By Lance Cole
This publication tells the story of the bright aerodynamicist Beverley Shenstone MASc, HonFRAes, FAIAA,AFIAS, FCASI, HonOSTIV. As R.J. Mitchells leader aerodynamicist, it was once Shenstone who designed the Spitfires wing - the wing that gave the Spitfire it an important virtue within the conflict of england and past. A quiet guy, Shenstone by no means sought glory for his paintings, but lately he has been credited because the guy who persuaded Mitchell to undertake the ellipse - a converted ellipse that was once specific in its form and its mixed use of 2 built-in aerofoil sections. Shenstones knife-edge form reached a long way again into early aeronautics for its suggestion.
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Extra info for Secrets of the Spitfire The Story of Beverley Shenstone, The Man Who Perfected the Elliptical Wing
Incredibly, there are Spitfire books that never mention the name of the man who shaped the Spitfire’s wing and aerodynamics. In Ivan Rendall’s Spitfire: Icon of a Nation, Shenstone is invisible – as are others. In the pages of that icon of Englishness, The Daily Telegraph, the letters page in 2005 was the place where claims that the Spitfire was a copy of the Heinkel 70 were also published. More recently, the internet is the scene of pages of factual inaccuracies (or should we say, just plain, alleged rubbish) about the Spitfire, its design and its designers.
The ellipse too, remained in use by a variety of aircraft – the famous P-47 Thunderbolt fighter ranged across several Second World War theatres upon its own elliptical wings, and even Lockheed’s L-133 jet prototype of 1941 was fully elliptical. Heinkel’s 176/8 and 280 jets of the later war years also used a forward distorted ellipse effect – more in homage to the Spitfire’s uniquely modified ellipse than the 1932 Heinkel 70 perhaps... That the Spitfire was invented by Reginald J. Mitchell CBE, FRAeS, AMICE, is fact.
Maybe it was here that Shenstone’s talents were first noted by those who were later to employ him in wartime. Was this his first brush with the men from the Ministry? This placement was arranged by contacts of his tutor Professor John Parkin of Toronto University. A student, associate membership of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) was also secured by the young Shenstone at this time. He also made another canoe trip – solo to Cricklade and the upper reaches of the Thames. The canoe was sold to Salter’s of Oxford.