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The First Supersonic Flight

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  • The First Supersonic Flight

    OK a bit before our time but was watching a program tonight on Discovery, and the British developed the MR2; a plane which would smash the sound barrier. But due to costs in a skint post war Britain we scrapped it.

    The Americans asked for all the design and development paperwork and were given it for free - the result - The Bell X-1 in which Chuck Yaeger bust the sound barrier!

    Another British first consigned to the "might have beens" through costing!

    Radar is another invention we gave to the USA; and as a consequence we ended up buying their bigger, better sets.

    Another design, this time during WW2, was the "Hedgehog" - a frward throwing depth charger which was able to pin point the offending sub before it passed under the blind spot beneath the attacking ship. Result - we gave it to the Americans who then claimed it as "their invention" !!

  • #2
    Also the steam catapult & angled flight deck used on carriers were British inventions,as was ASDIC later to be known as Sonar.

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    • #3
      Yes, this country has a long history of failing to champion innovation, unfortunately. It takes dogged perseverance by inventors or their backers/supporters to get noticed, at great personal and financial cost in most cases.

      Here's another example:

      Imagine if the RAF had championed Frank Whittle's jet engine in 1936, and spent 1937-38 refining the idea... we could have had operational jet fighters in service in 1939... The Luftwaffe would have got the shock of a lifetime.
      Cheers

      Armchair

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      • #4
        Maybe that could be the basis for a novel, or maybe we won the war earlier in an alternate Doctor Who type universe, or Hitler was too scared to take us on.

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