The Magic of a Name - The Rolls-Royce Story - 3 Volumes

The Magic of a Name - The Rolls-Royce Story - 3 Volumes
€ 117.00 38.95 *Les prix incluent la TVA
Code article9306-07-08
The Magic of a Name - The Rolls-Royce Story - 3 Volumes
340 + 342 + 338 pages
Hard cover
25 x 18 cm
3,745 kg

Volume 1
The First Forty Years

Part One covers the history of Rolls-Royce from its inception up to the end of World War II. The author's style is to discuss a subject and then insert communications, such as internal Rolls-Royce memos and letters to back up that assertion. I've seen this style used many times - sometimes successfully, sometimes not so successfully. Peter Pugh has pulled of this style magnificently. Not surprisingly considering his background, Pugh tends to dwell on the business side rather than the technical side. nevertheless, there is plenty of grist for the mill to keep the "techies" happy. Starting out with the incomparable Silver Ghost, the story takes us through the traumatic time of Rolls' death in 1910 due to an aircraft accident in a Wright bi-plane to World War I. Understandably, Royce was not enamored with things aviation. However, when the British Government "persuaded" him to produce aircraft engines for the War effort, Rolls-Royce performed their usual miraculous job of producing some of the finest aircraft engines to come out of this monumental conflict. Pugh picks up the story after World War I with resumed car production, the less than successful sojourn in the States, Schneider Trophy efforts, acquisition of Bentley (although the abysmal treatment heaped upon W.O. is somewhat overlooked), Merlin development and then into World War II. Pugh offers additional insight into the Rolls-Royce entrance into the potentially treacherous world of gas turbine development. The book closes out with the end of hostilities and the surprising rejection of Sir Winston Churchill by the British voters. The end of the book contains a wonderful bio on each of the movers and shakers within the Rolls-Royce empire.

Volume 2
The Power Behind the Jets

Part Two concentrates on gas turbine development. This was not unexpected considering that Hives made the brave corporate decision at the end of World War II to put piston engine development on the back burner. A brief discourse is offered on the problematic 600 series Merlins used to power the Canadair DC-4M and its outcome. Like many other aspects of the aircraft engine business, Rolls-Royce were ahead of the game. Due to the initially dismal maintenance record of the 600 series Merlins, Ernest Hives gave Trans Canada Airlines a fixed price for maintenance costs. This is a practice that continues on to this day and is emulated by other aircraft engine manufacturers. Development of all the early gas turbines is covered in detail. This would include; the Welland, Derwent, Trent (world's first turbo prop), Nene, Dart, Tyne....etc. Author Pugh also delves into the controversial sale of Nenes to the Russians in the late 1940s. The Russians then turned around and mass produced their version of the Nene to power the Mig 15 of Korean War fame. From the late 1950s into the late 1960s represented a period of turmoil for the British aerospace industry - too many companies chasing after too little business. This resulted in acquisitions, mergers and business failures. Pugh delves into these upheavals and sheds new light on the business maneuvering that took place. The 1960s saw the development of Concorde and its Olympus engines and joint development efforts with other aerospace companies. Interestingly, Pugh sheds new light, at least for this reviewer, on the screwed-up relationship with G.E. and how Rolls-Royce backed out of a contractual commitment to G.E. However, a good portion of Part 2 delves into RB 211 development and the disaster of February 1971 when Rolls-Royce declared bankruptcy. One can almost sense that this is the time period when the engineers were shuffled off to the side and the bean counters took over the day to day running of the company. In other words, welcome to the modern world of business. The book gives an excellent perspective into post 1971 events and how the company recovered, thanks in part to British tax payers and was run a on a much leaner and meaner basis. One thing that comes through very clearly is the fact that the early days of "easy" business awards were long gone; every business award was fought for tooth and nail, typically with its archrivals Pratt & Whitney and General Electric. Of course, another result of the 1971 disaster was the sale of the car division. This is all explained in great detail as is the venture into Diesel engine production and nuclear power. The book ends on an up beat mood in the mid 1980s. Part 3 will cover the time period from the mid 1980s to the present. It will be interesting to get the inside scoop on the rather underhanded way in which the car division was sold off. Even though the car division was not owned by Rolls-Royce plc, this company still owned all rights and licenses to the various Rolls-Royce logos, apparently something that VW and its Intellectual Property attorneys seemed to have overlooked - but we'll see.

Volume 3
A Family of Engines

Shows how Rolls-Royce took the courageous decision to invest in a family of engines. Their resolve was severely tested in the recession of the early 1990's, but the rewards came through from the mid-1990s onwards, winning large orders all over the world.