Austin 16 hp (1946)

Austin 16 hp (1946)

If you had observed the global automotive industry over the past ten years only, you could be forgiven for thinking that the UK had only really ever had luxury and low-volume marques.

You’d be wrong of course, but the remnants of the once thriving industry would otherwise not provide you with much insight to a outcome that was otherwse.

In fact, post WWII, the UK had the second largest motor industry in the world, and boasted multiple mainstream manufacturers. And, also boasted one of the strongest export industries also.

The root of how it all fell apart is difficult to pinpoint to single issues. Potentially, such a strong start meant that the lack of global competition did not force UK makers to adopt mass-production methods as a replacement for the craft industry methods employed previously. Maybe there were too many mainstream brands in a market with a slow growth curve. Maybe the US makers had a stronger market capitalisation position and were able to expand competitively into global markets more effectively.

The end result was the same. A number of moderate volume makers, building cars for essentially the same (European) customer base, ran out of money and slowly consolidated into such conglomerations as BMC, BLMC, Austin-Rover and finally disappeared.

Austin was one such maker.

There post WWII offering shown here was the 16 hp, a derivation of the pre-war 12 hp (which continued alongside the 16 hp), but offering more power and equipment.

The 16 hp boasted 67 hp from its 2.2 litre 4-cylinder engine (the 16 hp noted the taxable horsepower). The car was a solid, middle-class kind of a car, though the British market perhaps was more in need of a vehicle like the Mini, or, as was created in European markets, the Renault 4CV, FIAT 500 and the VW Beetle.

In 1952 Austin merged with Morris to form BMC limited, along the path to the conglomeration of most mainstream UK marques.

The Austin name is currently owned by the Chinese firm SAIC, having bought many of the assets of the MG-Rover Group upon the collapse of the Phoenix Consortium in 2005.

For more information on the Austin Marque:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Motor_Company

and the Austin 16 hp Motor Car:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_16_hp

This Lego miniland-scale 1946 Austin 16 hp has been created for Flickr LUGNuts’ 103rd Build Challenge, titled – ‘The Fabulous Forties!’ – a challenge for any vehicle produced through the decade of the 1940s.

An older engineer whom I know owns an Austin 16 hp (or the identical 12 hp), and has garaged the car for quite some time. His daughter recently used the vehicle as her wedding car, having dreamed of doing so since childhood.

Fortunately the old Austin was able to brought back to working condition for the event, though managed to incur a speeding fine on the day (really???).

Posted by lego911 on 2016-06-01 09:21:21

Tagged: , 1946 , austin , 16 , hp , sixteen , 1940s , classic , sedan , saloon , bmc , …

McLaren F1 (1997 – Gordon Murray)

McLaren F1 (1997 - Gordon Murray)

The McLaren F1 is a sports car designed and manufactured by McLaren Automotive. Originally a concept conceived by Gordon Murray, he convinced Ron Dennis to back the project and engaged Peter Stevens to design the exterior and interior of the car. On 31 March 1998, it set the record for the world’s fastest production car, reaching 231 mph (372 km/h) with the rev limiter enabled, and 243 mph (391 km/h) with the rev limiter removed.

The car features numerous proprietary designs and technologies; it is lighter and has a more streamlined structure than many modern sports cars, despite having one seat more than most similar sports cars, with the driver’s seat located in the centre (and slightly forward) of two passengers’ seating positions, providing driver visibility superior to that of a conventional seating layout. It features a powerful engine and is somewhat track oriented, but not to the degree that it compromises everyday usability and comfort. It was conceived as an exercise in creating what its designers hoped would be considered the ultimate road car. Despite not having been designed as a track machine, a modified race car edition of the vehicle won several races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, where it faced purpose-built prototype race cars. Production began in 1992 and ended in 1998. In all, 106 cars were manufactured, with some variations in the design.

In 1994, the British car magazine Autocar stated in a road test regarding the F1, "The McLaren F1 is the finest driving machine yet built for the public road." and that "The F1 will be remembered as one of the great events in the history of the car, and it may possibly be the fastest production road car the world will ever see."

In August 2013, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Gooding & Company auctioned off chassis 066 for a record sale price of US$8.47 million.

Design and implementation:

Chief engineer Gordon Murray’s design concept was a common one among designers of high-performance cars: low weight and high power. This was achieved through use of high-tech and expensive materials such as carbon fibre, titanium, gold, magnesium and kevlar. The F1 was the first production car to use a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis.

Gordon Murray had been thinking of a three-seat sports car since his youth. When Murray was waiting for a flight home from the Italian Grand Prix in 1988, he drew a sketch of a three seater sports car and proposed it to Ron Dennis. He pitched the idea of creating the ultimate road car, a concept that would be heavily influenced by the company’s Formula One experience and technology and thus reflect that skill and knowledge through the McLaren F1.

Murray declared that "During this time, we were able to visit with Ayrton Senna and Honda’s Tochigi Research Center. The visit related to the fact that at the time, McLaren’s F1 Grand Prix cars were using Honda engines. Although it’s true I had thought it would have …

Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde (1969)

Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde (1969)

Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde /ˈkɒŋkɔrd/ is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport (SST). It is one of only two SSTs to have entered commercial service; the other was the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.

Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados; it flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type’s only crash in 2000, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.

