MARTIN-BAKER

Capt. James Martin had workshop in Acton, London, where he developed aircraft structures of thin-wall steel tube with brazed, welded or, more often, bolted joints. In 1929 moved to derelict Army huts at Denham with 2 employees to build M.1 side-by-side 2-seater with Hermes engine behind cockpit with shaft drive. Forced to give up by Depression, but 1934 joined with Capt. Valentine Baker to form Martin-Baker Aircraft Ltd, producing MB.1 tandem 2-seater with engine in nose. MB.2 was remarkable fighter (3 August 1938) with Dagger engine and 8 guns; MB.3 (31 August 1942) had Sabre and 6 x 20-mm; MB.5 (23 May 1944) widely considered best piston-engined fighter of all. Company later famed for ejection seats.

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