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Not Much of an Engineer
 
 

Not Much of an Engineer [Kindle Edition]

Sir Stanley Hooker
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Stanley Hooker joined the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1949 and tugged a rather reluctant company into the jet age, determined to give real competition to Rolls-Royce. So successful was he that in 1966 Rolls-Royce decided the best thing to do was to spend £63.6 million and buy its rival. By this time there was scarcely a single modern British aero-engine for which Hooker had not been responsible.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5129 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Airlife (20 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006ZNEE80
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #93,189 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The remarkable story of a remarkable man 7 April 2005
By Big Ben TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have not yet heard of Sir Stanley Hooker, this will come as a treat. As a young (and brilliant) mathematician he joined Rolls Royce near the outbreak of WW2 - to find that the Merlin engine which powered the all-important Hurricane and Spitfire was down on power due to a supercharger design flaw that only he had spotted due to his mathematical abilities. In finding that extra power he will have earned the gratitude of a generation of pilots and by extension the gratitude of the nation whose existence depended on their ability to out-fly the invaders.
There is more... Throughout the war he continuously extended the development of the aircraft enigine superchargers that he had mastered, and became one of the first to appreciate and support Whittle in the development of the Jet Engine. Hooker was one of the key figures in the success of Rolls Royce jet engines, and went on to develop the Key ingredient in the Harrier Jump-jet, it's dedicated power plant.
And more, much more....
"Not much of an Engineer" has its dramatic personal twists, and Hooker is ruthless with what he saw as his own personal failings. In addition to his mathematical and engineering skills, he writes both fluently and with feeling.
Beg, borrow, or buy it, and read it. Highly recommended.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As a lover of Autobiographies I thought this book was very easy to read and also a bit of an aid to my personal studies. I have a lot of respect for this man who brought Rolls Royce out of a rut of self destruction.Anybody with an interest in aviation should enjoy this but it is an easy read. The equations in the back of the book are very easy to understand.
Enjoy...
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Stanley Hooker was probably Britain's foremost engineer of the 20th Century. An outstanding mathematician, he doubled the power of the RR Merlin, designed the Pegasus in today's Harrier, and, with Sir Kenneth Keith, rescued Rolls-Royce from oblivion. This book is a highly readable account of his contribution to aviation. The son of a Sheerness docker, he writes with clarity, pace and humour. Technical topics are contained in a full appendix, the principal one being the formula he developed which enabled him to transform the Merlin and, hence, the Spitfire, by boosting the input of the one and then two superchargers.
Bill Bedford, the Harrier's original test pilot, publicly wondered if Hooker was actually Britain's greatest engineer ever. Read this book and decide for yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot more than just an engineer! 11 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
As others have noted, this book is a great read about one of our unsung engineer-heroes from the 20th century.

His application of science and mathematics to solving quality and performance issues of piston and jet aero engines is a great reminder to those today (who do not apply the same rigor!).

Each of the major Rolls Royce Aero engines is covered, from Piston-Merlins through the jets: Nene, Proteus, Orpheus, Olympia and Pegasus (both Rolls and Bristol manufactured). Each chapter covers the problems faced on improving performance of each and how to integrate and sell with aircraft manufacturers (most notably the Harrier and Concorde).

There's an interesting later section on selling to the Chinese some of the Rolls product set and latterly on the RB211 engine.

But don't let the talk of engines diminish what is a great read for the non-technical as well. There's lots of views on the management styles he was part of (or created) and the cause and effect of their actions too.

Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Engineer 21 Feb 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I think I have read this book five times, each time I find something new in it. Hooker shows, time and again, that very often, a simple approach to a seemingly intractable problem can produce extraordinary results. The book, which is "unputdownable", should be required reading for all undergraduate engineering students.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating - but I wish there was more! 29 July 2009
Format:Paperback
An easy read, very well written, full of interesting information on technology, people and the times.
HOWEVER there are a few areas I wish he had spent more time on, such as the break with Hs, the merger period when he decided to retire and also the white-hot shambles that was the RB211. He talks a little of each, but barely skims what sound like VERY exciting moments.
A wonderful book. I will keep looking for more in the same vein!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book from a great man 8 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first reviewed this book for Amazon in 1999, but did so anonymously because I didn't want to say that I was related to Stanley Hooker lest it raised doubts about my objectivity. I've recently re-read the book, but haven't changed my opinion about it. Stanley Hooker was an extraordinary man, as his achievements demonstrate. He wrote this book in biro on lined pads as he struggled with cancer, a struggle which he ultimately lost, but I still think this lucid and readable book is a very fitting account of an extraordinary life.

My original review is reproduced below:

Stanley Hooker was probably Britain's foremost engineer of the 20th Century. An outstanding mathematician, he doubled the power of the RR Merlin, designed the Pegasus in today's Harrier, and, with Sir Kenneth Keith, rescued Rolls-Royce from oblivion. This book is a highly readable account of his contribution to aviation. The son of a Sheerness docker, he writes with clarity, pace and humour. Technical topics are contained in a full appendix, the principal one being the formula he developed which enabled him to transform the Merlin and, hence, the Spitfire, by boosting the input of the one and then two superchargers.

Bill Bedford, the Harrier's original test pilot, publicly wondered if Hooker was actually Britain's greatest engineer ever. Read this book and decide for yourself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written and I suspect very accurate, difficult ...
Very well written and I suspect very accurate, difficult to put down but I did work for one of the companies.
Published 16 days ago by Jean Lyell
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Stanley Hooker... this is a 'must ...
Sir Stanley Hooker ... this is a 'must read', incredibly-understated account of the progress and development of the aero industry generally from the 193os to the 1970s (and... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Philip ANDREWS
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice little biography which shone a light on the practices ...
A nice little biography which shone a light on the practices and relationships around in Rolls Royce in the 1940's and 50's. Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. I. Palmer
4.0 out of 5 stars a must by for any engineer
brilliant book. well written
A great shame the accountants run the show these days hindering development of jet engines
Published 1 month ago by diddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for engineers
I wish I were 10% of the 'Not much of an engineer' as Sir Stanley. This book is well written for the man in the street and the general enthusiast, but all the intricate maths and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by KTB
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually, a remarkable engineer!
Hooker was a remarkable man, whose ability to grasp and solve an engineering problem was clearly exceptional. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Philip A. Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Very happy with the product and service.
Published 3 months ago by stonemason
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I found this book very interesting and I learnt a lot of interesting facts.
Published 4 months ago by Barry
5.0 out of 5 stars Should fly off the shelves.
Bought as a gift for my aircraft-engineering-mad father-in-law, I am assured by him that this is one of the best books he has ever read, full of interesting stories from the life... Read more
Published 4 months ago by A. Chell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book that I couldn't put down
Full of interesting details and facts, but at the same time well-balanced and not overly technical. The author has a great ability to explain and summarise the technical issues... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Peter Brown
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