HC Deb 16 May 1928 vol 217 cc1024-5
34. Captain GARRO-JONES

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many machines of the Royal Air Force and Auxiliary Air Force are fitted with the safety device known as the slotted wing; and how many are not so equipped?

The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Sir Samuel Hoare)

It is difficult to give the hon. and gallant Member any figures which would not be misleading, since the position is changing daily. I can, how- ever, say that 80 Bristol Fighter machines have already been fitted with slot apparatus, and aircraft of this type are being modified to take the slot at the rate of six machines per week. Further, a first delivery has been made of eight machines of another type with slots incorporated in the design, and contracts are being placed for the fitting of this device to two more types of aircraft.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is intended to fit this device to all the machines of the Royal Air Force?


Yes, Sir, I think we shall be able to fit it to all machines. There may be one or two exceptions, but I hope that practically all machines will be fitted with it.


Does not this slot decrease the speed of the machine?


That is a difficult question to answer "Yes" or "No." So far as we can see at present, it does not interfere with the performance of the machine.


Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that, if the safety device were fitted to both wings of the machine known as the Liberal party, it would save a lot of crashes?


Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider safety to be a much more paramount consideration than speed?


In the case of military machines one has to take both into account, and I hope very much that we shall be able to harmonise both needs—the need for performance and the need for safety.

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