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The Secret Horsepower Race - book by Calum Douglas

Calum Douglas

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Any chance of a scan of the Table of Contents?

There isnt one really, its a chronological history - its not a book where one chapter is on each engine etc.

It starts about 1928 introduces some of the schneider trophy stuff, then carries on through the 30s (which is actually when almost everything important happened for the grounding direction of each nation), then goes through the war one chapter per year. Each chapter is 1 year and is split into nations, England, Germany Italy and the USA. At the end of each year is a summary and review by me of what happened, what was a mistake and what was a great sucess (using hindsight).

It would be a lot easier if you asked me what you want to know, and I`ll tell you if its in there.
 

edwest

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In the United States some businesses labeled 'non-essential' are allowed to stay open with the owner and perhaps one or two people to maintain basic operations and move inventory. The US Postal Service, United Parcel Service and FedEx will remain in operation for the duration. In other news, Ford Motor Company plans to restart production in select plants on April 6. Further, China has reopened movie theaters. Boeing will resume production of the 737 in May. Light at the end of the tunnel and all that.
 

edwest

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Any chance of a scan of the Table of Contents?

There isnt one really, its a chronological history - its not a book where one chapter is on each engine etc.

It starts about 1928 introduces some of the schneider trophy stuff, then carries on through the 30s (which is actually when almost everything important happened for the grounding direction of each nation), then goes through the war one chapter per year. Each chapter is 1 year and is split into nations, England, Germany Italy and the USA. At the end of each year is a summary and review by me of what happened, what was a mistake and what was a great sucess (using hindsight).

It would be a lot easier if you asked me what you want to know, and I`ll tell you if its in there.


Calum,

As someone who works in book publishing (fiction) but who has a library and a great interest in World War II history, people are reluctant to guess. Based on the cover of your book, I did not know Italian engines would be covered.
 

Calum Douglas

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As someone who works in book publishing (fiction) but who has a library and a great interest in World War II history, people are reluctant to guess. Based on the cover of your book, I did not know Italian engines would be covered.

Broadly, the cover is a very good indication of the bulk of the contents.

The amount of Italian material is vastly smaller than the others (due entirely to the amount of archive material available).
 

edwest

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As someone who works in book publishing (fiction) but who has a library and a great interest in World War II history, people are reluctant to guess. Based on the cover of your book, I did not know Italian engines would be covered.

Broadly, the cover is a very good indication of the bulk of the contents.

The amount of Italian material is vastly smaller than the others (due entirely to the amount of archive material available).


I understand. It still amazes me that the Italians were able to build a jet aircraft at the time.
 

gatoraptor

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I understand. It still amazes me that the Italians were able to build a jet aircraft at the time.

If you're talking about the Campini, it wasn't a true jet, since it used a standard piston engine to drive the compressor.
 

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Plus this book is not about hoovers (jets). Thank God!
 

Wurger

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Dan Sharp said:
And it has photographs of the Me 409 fitted with a DB 628 in it - a stupendous find.

That did the trick on me! The cover FW looks so tiny...
 

Calum Douglas

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Dan Sharp said:
QUOTE]And it has photographs of the Me 409 fitted with a DB 628 in it - a stupendous find.
That did the trick on me! The cover FW looks so tiny...
[/QUOTE]

I found that Me409 photo in a box in the Daimler AG corporate archives in Stuttgart marked "Annular Radiators"

It had been put in there with (mostly) very dull photos of radiators, because that Me409 happened to have an annular front air inlet
for the 1st supercharger stage of the DB628 which was inside. A good example of the random luck which usually produces the best finds.

The photo clearly shows the 409 in a workshop and the DB628 installed, without the cowling.
 

Wurger

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Neat! Calum, Have you found anything on german use of double exhaust nozzles? I recall at least one experiment, not sure if it was DB or JuMo. What about that puzzling aircraft engine you have posted in the "The Secret Horsepower race" facebook account on the 4th January? Is it a DVL engine?
 

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Well, technical english and without speaking about French engines… :(

But all that I red since I discovered this topic today seems enough interesting for a purchase when it will be available ;)

For example, I always wanted to know how Napier managed to develop such a powerful engine (with such a displacement) so "quickly" compared to its competitors at the time. It seems that I should find the answer in this book (since I see a Tempest on the cover).
 

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Got it! It`s a DVL H-16, all right! I`ve never seen those drawings, though, with a cranckcase and prop spinner. They could be coupled up to three engines, reaching 10000 hp. Remarkable research, I`d say!
 

Calum Douglas

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Just to update everyone, everything is still "on-track" for the book, but due to the giant mess we`re all in right now its delayed some of the final work - so I would hope that the printed books will be actually sent out something like late August, which is 4 months later than hoped for - so sorry about that.

