Related Posts:

Later that year the Ministry invited all the leading British aircraft designers to a meeting to discuss ‘the practicability of developing a civil transport of this size and performance’; once again they didn’t invite Bristol’s, who after all weren’t big aeroplane people, were they? But Bristol’s chief designer, Leslie Frise, learned of this meeting via the chief designers’ grapevine, and early the next year he went round to see BOAC to ask them what they felt (which the Brabazon committee seems hardly to have thought to do).

He then went to see the Ministry with a proposal that Bristol’s abandoned giant bomber could easily be transmogrified into a giant airliner. Three weeks later the Brabazon committee recommended to the Cabinet that their five types be built, with the giant having priority. Bristol’s were recommended for the job it seems, largely because everybody else was too busy making bombers for the War effort. And with what seems today to have been astonishing candour, the Ministry emphasised that “financial conditions must necessarily be secondary. (The history of the Concorde suggests that they still think like that, but now keep quieter about it) The sole involvement of BOAC, presumably the prime customer, was to ‘associate itself closely with the layout of the aircraft and it’s equipment’.