By Rod Ward
When the epic stories of warplanes and globe-spanning airliners are told, their designers get full credit for their achievements. Every aviation enthusiast knows that R J Mitchell designed the Spitfire, Sydney Camm designed the Hurricane, and Roy Chadwick designed the Lancaster. Here we describe the more modest achievements of lesser-known designers who tried to popularise personal aviation with their light aircraft designs between the wars. In some cases it was regarded as more commercially viable to adapt a successful foreign design for the UK market, and some of those efforts are also described here. The best-known and most successful licence-built foreign light aeroplane was the American Taylorcraft, which became the British Taylorcraft Auster. The story of the Auster is the longest tale told in these pages. Other designers and manufacturers described here include John Kenworthy, George Handasyde, W S Shackleton, John Bewsher, K N Pearson, Nicholas Comper, George Cornwall, A E Hagg,Gerard Fane, the Moss brothers, C H Lowe-Wylde, O E Simmonds, C H Latimer-Needham, A W J G Ord-Hume, Aeronca GB, Desoutter, Hillson-Praga, C G Taylor, A L Wyles, Taylorcraft, British Taylorcraft, Auster, Beagle, Chilton, Boulton-Paul, Bristol, Currie, Tipsy and Chrislea.