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Adrian Albert Lombard

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Adrian Albert Lombard (1915–1967) of Rolls-Royce, aeronautical engineer

1915 born in Coventry on 9 January, the third child of Arthur Henry Lombard, toolmaker, and his wife, Louisa Bartlett.

Educated at the John Gulson Central Advanced School, Coventry and afterwards in evening classes at the Technical College.

1930 he joined the Rover Company, beginning his training in the drawing office.

1935 joined Morris Motors where he was in charge of engine stress calculations.

1936 returned to Rover

Became part of the design team under Maurice Wilks which, in 1940, was given the task of making the Whittle W2B jet engine ready for production.

1940 He married Joan Taylor (b. 1918/19), daughter of George Chaffard Taylor, engineer. They had three sons, the second of whom died in infancy.

Lombard's production design, known as B26, employed a different combustion system from Frank Whittle's W2B and was in fact the precursor of the later Nene and Derwent engines.

1943 Rolls-Royce and Rover swapped Rover's interests in the Whittle engine for the Rolls-Royce tank engine factory at Nottingham. Lombard was among the few from Rover who chose to join Rolls-Royce.

Lombard set up a fresh design organization. At Barnoldswick, he produced the W2B Whittle engine, of which c.100 (with 1700 lb thrust) were built and used in the early Gloster Meteor aircraft (Rolls Royce gave it the name Welland). At the same time he supervised the design of the more powerful Derwent I engine (with 2000 lb thrust from a 'straight through' airflow design) which was interchangeable with the W2B in the Meteor. Lombard's design proved to be both more reliable and somewhat more powerful, and production of the Welland ended. The Derwent I Meteors were the first jet fighters to be used by the RAF (in 1944).

Meanwhile Lombard supervised the design of the Rolls-Royce Nene engine which first ran in 1944, achieving a world record thrust of 5000 lb. After the war the design was sold to Pratt and Whitney in the USA and Hispano-Suiza in France.

1945 His team designed the Avon engine, rated at 6500 lb thrust. The technical and design centre was transferred to Derby, where Lombard became chief designer (projects).

1954 Lombard became chief engineer of Rolls-Royce. In this period he was engaged on the Conway engine, and overseeing development of other engines for military strike and vertical take-off aircraft.

1958 Appointed director of aero-engineering, and a director of Rolls-Royce.

1967 Died suddenly of a cerebral haemorrhage in Derby, on 13 July 1967.

1967 Obituary [1]

Mr A. A. Lombard (Member), who was Director of Engineering, Rolls-Royce Aero Division, died recently, aged 52.

He began his career with Rover, later joining Rolls-Royce as Chief Designer to work on jet engines. In 1949, he was appointed Chief Designer (Projects), three years later he moved to the Aero Division in the same capacity and was made Chief Engineer of the division in 1954.

Mr Lombard shared with Dr S. G. Hooker the James Clayton Prize for 1966, for his work on jet engines.

A Member of the Institution since 1960 Mr Lombard gained a considerable reputation as an aero engine designer.

It is with deep regret that the Institution records his death.

1967 Obituary [2]

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