Beatrice Shilling became an engineer in 1929, a trespasser, at that time, in male territory, having decided in her teens, that this was her vocation. Her main achievements were technical and mostly to do with aircraft, so the story of her life would be incomplete without some detail of her work as an engineer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. But there was much more to her than a gift for solving technical problems. She had a dry sense of humour and total impatience with ceremony that did not always please her superiors. She was an outstanding motorcycle racer but nearly killed herself racing cars. Her marriage was not a tranquil one, but it was strengthened by enforced separation while her husband was a pilot in Bomber Command; their regular correspondence took them through the many difficulties of those three years. During the Second World War Beatrice Shilling became widely known, at least by the RAF, for solving a problem that affected fighter aircraft in action before and during the Battle of Britain. This problem was a tendency of the Rolls-Royce engine that powered Spitfires and Hurricanes to hesitate or cut out completely just as the pilot entered a dive in pursuit of, or in flight from, an enemy aircraft, a dangerous handicap not shared by the opposing Messerschmitts. The cause was not easy to find but Beatrice found it by tests and calculation, solving it with a very simple device which became known as 'Miss Shilling's Orifice'. Although she was ambitious, she did not work at making influential friends and criticised her superiors at the Royal Aircraft Establishment if she did not respect their efforts. In spite of this she reached a senior position in the Establishment and received the OBE for her work during the war.
This rare book is in good condition with clean bright pages and securely bound.Printed in 2003.