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British Industrial History

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John Kenworthy

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John Kenworthy B.Sc., F.R.Aes (1883–1940) was an English aviation engineer and aircraft designer.

1883 December. Born in Darlington to George Kenworthy, a School Master, and his wife Ellen

Mechanical engineering graduate of Durham College of Science

1901 Living at 65 Greenbank Road, Darlington: George Kenworthy (age 48 born Ashton), a Schoolmaster. With his wife Ellen Kenworthy (age 48 born Stockport) and their children Lydia Kenworthy (age 22 born Darlington); Ellen Kenworthy (age 21 born Darlington), Student (Training College); Bertha Kenworthy (age 18 born Darlington) John Kenworthy (age 17 born Darlington), Fitter Engine Works; George Kenworthy (age 15 born Darlington), and Gertrude Kenworthy (age 8 born Darlington).[1]

1911 Living at 65 Greenbank Road, Darlington: George Kenworthy (age 58 born Ashton-under-Lyne), a Schoolmaster. With his wife Ellen B. Kenworthy (age 58 born Stockport) and their children Lydia M. Kenworthy (age 32 born Darlington); Ellen Kenworthy (age 31 born Darlington), a School Mistress; Bertha Kenworthy (age 28 born Darlington), a Certified Assistant Teacher; and John Kenworthy (age 27 born Darlington), an Engineer's Draughtsman at a Marine Engineers. Also a visitor Ernest P. Glover (age 20 born Heytesbury, Wilts), a Science Student.[2]

1911 design assistant at the Royal Aircraft Factory

His first design in 1912 was the B.E.3 (Blériot Experimental), also known as the Goldfish because of its horizontal tail fin. He also designed the H.R.E.2 (Hydro Reconnaissance Experimental), a floatplane version of the earlier B.E.2 designed by Geoffrey de Havilland.

Following closely in 1912 was the (B.E.4, B.E.7 and in 1913 the B.E.8)

After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) needed fighter and reconnaissance aircraft from the Royal Aircraft Factory and Kenworthy as Chief designer produced the F.E.8 (Fighter Experimental) from 1916, and the R.E.8 (Reconnaissance Experimental), used from 1917.

1915 Designer of the F.E.8

1916 John W. Kenworthy was at the Royal Aircraft Factory and a designer of the S.E.5a

In 1916 he was part of the project team as chief draughtsman who designed the 150 hp S.E.5 (Scout Experimental), and its follow up, the S.E.5a which arrived several months later with the same basic designs, but a more powerful 200 hp engine.

In 1917 he left the Royal Aircraft Factory and joined the aircraft division of Austin as chief engineer and designer in 1918. He specialised in small light aircraft, designing the prototypes of the Austin Greyhound, the Austin Whippet and the Austin Kestrel, but were not developed further by Austin Motors.

1919 The Austin Whippet was a single-seat biplane designed by John Kenworthy

In 1922 he joined Westland

Later was chief designer at the Aircraft Disposal Co. (ADC Aircraft) in 1923.

By 1930 he had joined Redwing Aircraft Co and designed the Robinson Redwing in Croydon and was designed for flying clubs and private use.

1931, the Aircraft Disposal Company was reconstituted and became the Redwing Aircraft Co Ltd.

1932 as designer and founder of the company, he was appointed to the Board and the Aircraft Company moved their fleet of twelve aircraft to Gatwick Airport. The aerodrome was also purchased and used as the new flying base.

1934 the Redwing Aircraft Co. moved back to Croydon Aerodrome.

1936 Joined Rollason Aircraft Service

1940 November 8th. Died at Croydon after a long illness

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1901 Census
  2. 1911 Census