For over fifty years of continuous dedication to the design of military aircraft, and pioneering of many new concepts and the creation of many successful aircraft representative of the best tradition of British design skills.
Sidney Camm had a lifetime romance with aircraft, starting in boyhood when he formed a model airplane club that featured designs of his own conception.
From these miniatures he progressed into a career as one of Britain’s greatest aircraft designers. Camm joined the Martinsyde Co. in 1914 and eleven years later went with the Hawker Engineering Co., a firm that later evolved into Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Ltd.
He served Hawker Siddeley for 41 years, first as chief designer and engineer and later as design director, and from his fertile brain sprang the concepts for such famous aircraft as the Hart, Fury, Hunter and the magnificent Hurricane that helped win the Battle of Britain. Another Camm-created plane was the unique P-1127 Kestrel, a VTOL tactical fighter.
Some of his associates regarded him as more of an artist than an engineer and they were in awe of his uncanny ability to spot a design flaw from his first glimpse of what was depicted on a drawing board. It made no difference which airplane he was studying—one look and he instinctively grasped what line of design to follow.
Camm’s interests and hobbies ranged far afield from aviation; he possessed a great knowledge of art, music and photography and he was an expert golfer and a dedicated gardener. In his work, however, he always paid fealty to the unsung men who wound up judging what designers merely put on paper—the test pilots.
Sir Sydney died March 12, 1966, less than two months before he was scheduled to fly to New York as the recipient of the 1965 Guggenheim Medal.