Engineering Heritage Award for Dowty’s revolutionary wheel
13 Mar 2018
The Dowty internally sprung wheel, the undercarriage aircraft wheel designed and built by Sir George Dowty in the 1930s, has become the 115th recipient of an Engineering Heritage Award by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
Recognised for accelerating the evolution of aircraft of the time, the device increased planes’ ability to fly at higher speeds and transmit higher braking loads safely through a slender undercarriage.
Dowty refined the first internally sprung wheel – initially designed by Curtiss of America and Breguet of France – for practical application.
John Wood, chair of the Engineering Heritage Committee and past President, said: “The internally sprung wheel is the foundation on which the Dowty empire was built. The successes of this product led to more orders, allowing him to expand the company.
“Without the success of the internally sprung wheel Dowty would not have been able to break free and establish a variety of successful companies.”
The internally sprung wheel is the foundation on which the Dowty empire was built
John Wood, chair, Engineering Heritage Committee, IMechE
Chris Wilson, managing director of Safran Landing Systems UK (previously Dowty Aerospace Landing Gear & latterly Messier-Bugatti-Dowty), said: “We are honoured to receive this Engineering Heritage Award on behalf of Sir George and his truly innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.”
Picture: John Wood (left) with Steve Parry, head of test engineering UK at Safran Landing Systems.