A worthy idea for new £50 note

A worthy idea for new £50 note

Don’t wait around for someone else to come up with a suitable solution! Miss Beatrice ‘Tilly’ Shilling didn’t. She is a great suggestion for the face of the new £50 note – here’s her story.

During the Second World War, RAF pilots discovered a serious problem with their fighter aircraft. When the ‘plane went nose-down into a dive the resulting negative g-force would flood the carburettor and the engine stalled.

In 1940 its rival, the German Messerschmitt 109, had a more sophisticated fuel injection and could easily evade a pursuing RAF pilot by flying a dive manoeuver which the British ‘plane couldn’t follow, which gave it a significant advantage.

When the British aircraft  went into a dive, centrifugal forces pushed the carburettor float upwards, cut off the fuel supply and and the engine stalled. Which is where a mechanical engineer called Tilly Shilling comes into the story.

It was going to take many years to design a new kind of pressurised carburettor or fuel injector to overcome this problem, so instead of sitting around waiting for someone else to come up with a solution, Tilly Shilling set about finding her own.

Her idea was to weld a small metal disc with a hole in it into the engine’s carburettor. Before long, all British fighter aircraft were fitted with this collar, and now, when a ‘plane went into a dive, it stopped the float from rising and cutting off the fuel to the engine. It no longer stalled.

This very simple component became affectionately known in the RAF as ‘Tilly Shilling’s Orifice’!

As a consequence, this simple, practical and cost-effective idea, saved the lives of countless British pilots and helped win many battles.

Can you apply Tilly Shilling’s thinking and creativity to problems you encounter in your day-to-day?

Try to find enterprising solutions to sales and business problems. When you are designing or engineering that product solution for a customer, or thinking of new ways to deliver services, keep Tilly Shilling’s Orifice – and get creative!

Find out more about how Tilly Shilling helped the war effort here.

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