DCN and its' demise was, in my view. somewhat unwarranted.

John



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#20 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 10:42

Tim

Please keep prospecting in the much missed Blood Pressure thread, as you are aware the OP was DCN and its' demise was, in my view. somewhat unwarranted.

John

There are several thousand posts in it ...  ;)



#21 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 11:09

More than 9,300 posts, actually, and I've ploughed through the lot in the last few weeks. Rest assured that the threads I've already 'mined' from it are all that was really worth preserving. However, it did strike me when going through it that some of us who can sometimes come across as a tad pompous and pedantic (and this very much includes me) were able to reveal our lighter and more humorous sides. Perhaps we do now need a new version of it.

#22 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 11:54

Roz to Frasier Crane, upset after his obituary had been published erroneously: "I don't think they meant to be insulting - you are lovably pompous!"



#23 Tim Murray

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:41

There's some more interesting info on Miss Shilling in the article below, from an official RAF site, although it repeats the error (as I understand it) that the famous orifice was a restrictor in the fuel line to the carburettor:

http://www.raf.mod.u...bonnet-18082015

#24 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 19:29

http://www.warhistor...aw-watch-x.html



#25 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 05:40

Tim
Please keep prospecting in the much missed Blood Pressure thread, as you are aware the OP was DCN and its' demise was, in my view. somewhat unwarranted.
John


Amen, and amen again!

#26 Allan Lupton

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 08:33

Funny grasp of terminology with explanations like this:

A “negative g maneuver” is the technical term for plummeting faster than gravity can pull a plane down, causing those inside it to almost float.

and even in US English I think "dove" is a bird, not the past participle of "to dive"

Sorry, but the ghost of "Blood Pressure" Past seems to have appeared



#27 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 09:05

... and even in US English I think "dove" is a bird, not the past participle of "to dive"

Sorry, but the ghost of "Blood Pressure" Past seems to have appeared

'Dove' is now more common in US and Canadian writing ...

 

http://grammarist.co...age/dove-dived/



#28 kayemod

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 09:25

'Dove' is now more common in US and Canadian writing ...

 

http://grammarist.co...age/dove-dived/

 

A word that particularly irritates me in this sort of context is "span" as the past participle of to spin. It's especially favoured by writers in the lesser tabloids. My dictionary tells me that this word is "archaic", so it's perhaps what Henry VIII might have said to describe a spinning aeroplane, had these been invented in his time.



#29 Allan Lupton

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 11:25

A word that particularly irritates me in this sort of context is "span" as the past participle of to spin. It's especially favoured by writers in the lesser tabloids. My dictionary tells me that this word is "archaic", so it's perhaps what Henry VIII might have said to describe a spinning aeroplane, had these been invented in his time.

Ah but the meaning in archaic times wasn't to do with spinning, as in aeroplane terminology span is the distance from wingtip to wingtip :mad:



#30 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 11:41

We did cover 'span v spun' a long time ago in the 'For Sure' thread. 'Twas DCN who first raised it, but see further contributions below from David McKinney, yours truly and ensign14.

 

http://forums.autosp...-2#entry2396962



#31 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 06:46

This has given me a small insight to a question that intrigued me and was too lazy to ask. Making an engine work at all sorts of aerobatic work has scared me. How do carbys maintain fuel level upside down coupled with G force. How do they keep fuel at the tank pickup in the same scenario. 

Even a fuel injected engine in any form is still affected by gravity and getting fuel from the tank/s

How do oiling systems keel supplied with oil as well when flying upside down.  Yet alone looping. Or transmissions as well. And most had geared props.

And how do radial engines have oil drain back to collection in all of eg 14 cylinders. That just plodding along on the straight and level. One would have thought that the lower cylinders would be drowning and the uppers starving in that configuration. Getting pressurised oil to the areas is not the problem, getting it back to the tank/ tanks does seem to be a real problem too me. Yet radials are still used even now.



#32 GreenMachine

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 09:48

Flip flops in the tanks is the answer for fuel at least.  That way the pickup ends up in the same place as the fuel.  Though I would think a small intermediate tank kept full would be a better solution.
 
Regarding the oil in radials, that is why on a radial they blow such smoke on startup - the bottom cylinders are overdosed on oil from standing overnight, and it gets burnt off when the engine fires.  On smaller inverted engines you would pull the engine through a couple of revolutions by hand, to clear the oil and hopefully identify any hydraulic lock before the thing fired and bent a rod or broke a piston.  I assume they do that on the starter motor for the big ones, but still they smoke ...
 
IMGP9114-L.jpg

#33 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 13:30

What is the venue of that picture? It looks like someplace I'd like to be. :)

Edited by Jack-the-Lad, 09 December 2016 - 13:31.


#34 plannerpower

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 20:06

From a 1943 Air Council publication;

 

 

 

Sta.gif

 



#35 GreenMachine

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 20:56

What is the venue of that picture? It looks like someplace I'd like to be. :)


Warbirds Downunder, at Temora in 2011.

The long lens introduces a bit of foreshortening, it certainly wasn't as cozy as that suggests.

Other than being stinking hot, it was a great day!

ETA: Before moving it out on the runway for the demo flight, it was parked near the hangars, and offered some additional functionality - welcome shade, for those who got there first! OTOH, my partner got some aviation grade engine oil on her shirt while standing there ...

IMGP7746-L.jpg

Edited by GreenMachine, 10 December 2016 - 00:58.


#36 LotusElise

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 22:11

A word that particularly irritates me in this sort of context is "span" as the past participle of to spin. It's especially favoured by writers in the lesser tabloids. My dictionary tells me that this word is "archaic", so it's perhaps what Henry VIII might have said to describe a spinning aeroplane, had these been invented in his time.

