William George Arthur Perring
William George Arthur Perring (1898-1951)
1951 Obituary 
IT is with regret that we record the sudden death of Mr. William George Arthur Perring, following a heart attack at his home in Camberley, Surrey, on April 9th. Mr. Perring, who was fifty-two years of age, had been the Director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, since 1945, was a Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a member of the Aeronautical Research Council.
Mr. Perring was born on December 16, 1898, and educated at H.M. Dockyard School, Chatham, and the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, where he took a first class professional certificate in naval architecture.
From 1923 to 1925 he was a research scholar at the William Froude Tank, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington. In 1925, Perring joined the Royal Aircraft Establishment as a junior technical assistant, and by 1927 the Aeronautical Research Council had published his first report, which dealt with the characteristics of aerofoils and with wind tunnel tests on high-speed airscrews. Much of his subsequent work was devoted to research in this field. His other researches included investigations of flutter, of engine nace1le drag, and cowling design, and one report indicated his interest in boundary layer control. A considerable portion of his work up to 1942, by which time he had become the author of some thirty reports published by the Aeronautical Research Council, was devoted to the water performance of flying-boats. There are many records of his work on the hydro-dynamics of planing surfaces and the influence of scale and tank effects on this research. Perring originated a particular application of dynamical similarity methods towards the determination of the porpoising characteristics of seaplanes. His last report, in 1942, was concerned with the influence of propeller-leading edge distance upon propeller vibration.
In 1940 Mr. Perring was made Superintendent of Scientific Research at Farnborough, and in July, 1941, was appointed Deputy Director of Research and Development, in which post he continued until his appointment as Director of the Establishment in 1946.
Amongst his many outstanding achievements was the design of the 10ft by 7ft high-speed tunnel at Farnborough. This design enabled the tunnel to be put into action during the war without any development period, and it has since played a major part in the design of British high-speed aircraft.
During the war Mr. Perring devoted his energies to the many problems affecting aircraft, directing the research resources of the Establishment to the spheres in which they were most needed. At the same time, he recognised the importance of new developments in high-speed aircraft made possible by the introduction of the jet engine, and began the re-equipment of the Establishment to deal with these matters. He played a prominent part in overcoming the difficulties associated with the creation of the new National Aeronautical Establishment at Bedford, of which he was Director Designate, and he had himself supervised the designs of the large wind tunnels and other equipment.
In 1949 his great service to the nation was recognised by the award of the C.B. by the King.