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Ralph Hooper obituary (Harrier & Hawk Designer)

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Ralph Hooper obituary (Harrier & Hawk Designer)

Old 24th Jan 2023, 09:51
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Ralph Hooper obituary (Harrier & Hawk Designer)

In The Times today.
Ralph Hooper obituary

In the small cottage where Ralph Hooper lived on his own in old age, the drawers and cupboards were stuffed with boxes of model aeroplanes, almost all of them military aircraft — British, German, American, Japanese and Russian — that he had built over the years and studied intently.

Few of the plastic models were ever painted. Hooper wanted to see the detail in the design and construction of those aircraft. He liked to see the bolts and rivets.

Elsewhere, amid the flotsam and jetsam of his life, were piles of aeronautical magazines, photographs, honours and awards, and correspondence with distinguished engineering bodies.

To many observers, the cottage and its occupant appeared to exist in a state of chaos, but the opposite was true. Hooper was a master of organisation and precision.

A tall, quietly spoken man, he could be ranked alongside RJ Mitchell and Sydney Camm, the men who designed the fighters that won the Battle of Britain, as one of this country’s great aeronautical engineers. While Mitchell designed the Spitfire, and Camm the Hurricane, Hooper was the pioneer responsible for creating the Hawker Siddeley Harrier “jump jet”.

Click for remainder of the obit.


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Old 24th Jan 2023, 10:15
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Quite a legacy. Thank you, and RIP.
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Old 24th Jan 2023, 11:29
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My parents met & worked at the Kingston design department during the Hunter era.
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