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The Magic of a Name: The Rolls Royce Story Part Two: The Power Behind The Jets 1945-1987

The Magic of a Name: The Rolls Royce Story Part Two: The Power Behind The Jets 1945-1987

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{detailed description}This is the second part of The Magic of a Name, The Rolls-Royce Story.
Here, Peter Pugh continues the story of Britain's most prestigious manufacturer — Rolls-Royce — and takes it from the end of the Second World War to the privatisation of the company in 1987.
In Part One we saw how two men of genius, Henry Royce and Charles Rolls, met and formed the company; how, guided by Claude Johnson, they designed and sold 'the best car in the world', and how the pressures of the First World War led them to expand into the design and manufacture of aero engines. The first book finished on the high note of the Allies' victory in the Second World War. Rolls-Royce made a great contribution to that victory, thanks to its Merlin engines powering the Hurricane and Spitfire in the Battle of Britain, as well as the Lancaster, Mosquito and the American P-51 Mustang.
The Power Behind the Jets takes the story onward from 1945. After the war, Rolls-Royce used its proven skills of excellence in design and manufacture, both in the aero engine and motor car fields, to exploit the growing prosperity of the world.
In the air, the new means of propulsion was the jet engine, and Rolls-Royce had been quick to realise the potential of Frank Whittle's development. In Britain, Rolls-Royce's reputation as the leading aero engine manufacturer was unchallenged, and the company was soon chosen to supply the Dart for the Vickers Viscount, which would become Britain's leading airliner in the 1950s, winning orders all over the world. On the military front, the new Avon engine was chosen to power the English Electric Canberra and 'V' force bombers, as well as the Supermarine Swift, the English Electric Lightning and the Hawker Hunter. The Avon was also chosen for the de Havilland Comet, whose future looked so promising until the tragic crashes in the Mediterranean in 1954.
By the late 1950s, Rolls-Royce realised that it must win business in the USA if it was to remain in the front rank of aero engine suppliers, and gambled successfully on a revolutionary new three-shaft engine, the RB 211. The US aircraft manufacturer, Lockheed, chose the RB 211 for its new wide-bodied airbus, the TriStar, which it sold to leading US airlines. In March 1968, Lockheed gave Rolls-Royce Britain's. biggest ever export order. It was a moment of great triumph.
Unfortunately, Rolls-Royce and Lockheed were forced by commercial pressures to offer too much too quickly and, in the effort to meet deadlines, stretched themselves too far. Rolls-Royce was forced into receivership in early 1971 — it was almost as though Great Britain itself had gone bust — and Lockheed very nearly so. However, with Rolls-Royce effectively nationalised, contracts were renegotiated and the RB 211 proved to be everything its designers had promised. It powered TriStars throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s, as well as the new 'Jumbo', the Boeing 747.
Meanwhile, the motor car division prospered, manufacturing complete cars as opposed to just engines and chassis. New models were developed —the Silver Cloud, Silver Shadow, Corniche and Camargue, the Bentley R, S and T series, as well as the Continental and Mulsanne.
The 1980s brought a new style of leadership and government to Britain, epitomised by the return of many nationalised industries and companies to private ownership. An innovative company like Rolls-Royce was always going to operate more successfully in an entrepreneurial environment, and that is where we end this volume — with Rolls-Royce floating on the Stock Exchange and returning triumphantly to the private sector.
A third volume, bringing the Rolls-Royce story into the twenty-first century, will be published in Spring 2004, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the meeting of Rolls and Royce.
{Author / Publisher / Date}by Peter Pugh
published by Icon Books 2001 1st edn. 342pp illustrated, index, bibliography 18x25
{condition}small stain to top edge otherwise near fine, including d/j.
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