Wednesday, 22 July 2015

John Faulkner on Sir Barnes Wallis

If you have been involved with Surrey SATRO Mega-Structures challenge you will have found that the strongest shape, that uses struts, is a triangle.  The triangle can be formed into a geodesic, a special curved design that can be used to form spherical shapes. The geodesic was used for the first time by Barnes Wallis to create strong lightweight airframes in his aircraft designs.

Sir Barnes Wallis was a pioneering scientist, engineer and inventor who used his skills during the Second World War to help defeat Nazi Germany. By designing powerful weapons to target vital war infrastructure he invented the bouncing bomb that breached the Ruhr dams and the 10 tonne earthquake bomb used to destroy hardened concrete defences. Surviving bombs can be seen at the Brooklands Museum, Weybridge. Barnes Wallis lived in Effingham and worked at the Weybridge aircraft factory developing his world leading designs.

He was a leading Effingham village resident and is buried in St Lawrence's Churchyard. He died in 1979 aged 92 and a headstone there depicts his achievements as one of our WW2 heroes. So if you are building Mega-Structures think of Barnes Wallis, one of our greatest inventors, giving a nod of approval at your triangles!

- John Faulkner, SATRO Volunteer

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