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    Re: Edward J Willis
    From: David Pike
    Date: 2020 Nov 7, 03:16 -0800

    David C

    In reply to your last four posts on this subject.

    Did Henry Hughes have a factory in Scoland?

    No, the main Hughes factory at the time was at Hainault in Essex.  I came across this lovely video about it on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BthRm75Zyf4  .  I can’t remember where I found the link, so apologies if it came from this Forum.

    David if you or your contact can get to the Science Museum then that would seem to be an easy way to determine if the mystery machine is a Willis.  Or get someone to take lots of high definition photos.............

    Anyone interested would need to contact former, maybe current, NavList viewer Dr Richard Dunn, now Keeper of Technologies and Engineering at the Science Museum, London.  This is the closest link I can find for Richardhttps://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/museumstudies/AboutUs/people/dr-richard-dunn .  If the public email in the link doesn’t work, please ask Frank to send me your email address, and I’ll send you Richards most recent email address.

    What a difference digital technology and smart phones have made.

    There was of course the electro-mechanical phase between the purely mechanical and the digital age with triangle solvers, square rooting pin wheels, double sine cos pots, bellows couplings, magnetic variation cams, and chopper amplifiers, if my memory serves me right, which filled Britain’s V Bombers.  I was introduced to advanced professional training at the Home of Advanced Nav Training at RAF Manby in 1974.  The instructors had just received their first single HP programable calculator at a cost of between £1000 and £2000, which they jealously guarded.  It was the sort of thing you could buy today, anywhere, for around $10 but much, much larger. 

    I am sure that David P would be interested in some high-resolution photos.

    Thanks, but actually the information was requested in reply to a question which was directed to me via RIN HQ. I will redirect the questioner to NavList.  Maybe we can recruit a new member.

    David C, Fred Hebard, Frank Reed

    Thank you for your inputs on this.


    I’m happy now that this type of prototype machinery was being looked at by various companies in the 1930s.  The Hughes prototype was just one of them, and it might not have any connection with Willis at all.  I think we ought to hit this particular avenue on the head now.  Thanks DaveP




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