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ARNOLD HALL

1915–2000

Elected in 1976

“For contributions in aeronautics, including design and
construction of the first large-scale British transonic wind tunnel and
other developments in aircraft navigation and structures.”

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SIR ARNOLD HALL, aeronautical engineer, scientist, and industrialist, died January 9, 2000, at the age of 84.

Born in Liverpool to parents who had left school at the age of 12, Arnold Hall grew up during the Depression. His father was an upholsterer, and his mother a brilliant self-taught pianist. “My mother tried to teach me, but I’m afraid I was something of a disappointment to her. My interests were always in engineering and science,” Hall recalled. “I was too busy making steam engines and other gadgets.”

He attended Alsop High School at Walton, then an all-boys school, to which he won a scholarship. He excelled in mathematics, science, and engineering. He enrolled at Clare College, Cambridge, where, in addition to a first, he won the Moir Prize in Engineering, the Seely Prize in Aeronautics, and the Ricardo Prize in Thermodynamics. On a postgraduate fellowship he worked with Frank Whittle on compressor stress calculations for Whittle’s jet engine. On exhibit at the Science Museum in London, it was the first in the world to run.

Hall joined the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Farnborough, in 1938. During the war he managed teams that produced both the advanced bombsight and the gyro gunsight, which from D-Day onward more than doubled the kill rate of Allied fighter aircraft. After the war he was appointed Zaharoff Professor of Aviation at the Imperial



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