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By Precision into Power: A Bicentennial Record of D. Napier & Son: A Bicentennial History of D. Napier Paperback – 15 Oct 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (15 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752438883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752438887
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 422,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Alan Vessey started his working life as an apprentice for Napier, a company he remained working for all his life.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This company produced the best piston engine of the war bar none they were so good that they did it twice. First they produced the Napier Lion of 400 bhp in 1918 and then they improved it till it was producing the same as the Merlin in 1939!. Then they produced a brand new 24 cylinder sleeve-valve engine called the Sabre which starter off producing 2000 bhp and improved to produce 3500 bhp in production specification and they had a test bed Sabre engine reputedly producing up to 5000 + bhp in 1945.The 1944-5 Napier Sabre had by far the best power to weight ratio of any piston powered aircraft engine in the world it was unbeatable.

Napiers major problems were political rather than in any lack of engineering genius it is clear that Napier never got the kind of automatic support that Rolls Royce enjoyed and Napier had to make do with second best in so many instances with such as machine tools and aircraft propellors because Rolls Royce and Bristol always came first and foremost. Rolls Royce even copied Napiers Sabre Enginewith the intention of producing it themselves and openly stole the latest Napier Sabre test bed engines from the Napier factory with the London gov'ts - total - approval. Tne Napier Sabre was that good...

In the jet age Napier again came up against implacable political opposition in it's own country and still Napier managed to produce a World Leading turboprop engine they marketed it as a slot in replacement for piston engines in aircraft which were already in production and found a very fruitful niche which other companies like Rolls Royce had no idea was there. Read the book and know that what made Rolls Royce - Rolls Royce were companies like Napier who harried them with a host of mechanical marvels that drove them all the way to where they are now. Without Napier Rolls Royce would never have got to - the top of the pile.
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Format: Paperback
This book was purchased almost on a whim in a museum. If ever there was case of "history is written by the winning side" this is it. Napier didn't win their battles in the long term and so are destined to remain forever in the quiet corner, whilst other well known makers of British jet engines are in still in the fray.
What comes across is over a century of proven ability to apply their hand to almost anything, and make it work. I had been led to believe that some of Napier's engine work had been killed off as it didn't work as intended. This book refutes a great deal of that and it is apparent that other forces were at work to ensure they never got their deserved breaks. Not all Napier's work was amazing, and some worthwhile projects got cancelled in the 50's and 60's for a variety of reasons. However, many others around the aerospace industry could say the same thing - TSR2?
You can't help but admire a company which decides to make an engine like the Nomad, and get it on test and prove the concept. I was surprised at the rate of development work done on jet engines, as well as rocket motors, and ramjets.
I felt that the reasons for their demise weren't fully explained; maybe the facts are still too sensitive for some ears. Although when you read Major General Such and Such and their ilk is on the board, you know the days are numbered.
The author`s prose takes a little getting used to and another proof read wouldn't have gone amiss. I had to read some sentences 3 or 4 times to understand what was being said.
If you like engineering and more importantly reading about it, then this book will greatly add to your knowledge.
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Napiers was once one of the most well-known names in British engineering - certainly in the first half of the 20th century. This was the firm that excelled in aero engines, such as the Lion and Sabre, powerful piston engines, and later the Eland and Gazelle, gas turbines. Alan Vessey's history is well put together, excels in detail, is fair with the rise and the fall, and gives a fine overall picture of one of Britain's 'greats'.
I had one simple reason for buying and reading this book - I was there - I worked for Napiers! But if you weren't, one of the few ways you have of finding out what it was like to work in one of these truly creative Companies that inspired people to excel, is for you to buy the book as well!
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Very good history on Napier
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