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16 October 2014

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Morgan the Aerodynamics
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Sir Morien Bedford Morgan FRS
1912 - 1978
Bridgend Primary School
Aberdare Boys' School
Canton Boys' School, Cardiff

Morgan the Aerodynamics

In a nutshell
Short-sighted pilot and excellent musician, Morgan played a pioneering role in relating the theory to the practice in the high-flying world of aerodynamics.

Track record
Though he got high grades, Morien Morgan far preferred the practical side of engineering to the theoretical, mathematical side. He served an apprenticeship at Vickers Aviation, Weybridge, Surrey. 'It confirmed me in my view that aeroplanes were for me,' he commented.

He was passionate about music and spent almost as much time playing the organ as he did in the engineering lab. 'Having this immense box the organ all to myself can only be compared with the sensation I got, years later, when I flew solo for the first time driving a flying machine among the clouds - in spite of my short sight and glasses.'

He supported Concorde and other aeronautic developments through thick and thin. It would be difficult to find anyone in the history of British aeronautics who saw as through as many engineering projects.

The Science
How an aircraft responds to the controls depends on the aerodynamic forces acting on it and how these forces change as the aircraft moves linearly (in a straight line) and angularly (in a curve). There are complex interactions between forces generated by differing air pressures at different part of the plane. These have to be sorted out if the craft is to be stable and responsive to controls.

Experiments in wind-tunnels, where models of the aircraft are suspended in a moving stream of air, give us useful information and understanding. In this sort of work, Morien Morgan played an important role in relating fundamental theory to how it would be practically applied.

That an object heavier than air can keep moving above the ground still staggers belief.

Where do Wales' great Scientists come from?


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