Kingston Aviation

 Ralph Hooper 1
Biographical Details:

Ralph Hooper is the engineer and designer renowned for his work in the development of the vectored thrust V/STOL fighter in the UK.

He joined the aircraft industry as an apprentice with Blackburn Aircraft in 1942 but in 1946 moved south to become a draughtsman in Hawker’s Experimental Drawing Office. In 1953 he switched to the Project Office where he worked on the preliminary design of what would become the P.1127. In 1961 he was appointed P.1127 Project Engineer responsible for technical control.

He became Assistant Chief Designer in 1963 working on the development of the Kestrel. He was promoted to Chief Engineer in 1968 – also becoming an Executive Director of the company – where he was closely involved with the development of the Hawk. He retired in 1985.

Underneath you will find links to eleven interviews with Ralph Hooper. These were not carried out by the project but were conducted by the British Library as part of its Oral History of British Science series. You can listen to the interviews in their entirety via the British Library website.

A full transcript of the eleven interviews conducted with Ralph are available as a PDF document here