Scope and Content

Letters on specific topics include: LAN/1/2/1 “Aerial Flight”; 

LAN/1/2/2 – 2/6 Air Ministry award (query concerning acknowledgement to the Air Ministry of award of £250, for use of Frederick Lanchester’s inventions, turn indicators and true plumb indicators (see 1/12/18); 

LAN/1/2/7 – 2/12 Airscrews; 

 LAN/1/2/13 – 2/14 Airships; 

LAN/1/2/15 circulation theory of sustentation in flight; 

LAN/1/2/16 – 2/24 Exhaust efflux propulsion (articles by Frederick Lanchester and correspondence extracted from “Flight” considering the possibility of using the exhaust pressure of an aero engine as an auxiliary means of propulsion - deals with two problems “When the exhaust release pressure is utilised to the full without involving back-pressure during the return or evacuation stroke' and when the offlux energy is wholly or in part due to the piston (or pistons) during the return stroke, and in which there is consequent back-pressure”. Frederick Lanchester mentions early experiments by James Atkinson and Dugald Clerk. In the course of the articles he considers certain principles of rocket flight and discusses the question “whether and to what extent it will pay to use a portion of the power developed by the engine to promote exhaust efflux as an auxiliary means of propulsion, at the expense of just that much power lost to the propeller-shaft”; 

LAN/1/2/25 – 2/27 High Altitude (Lanchester published an article “At high altitude” in two parts in the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Vol. 41, 1937 Part I and Appendix, pp. 338 – 400. Part II, pp. 437 – 466); 

LAN/1/2/28 – 2/31 Profile drag (Professor B. Melvill Jones gave a paper “Profile Drag” to the Royal Aeronautical Society on 17 December 1936 This is printed in the Society’s Journal, Vol. 41, 1937, pp. 339 – 368); 

LAN/2/32 – 2/69 skin friction (documents relating to paper “The Part played by Skin-friction in Aeronautics”, read before the Royal Aeronautical Society by F.W. Lanchester, and on 12 November 1936. The paper was printed in the Journal of the Society, Vol. 41, 1937, pp. 68 – 113. pp. 113 – 131 contains discussion and Lanchester’s reply. There is a supplementary memorandum published in the same volume at pp. 322 – 323. Including LAN/1/2/42-2/55 – notice of the paper ‘Skin friction’ in “Nature”); LAN/1/2/56-2/59 Documents concerning notice of paper (“Skin friction”) in “Engineering”, notice of above in “Engineering”; LAN/1/2/60-2/63 Frederick Lanchester’s own summary of ‘skin friction’ for “The Engineer” (documents concerning Frederick Lanchester’s own summary of paper “Skin friction” for “The Engineer”); LAN/1/2/64-2-69 Documents relating to additional note on skin-friction published in the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Vol. 41, 1937, pp. 322 – 323. additional note on skin friction published in the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, vol. 41, 1937 (pp 322-323); 

LAN/1/2/70 – 2/118 Correspondence with N.A. Thompson and D.White; 

LAN/1/2/119 – 2/123 Correspondence with or concerning the Wright Brothers; 

LAN/1/2/124 – 2/128 Patents. This correspondence concerns the history of the Norman Thompson Flight Company, the early history of flying boats, the breaking by the Curtiss Company of a concessionary agreement made with the Thompson Company, and the part played in this by Commander Porte. Also mentioned is the question of who may claim most credit for the design of flying-boats in the war years (1914 – 1918), Norman Thompson, Commander Porte, or the Curtiss Company. The award by the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors, 1923, (LAN/1/2/72 gives the credit to Thompson). The gist of these documents and more besides is given in the Twenty-Fourth Thomas Hawksley Lecture, “The Gas Engine and after”, by Frederick Lanchester, which is printed in the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Vol. 36, 1937, pp. 195 – 244. In particular pp. 219, 220, 234 – 6 are relevant; and on pp. 240 and 241 there is printed a letter from N. Thompson to Lanchester. This is the communication referred to in document LAN/1/2/105. Additional matter concerned with aeronautics will be found in LAN/1/1.