13.6.1893 London/UK - 13.10.1963 Farnborough/UK
Alan Arnold Griffith was much a "boffin", for he was a quiet, thoughtful man who shunned public appearances, yet he produced revolutionary ideas. During World War I he worked at the Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough, where he carried out research into structural analysis. Because of his use of soap film in solving torsion problems, he was nicknamed Soap-bubble. During the 1920s Griffith carried out research into gas-turbine design at the Royal Aircraft Establishment RAE in Farnborough. In 1929 he made proposals for a gas turbine driving propeller - a turboprop, but the idea was shelved. In the 1930s he was head of the RAE Engine Department and developed multi-stage axial compressors, which were later used in jet-engines. This work attracted the attention of Rolls-Royce who persuaded Griffith to join in 1939. His first project was a "contra-flow" jet engine, which was a good idea but a practical failure.
Griffith experimented with suction to control the boundary layer of wings, but his main interest in the 1950s centered on vertical-take-off and -landing aircraft. He developed the remarkable "flying bedstead" consisting of a framework in which two jet engines were mounted with their jets pointing downwards, thus lifting the machine vertically. It first flew in 1954 and provided valuable data. The Short SC 1 aircraft followed, with four small jets providing lift for vertical take-off and one conventional jet to provide forward propulsion. This flew successfully in the late 1950s. Griffith proposed an airliner with lifting engines, but the weight of the lifting engines when not in use would have been a serious handicap. Griffith retired in 1960. He was awarded the CBE title in 1948, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1941; he received the Silver Medal from the Aeronautical Society in 1955, and the Blériot Medal in 1962.
Anonymous (1955). Dr. A.A. Griffith. Journal Royal Aeronautical Society 59(7): 450. P
Anonymous (1975). Dr. A.A. Griffith CBE, FRS. Obituaries from the Times 1961-1970.
Anonymous (1996). Griffith, Alan Arnold. Biographical dictionary of the history of technology: 305-306, L. Day, I. McNeil, eds. Routledge: London.
Griffith, A.A. (1916). On the shape of fins for the cooling of hot surfaces by a stream of air.
ARC Reports and Memoranda 308. HMSO: London.
Griffith, A.A., Hague, B. (1918). On the shape of propeller blades. ARC Reports and Memoranda 452. HMSO: London.
Rubbra, A.A. (1964). Alan Arnold Griffith. Obituary Notices of FRS 10: 117-136. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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  • Griffith —   [ grɪfɪθ],    1) Arthur, irischer Politiker, * Dublin 31. 3. 1872, ✝ ebenda 12. 8. 1922; Drucker, später Journalist, 1905 als Vorkämpfer der irischen Unabhängigkeit maßgeblich an der Gründung der Sinn Féin beteiligt; stand 1919/20 an der Spitze …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Griffith — Griffith, IN U.S. town in Indiana Population (2000): 17334 Housing Units (2000): 6990 Land area (2000): 7.169677 sq. miles (18.569377 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 7.169677 sq. miles (18.569377 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Griffith, IN — U.S. town in Indiana Population (2000): 17334 Housing Units (2000): 6990 Land area (2000): 7.169677 sq. miles (18.569377 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 7.169677 sq. miles (18.569377 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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  • Griffith — m Welsh: Anglicized form of Gruffudd or Griffudd, Old Welsh Grip (p)iud. The second element of this means ‘lord, prince’, but the first is extremely uncertain. Gruffydd ap Llewellyn (d. 1063) was one of the most able rulers of Wales in the Middle …   First names dictionary

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