A rare copy of the Hawker Siddeley Design Handbook, published in 1969 in preparation for work on the revolutionary Airbus A300, the world’s first wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner, together with a copy of the 300-page Supplement specifically for that aircraft. As explained by Director and Chief Engineer J. P. Smith in the introduction, this handbook was distributed to “Design Engineering staff at Hatfield and Chester” as well as “all HSA design departments to enable those concerned to study the content in preparation for its use with new projects. The A 300B and the HS 144 [possibly an early version of the British Aerospace 146 short-haul airliner] will be the first projects to which the new Handbook will apply at Hatfield and Chester” while current handbooks would “remain in use for Trident, HS 125, Comet, and other earlier projects”.
The Handbook itself includes every annual amendment issued up to 1978, and the separate A300B Supplement also includes the twelve amendments up to 1970. Handbooks of this type are rare on the market, and we can locate no copies in institutional collections or at auction. As the introduction states, they were considered company property, to be returned “when not required or should an individual be leaving the service of the Company”. Their size and unwieldy format also made it less likely that copies would be preserved in such nice condition. With design handbooks of this type it was standard procedure for outdated sections to be destroyed and replaced with each amendment, and it appears that this was done here, as a number of different issues are represented throughout (as indicated in the footer of each page).
The Hawker Siddeley Aircraft Company was founded in 1935 by the combination of Armstrong Siddeley and Hawker Aircraft, then the two largest British aircraft manufacturing firms. Hawker Siddeley was one of the most important manufacturing firms of the Second World War, producing the famed Hawker Hurricanes. Following the war they moved into a variety of military and civilian markets, including guided missile, nuclear propulsion, electrical engineering, railway, and space technologies. Along with the Airbus A300, their most well-known post-war products were the HS Harrier, the first vertical take-off and landing jet aircraft, and the world’s first commercial jet airliner, the de Havilland Comet.
...Copy No. 232. [Kingston upon Thames]: Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd., 1969-78.
Handbook approximately 600 pages. Originally issued unbound with holes for a ring binder, this copy bound by the original owner with turquoise ribbon. The separate A300 Supplement being approximately 328 pages and bound with a metal clip. Some double page chart in both volumes. A little spotting to the top leaf and edges of text block of the handbook, some small marks and scuffs to the outer leaes of the Supplement. Excellent condition.
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