Some "stats":

Pages: 480 A4
Words: 263,000
Images: 500+
References: over 1000 (just 11 of which are to other books, so its virtually all archival primary documents, and of those 1000, 500 are distinct
files, so its a vast review of the surviving documents)
 

GTX

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I note Morton's website is stating that the book was published: June 24, 2020. Is this correct?
 

Calum Douglas

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I note Morton's website is stating that the book was published: June 24, 2020. Is this correct?

Nope it is nonsense sadly, ignore anything Amazon tells you and incredibly I have NO control over it
even as the author !

I would say that it would be reasonable to imagine the books arriving with you in Mid-September 2020.
 

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It wasn't Amazon this time but rather Morton's. That said, understood re date - I was surprised when I saw it.
 

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Calum Douglas

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No idea, but ignore all such updates and think mid-sept.

Pre-Covid it would already have been on your door-steps, and the adjustment has it would seem not
filtered down to the coal-face in every case....sorry
 
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Foo Fighter

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No worries mate, stuff happens at the best of times let alone the bun fight that is current. Stay well folks.
 

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Ordered my Copy. Although Amazon is stating it will be released here (The U.S.) at the end of October with a shipping date of early November. It should be a great read for the end of the year and I like that it's written in chronological order. That makes the developments easier to follow, relative to each other, IMHO.

I'll probably have to get your next book on turbo-chargers. When I was studying Aero-Engineering, I learned more about those from my first air breathing propulsion class than I learned in thermodynamics. It turns out the the professor was a car guy and while power plants operate on the Brayton cycle a compressor is a compressor, from a thermodynamics point of view. He always made us apply what he taught us to different situations, he never tested us by simply changing the numbers from an example performed in class.
 
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Foo Fighter

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I will be quite happy getting it for Christmas, not much on the idiot box and cooler evenings, sounds like great entertainment for those of us with this interest. Luvvly jubbly. Anything else is just 'stuff' and we know by now it is going to be bloody good.
 

Calum Douglas

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Latest update is that we`re about 1/3 of the way through final page-layout design before printing. Its a little hard to make exact predictions, but I think we`ll miss my earlier hoped for date of mid-Sept 2020. I reckon printing will start in late september, and I imagine that it would be a few weeks before that filters through to distribution and so on.

So... I suppose early Nov is now looking likely to actually get one through your post box.
 

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Calum
Great presentation, I’m in for a copy.
One question;- the British contribution in the talk was always Rolls Royce. Does your story cover the other two that really pushed the HP race;- Bristol’s and Napier’s?
 

Nick Sumner

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Calum
Great presentation, I’m in for a copy.
One question;- the British contribution in the talk was always Rolls Royce. Does your story cover the other two that really pushed the HP race;- Bristol’s and Napier’s?

Given the prominence of a Sabre engined fighter in the cover art, my guess would be that Napier gets its fair share of column inches.
 

Calum Douglas

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Calum
Great presentation, I’m in for a copy.
One question;- the British contribution in the talk was always Rolls Royce. Does your story cover the other two that really pushed the HP race;- Bristol’s and Napier’s?

Yes they are covered, although to a smaller degree than the Merlin or Daimler-Benz. One severe problem is that the book has attempted to be 100% archive source only. One disadvantage of this, is that I`m reliant on how much material IS actually still remaining. This has to a large degree controlled the depth of some aspects which i`ve been able to write about. The goal of the book is that you`ll finish it knowing the "story" of what happened, why and the reasons behind it. Its not intended as a sort of A,B,C, list of every engine and all their particulars. This necessitates certain compromises, as story telling takes up vastly more pages than data-tables. Broadly, I think you`d finish the book and basically understand what happened at Bristol, luckily I found quite a few things written by Fedden himself which was helpful, the Napier archive was very sparse, and I`ve had to piece together the story there in the main from reading air ministry letters to and from Napier, rather than internal Napier reports and memos. So I would consider my coverage of Napier "sufficient" but barely so.

To give you some idea, the entire remaining data on the Centaurus would fit into the back seat of a small car. I consider it likely to constitute about 1% of what would have existed in 1945. Most of whats left is manuals, service bulletins and other what I`d call "mid-level" documents. By contrast, I think Daimler-AG have an ALMOST complete record of their internal technical reports on the DB 600 series from 1936-ish onwards. Although huge volumes of memos and letters have undoubtedly been burned/pulped at various stages.

Luckily I think I`ve been able to cover a lot of the really crucial points by cross-referencing air ministry papers with other such documents. As that at least tells you what they were worrying about, which was usually the important stuff !

Hopefully in the years to come more papers will be discovered and I (or someone else) can expand further on it.
 
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