HC Deb 09 December 1970 vol 808 cc399-400
15. Mr. Warren

asked the Minister of Aviation Supply if he can make a statement on the progress of the studies by his Department of the proposals submitteed by the British aircraft industry for vertical take-off and landing and short take-off and landing transports.

18. Mr. Wilkinson

asked the Minister of Aviation Supply when his Department plans to complete the evaluation of the rival vertical/short take-off and landing designs submitted to it, with a view to a decision on the launching aid to be provided for a truly vertical/short take-off and landing civil jet airliner.

Mr. David Price

These studies are well advanced. We hope to be in a position to make a statement in the early part of next year.

Mr. Warren

Does my hon. Friend appreciate that after the disappointing decisions last week on both airbus ventures, his statement is very welcome indeed, because the civil aircraft design teams in this country now face complete dissolution?

Mr. Price

I do not agree with my hon. Friend's latter point. However, there is certainly reason to be concerned about the design team at Weybridge, though none of the others is affected by this decision. I remind my hon. Friend, as my right hon. Friend said earlier, that we have quite a long way to go on infrastructure before it will be possible to be clear of the exact parameters that will be needed for either VTOL or STOL.

Mr. Wilkinson

Is my hon. Friend aware that while he may disclaim heredity in aircraft success, the Weybridge design team, certainly since the war, has been more successful than any other? Will he take this into consideration when it makes VTOL and STOL submissions to his Ministry?

Mr. Price

I agree with my hon. Friend about the merit of design teams. I suggest that all British design teams are better, though it could be that the Weybridge design team is somewhat better than the others.

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