A total of 20 aircraft were built in France and the United Kingdom; six of these were prototypes and development aircraft. Seven each were delivered to Air France and British Airways. Concorde’s name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the type—unusually for an aircraft—are known simply as "Concorde", without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.

Early studies

Concorde

The origins of the Concorde project date to the early 1950s, when Arnold Hall, director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) asked Morien Morgan to form a committee to study the SST concept. The group met for the first time in February 1954 and delivered their first report in April 1955.

At the time it was known that the drag at supersonic speeds was strongly related to the span of the wing. This led to the use of very short-span, very thin rectangular wings like those seen on the control surfaces of many missiles, or in aircraft like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter or the Avro 730 that the team studied. The team outlined a baseline configuration that looked like an enlarged Avro 730, or more interestingly, almost exactly like the Lockheed CL-400 "Suntan" proposal.

This same short span produced very little lift at low speed, which resulted in extremely long takeoff runs and frighteningly high landing speeds. In an SST design, this would have required enormous engine power to lift off from existing runways, and to provide the fuel needed, "some horribly large aeroplanes" resulted. Based on this, the group considered the concept of an SST unfeasible, and instead suggested continued low-level studies into supersonic aerodynamics.

Slender deltas

Soon after, Dietrich Küchemann at the RAE published a series of reports on a new wing planform, known in the UK as the "slender delta" concept. Küchemann’s team, including Eric Maskell and Johanna Weber, worked with the fact that …

Triumph Spitfire Mk I Roadster (1962)

Triumph Spitfire Mk I Roadster (1962)

The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries during and after the Second World War. The Spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. It was also the only British fighter to be in continuous production throughout the war. The Spitfire continues to be a popular aircraft, with approximately 55 Spitfires being airworthy, while many more are static exhibits in aviation museums all over the world.

The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works (which operated as a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong from 1928). In accordance with its role as an interceptor, Mitchell designed the Spitfire’s distinctive elliptical wing to have the thinnest possible cross-section; this thin wing enabled the Spitfire to have a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death from cancer in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith took over as chief designer, overseeing the development of the Spitfire through its multitude of variants.

During the Battle of Britain (July–October 1940), the Spitfire was perceived by the public to be the RAF fighter, though the more numerous Hawker Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against the Luftwaffe. However, because of its higher performance, Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory-to-loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes.

After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire superseded the Hurricane to become the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific and the South-East Asian theatres. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber and trainer, and it continued to serve in these roles until the 1950s. The Seafire was a carrier-based adaptation of the Spitfire which served in the Fleet Air Arm from 1942 through to the mid-1950s. Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030 hp (768 kW), it was strong enough and adaptable enough to use increasingly powerful Merlin and, in later marks, Rolls-Royce Griffon engines producing up to 2,340 hp (1,745 kW); as a consequence of this the Spitfire’s performance and capabilities improved, sometimes dramatically, over the course of its life.

Mk V (Types 331, 349 & 352)

Spitfire LF.Mk VB, BL479, flown by Group Captain M.W.S Robinson, station commander of RAF Northolt, August 1943. This Spitfire has the wide bladed Rotol propeller, the internal armoured windscreen and "clipped" wings.
Late in 1940, the RAF predicted that the advent of the pressurised Junkers Ju 86P bomber series over Britain would be the start of a new sustained high altitude bombing offensive by the Luftwaffe, in which case development was put in hand for a pressurised version of the Spitfire, with a new version of the Merlin (the Mk VI). It would take …

Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB (1941)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB (1941)

The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries during and after the Second World War. The Spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. It was also the only British fighter to be in continuous production throughout the war. The Spitfire continues to be a popular aircraft, with approximately 55 Spitfires being airworthy, while many more are static exhibits in aviation museums all over the world.

The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works (which operated as a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong from 1928). In accordance with its role as an interceptor, Mitchell designed the Spitfire’s distinctive elliptical wing to have the thinnest possible cross-section; this thin wing enabled the Spitfire to have a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death from cancer in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith took over as chief designer, overseeing the development of the Spitfire through its multitude of variants.

During the Battle of Britain (July–October 1940), the Spitfire was perceived by the public to be the RAF fighter, though the more numerous Hawker Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against the Luftwaffe. However, because of its higher performance, Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory-to-loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes.

After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire superseded the Hurricane to become the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific and the South-East Asian theatres. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber and trainer, and it continued to serve in these roles until the 1950s. The Seafire was a carrier-based adaptation of the Spitfire which served in the Fleet Air Arm from 1942 through to the mid-1950s. Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030 hp (768 kW), it was strong enough and adaptable enough to use increasingly powerful Merlin and, in later marks, Rolls-Royce Griffon engines producing up to 2,340 hp (1,745 kW); as a consequence of this the Spitfire’s performance and capabilities improved, sometimes dramatically, over the course of its life.

Mk V (Types 331, 349 & 352)

Spitfire LF.Mk VB, BL479, flown by Group Captain M.W.S Robinson, station commander of RAF Northolt, August 1943. This Spitfire has the wide bladed Rotol propeller, the internal armoured windscreen and "clipped" wings.
Late in 1940, the RAF predicted that the advent of the pressurised Junkers Ju 86P bomber series over Britain would be the start of a new sustained high altitude bombing offensive by the Luftwaffe, in which case development was put in hand for a pressurised version of the Spitfire, with a new version of the Merlin (the Mk VI). It would take …