HC Deb 31 October 1955 vol 545 cc74-5W
115. Mr. G. Brown

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that United States sources passed to this country, in 1952, information about the theory of aircraft construction known as Area Rule; and whether he is further aware that since that time, several United States aircraft have come into service embodying this principle with an increase in speed estimated to be of the order of 25 per cent. but that no British aircraft has yet been built to the specifications of his Department embodying the principle; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Maudling

A report on the Area Rule was released to us by the Americans in January, 1953, and circulated by my Department to all designers of British military aircraft. The Area Rule is in effect a method of applying to the design of supersonic aircraft complicated mathematical theories of drag on which a great deal of work has been, and is being, done in this country. The increase in speed its application can give depends of course upon the quality of the original design of any given aircraft and the speed range for which it is intended. All current British designs have been examined in the light of the new rule but few improvements have resulted because it is of benefit only in the case of aircraft designed for supersonic speeds and because our supersonic projects have been found already to conform closely to Area Rule principles.