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Summary Article: Wallis, Barnes Neville from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

British aeronautical engineer who designed the airship R-100, and during World War II perfected the ‘bouncing bombs’ used by the Royal Air Force Dambusters Squadron to destroy the German Möhne and Eder dams in 1943. He also assisted in the development of the Concorde supersonic airliner and developed the swing wing aircraft. He was knighted in 1968.

Wallis was born in Derbyshire and trained as a marine engineer. From shipbuilding he turned to the design of airships and then to aeroplanes. He joined the Vickers Company in 1911 and worked there as a designer until the end of World War II, moving to the British Aircraft Corporation in 1945.

In the G4–31 biplane (1932), Wallis introduced a lattice-work system derived from the wire-netting used to contain the gas bags on the airship R-100. A full geodesic structure was first employed in the monoplane that became the Wellesley bomber. In the Wallis lattice pattern, if one series of members was in tension, the opposite members were in compression, so that the system was stress-balanced in all directions. The Wellesley was responsible for a great technical advance in design in the mid-1930s, which eventually produced the Wellington bomber of World War II.

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