 

Neither "span" or "spun" ever sounds right to me. "Spun" sounds like it should be a past participle.

 

There's always "rotated", I suppose. "Lotus managed to rotate at the Esses" has an interesting ring to it.



#37 BRG

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 22:54

That's some real homespun wisdom there.



#38 BRG

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 20:55

Whilst partaking of Mr Wetherspoon's finest fish and chips today, I leafed through the house magazine to find that Wetherspoons have a pub in Farnborough called 'The Tilly Shilling' and featuring various aeronautical memorabilia, including Spitfire control yokes as door handles.


Edited by BRG, 03 March 2017 - 20:55.


#39 Sharman

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:04

Whilst partaking of Mr Wetherspoon's finest fish and chips today, I leafed through the house magazine to find that Wetherspoons have a pub in Farnborough called 'The Tilly Shilling' and featuring various aeronautical memorabilia, including Spitfire control yokes as door handles.

Somebody on the board has his or her heart in the right place.

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#40 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:40

Somebody on the board has his or her heart in the right place.

They do try to be locally relevant. The one near Coventry Transport Museum is called The Flying Standard and "is named after the fondly remembered motor car, part of a range of models made in Coventry from 1903 until the 1960s. Standard’s first car, the Motor Victoria, was built in 1903 by Reginald Maudslay, in Much Park Street. The Standard Nine was launched in 1927. Inexpensive, at £198, its success saw Standard through the ‘slump’ and it was still going strong when, in 1936, the Flying Standard models made their début."

 

The rather grotty one in Trowbridge is named after locally-born Sir Isaac Pitman, publisher and inventor of Pitman Shorthand. And when they opened in what used to be Whitehaven Bus Station, they named the pub The Bransty Arch - a local landmark which had been demolished to build the bus station in the 1920s - one of the reasons given being that it was impeding traffic, particularly buses!



#41 kayemod

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:59

Somebody on the board has his or her heart in the right place.

 

And also their orifice no doubt...

 

One Wetherspoons in Bournemouth is named The Christopher Creeke, "Who?" I hear you say. Well, Christopher Creeke was a local dignitary. He was also a surveyor, and in some part responsible for the layout of present day Bournemouth, which is a relatively young town in historical terms. A couple of hundred years ago, all that existed were a few small isolated villages and expanses of sand dunes. A statue was placed outside a local landmark in 1998, commemorating three local holders of the Victoria Cross and the town’s first surveyor, Christopher Crabb Creeke. He was also a sanitary engineer, a distinction he shares with Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman, whose certificate I've seen. With a spot of seaside postcard humour, the statue’s sculptor depicted Creeke sitting on a lavatory, stroking his beard, and exercising his orifice no doubt. It received a mixed reception from locals.



#42 Pullman99

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 12:17

They do try to be locally relevant. The one near Coventry Transport Museum is called The Flying Standard and "is named after the fondly remembered motor car, part of a range of models made in Coventry from 1903 until the 1960s. 

Continuing OT at the slight risk of this thread developing into a "visit your local Wetherspoons" , and as an ex-Standard-Triumph employee (although I have yet to venture into The Flying Standard on Broadgate), the one in Barrow-in-Furness is an ex-Co-op building that is named The Furness Railway and displays appropriate memorabilia.    The FR became a constituent of the LMS at the Grouping in 1923 but is still acknowledged locally (although Barrow Council succeeded - where WW2 bombing failed - in demolishing the original company offices a few years ago).   An early engine, Furness Railway No.3 built in Liverpool in 1846 and known as Coppernob, was preserved by the original railway company in a glass roofed building at Barrow Station and is now kept (complete with WW2 shrapnel damage when a bomb hit the station) at the National Railway Museum in York.



#43 Mallory Dan

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 13:28

Leyland Lion in ....



#44 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:39

On Friday June 23rd at 19.30 BBC 1 is showing some regional programmes on inventions, each of them entitled 'Invented in ...' Miss Shilling's Orifice will be featured in the BBC North West one. Those of us not Oop North but with satellite can catch it live on Sky 958 or Freesat 955. Will also be on iPlayer afterwards, of course.



#45 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:15

... Miss Shilling's Orifice will be featured in the BBC North West one.


This puzzles me. Beatrice Shilling took her degrees at Manchester University, but seems to have no other North West connection. She was born in Hampshire and spent most of her working career at the RAE in Farnborough, Hampshire, where of course she developed the famous Orifice. No doubt all will be revealed in the programme.

#46 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:30

There was a brief piece on BBC Breakfast, which is how I'm aware of it. The lady presenter, whose name I didn't note, is a Manchester University academic.



#47 SJ Lambert

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:31

Warbirds Downunder, at Temora in 2011.

The long lens introduces a bit of foreshortening, it certainly wasn't as cozy as that suggests.

Other than being stinking hot, it was a great day!

ETA: Before moving it out on the runway for the demo flight, it was parked near the hangars, and offered some additional functionality - welcome shade, for those who got there first! OTOH, my partner got some aviation grade engine oil on her shirt while standing there ...

IMGP7746-L.jpg

 

 

The Temora Crew put on a fabulous show!!!



#48 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:06

The lady presenter, whose name I didn't note, is a Manchester University academic.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b08w1jsk

... Professor Danielle George goes on a mission of discovery to uncover the unsung inventors of the north west who changed the world ...

(my highlighting)

The various BBC regions seem to be adopting different approaches to the topic. BBC West (my region) seems to be concentrating on prosthetic limbs, while BBC South are including an item on lawnmower racing.

#49 dgs

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 07:11

A sixteen page chapter entitled 'Miss Shilling's Orifice’ is in the recently published book 'The Spitfire Kids' by Alasdair Cross.
Both the chapter on Beatrice Shilling and the book in its entirety are a really good and informative read

Highly recommended