THE INSTITUTION OF AUTOMOBILE ENGINEERS
On January 4th, before the Institution of Automobile Engineers, Dr. F. W. Lanchester, LL.D., F.R.S., read his paper, and that of his brother, G. H. Lanchester, on Independent Springing, before a large gathering which included representatives from R. R. Jackson’s and Thompson and Taylor’s. Mr. G. H. Lanchester places the origin of the various systems of independent suspension as : Sliding pillar , type ; 1905 Sizaire, developed by l,ancia, Wishbone links with coil springs ; 1908, F. W. Lanchester Patent, and Laminated Springs ; 1912 Parnacott Patent, almost identical with B.S.A., 1929 to date. The papers dealt with mainly independent rear suspension, but the Rolls-Royce front layout, which uses swinging trans’verse links controlled by double coil springs, hydraulically damped, was described at some length. It figures on the Phantom III Rolls-Royce. Swinging half-axles were shown to limit body width, but tyre scrub was proved to be less serious than is often imagined, on account of the flexibility of the walls of the covers. Torsion rods were alleged to have little, if any, advantage over coil springs, save for location about the chassis and were not very favourably accepted. Mr. Straussler took part in the discussion, saying that each vehicle needed suspension of characteristics to suit. He described a layout for military use in which the road wheels were steering through the medium of rods and gearing. to obviate bad geometry consequent upon axle movements. Another speaker, prominent at I.A.E._ meetings, was Mr. North, who designed the NorthLucas car about 1925—it had rearmounted radial engine, independent suspension, and Streamline closed bodywork, and we saw it running up to about six years ago. Mr. North said in that car he had got his steering layout hopelessly wrong, yet on the road most people liked
the handling very much indeed ! Dr. Lanchester humorously recalled disliking the proximity of the air-cooled radial to his nether regions. Mr. North has said a word of praise for the road-holding of his present 570 c.c.’ Micky Mouse “Fiat at the last two I.A.E. meetings, though this time he confessed he wondered if there was any damping at all, the wheel movement being about 3 inches. The chairman, Major-Gen. S. Capel Peck, C.B., D.S.O., again displayed his love of the mechanised army. In opening the discussion he mentioned being involved in an accident in an early Lan cheater, purchased secondhand, through failure of the transmission brake. This brought a most amusing reply from Dr. Lanchester, in the course of which he reminded us that in those times whenever a car skidded off the road the brakes or steering was inevitably blamed.