Farnborough Experimental Station.

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force. – in the House of Commons on 5th March 1936.

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Photo of Sir Robert Perkins Sir Robert Perkins , Stroud

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the total cost during the last 10 years of the Government experimental station at Farnborough; and whether any of the recent discoveries, such as slots, flaps, retractable under-carriages, fog landing apparatus, blind-flying instruments, variable pitch propellers, etc., have originated from Farnborough?

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

The total cost of the Royal Aircraft Establishment during the 10 years ended 31st March, 1935 (after allowing for rents received, sales of material, etc.), was about £3,500,000. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative, notwithstanding that the primary function of the establishment is not to originate inventions but to carry out such experimental work and practical tests as may be required.

Photo of Sir Robert Perkins Sir Robert Perkins , Stroud

Would not this sum of £3,500,000 be spent to better advantage if distributed equally among official aircraft firms for experimental purposes?

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

No, Sir, I think that this establishment has initiated many important inventions although their work is primarily experimental.

Photo of Sir Robert Perkins Sir Robert Perkins , Stroud

Can the Under-Secretary tell the House what single invention has originated from Farnborough?

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

I will certainly tell the House.