News: “Over the graves of the Druids and under the wreck of Rome,
Rudely but surely they bedded the plinth of the days to come.
Behind the feet of the Legions and before the Norseman’s ire
Rudely but greatly begat they the framing of State and Shire
Rudely but deeply they laboured, and their labour stand till now.
If we trace on ancient headlands the twist of their eight-ox plough.”

-Rudyard Kipling
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Sir Stanley Hooker  (Read 6721 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1523
  • Appreciation 238
Re: Sir Stanley Hooker
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 22:28:02 »
Link to photo of the Bredgan County Cricket team; September 1925.
Stanley Hooker back row at left.

Offline mmitch

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 367
  • Appreciation 9
Re: Sir Stanley Hooker
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2010, 15:50:28 »
Excellent book. Just finished reading it. He was in the right place at the right time.
If only Rolls Royce had taken up Whittle's design earlier ,it could have really shortened the war.

Offline CDP

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 834
  • Appreciation 87
Sir Stanley Hooker
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2010, 13:22:37 »
Sir Stanley Hooker was a distant relation of mine. in fact almost everyone was on Sheppey say 50+ years ago


Sir Stanley Hooker was born at Sheerness Kent on 30th September 1907and attended The Borden Grammar School in 1919. At the end of the 4th year in June 1923 he sat the Matriculation Examination and to the immense surprise of the masters, boys and himself did so well that the school was granted a half-days holiday in celebration, In 1926 he won a scholarship to Imperial College London and was awarded a free place. He returned a few times at the request of the Headmaster to present  the prizes at Borden Grammar School Prize Giving Days and many of the 'old boys' still remember him.

He would drive down from the university or from his workplace in his little three wheeler car to visit his sister who was Mrs. Bishop , she lived at No. 6 Jefferson Road Sheerness where she had a Hairdressing business which  she later moved to Marine Parade Sheerness as many people will remember .Her husband was a sergeant  in the R.A.F Bomb Disposal who was sadly killed, and they had a very attractive daughter whose name was Jeanette.  She was one of the first T.V. Hostesses and a proper lady who later married into  that very wealthy family, Rothschild , who  later divorced her but she left his name on her passport . It was reported that on holiday with a friend she was robbed and murdered , they thinking perhaps that she was very rich , this was reported in our local paper and in the National Press , I believe  their bodies were found later and it appeared that they had lost their way and died of  hunger etc.

In December 1929 he suffered a broken leg playing football and was two months in plaster, then in March 1930 on Good Friday he had a motor cycling accident and  broke his leg again plus his right arm. This time he was taken to Faversham Cottage Hospital. The total staff at the hospital was three probationary nurses a day and a night sister and a very severe matron. After Imperial College and Oxford  he  obtained a D.Phil and  in 1935 he started work at  the Admiralty Laboratories at Tedington and  then joined  Rolls Royce in 1937. Within a few months Stanley Hooker who before had never seen an aero engine, had added 30% more power to the legendary Merlin  engine . This was the start of a meteoric  career which in the middle of World War 2 saw the mature Hooker put in charge of running the Whittle turbo jet into a production engine for the war. In an amazing 20 months the thrust of Hooker's jets jumped from 1,800lb to 5,000lb

After a sad break with Rolls Royce Hooker joined the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1949 .Here he tugged  a rather reluctant company into the jet age, determined to give real competition to Rolls Royce and so successful was he that in 1966 Rolls Royce decided that 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. By 1966 his main concerns were the propulsion of the Concorde and the Harrier but there were new men in charge at Derby and Hooker decided to retire on his 60th birthday in 1967, but he was immediately asked to be a consultant. Little did he think that within four years the mighty firm would plunge into bankruptcy  . So important was Rolls that the Government was immediately involved, and it invited Hooker to go to Derby and mastermind the great RB211 programme - the engine that had broken the firm . The result earned him a Knighthood. When Hooker was first  put  in charge of the Superchargers he asked his number two if he could see a supercharger. 'Which supercharger ?  I have half a dozen over there that  I'm building'. Hooker then replied 'Any one will do , because I have not seen one before' - and he was now in charge !!

The Americans took their usual line on testing engines and decided to build a special test bed at Wright field in Ohio where their engines could be tested on the ground in conditions that simulated those at altitude, and in this way were able actually to measure  the power output of the engines. By the standards of the day  this was a huge installation ,with refrigerating plant to reproduce the cold air temperatures at altitude , and large exhausters to reduce the air pressure and take away the exhaust gases .In comparison with this massive attack by the Americans, Hooker  had only a few simple formulae which enabled us to calculate the power of the Merlins while actually sitting at our desks. When , late in the War, a Merlin was actually tested  in the Wright field installation ,the measured power agreed exactly with those we had calculated several years before.

Hooker saw the first Meteor being handed over to an operational squadron .The young fighter-pilot flew in on a Spitfire ,was led over to the cockpit of the Meteor and briefed for a few minutes ,whereupon he climbed into this enormous  new twin engine aircraft  with a radically new type of engine , and took off to the war !!

His greatest contribution to the nation was possibly his work as a supersonic airflow expert , analysing superchargers ,thereby giving them improved and more predictable  performance an  increase of speed of 5 MPH . This resulted in the Merlin engine keeping ahead of the Germans , with inestimable benefit to the RAF fighters throughout the war

He also worked with and helped Frank Whittle develop his jet engines. He encouraged W.E.W Peter to work on a new concept and the Canberra was born. He was on the first flight of Concorde to Bahrein. He was involved in the first Vertical Takeoff machine (nothing comes down faster than an upside down vertical take off machine !!). He as the first  Honorary  Professor at the  Peking Aeronautical institute of China Etc., Etc,. Etc.

He married in 1937  to  Kate Maria Garth  which ended in divorce after the war

Mainly taken from 'ot much of an Engineer' ISBN 0 906 393 35 3 Pub 1884 by Airlife Publishing Ltd

The book records how he left Derby to go to Bristol in 1948, how he returned temporarily  in 1967 and how he finally became Director of Engineering at Rolls Royce in 1971

Researched by Colin Penney - a distant relation.
The solution to every problem is a.) time , or  b.) another problem.


BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines