Letter re: R33 test flight (9th October 1925)

0ct. 9th

My dear Mother,

I had to-day the letter which you sent to Pulham, or Harleston rather. I should like you to make it quite clear if the subject comes up in conversation with anyone that R.33 went up at 5 pm on Monday with the intention of going out to sea and staying up until the long series of pressure experiments on which my colleagues & I were engaged, were finished, and that this was done:  the slight trouble with the after engine did not interfere with the expts in any way, did not make the ship less safe, & was repaired in a few hours:  the ship has been flying to-day. I write all this so that you may do your bit in correcting wrong ideas which are pushed into certain of the newspapers by unscrupulous people who have no use for airships and make a point of discrediting them in the public mind at every opportunity.

I don’t think I shall be flying again for some time. The original intention, as I have written before, I think, was to do the job in three flights, but this was changed & we did the whole shoot in one, so I shall not be required on board. I should like to fly time & again but am so busy that I am not justified in taking the time. I hope the efficiency and rapidity of our operations on board will be properly appreciated in certain quarters, though I doubt it, as the Air Ministry is not, as is generally supposed, primarily connected with aerial progress, but with the education of thousands of clerks to be accountants, stores officers, and damn nuisances:  the technical people are there to distinguish the place from the Home Office.

I have received the parcel & your letter of yesterday. I am answering one or two adverts to-night.

We had quite a strenuous time on board and a very jolly time off, but the details of these will not spoil in keeping and will amuse you more if delivered straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, rather than written down in cold blood here. Uren, he of the expressive hands, surpassed himself, and all was joy.

I am glad to hear that Grandma Tern is getting better. Give her my love.

I hope G’ma Cox and Dad and you are all well.

My love to G’ma & Dad,

Fondest love my dear Mother,

Your own loving son


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