Charles Dennistoun Burney
Sir Charles Dennistoun Burney, 2nd Baronet (28 December 1888 – 11 November 1968, Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

) was an English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 aeronautical engineer, private inventor and Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...


Burney, often called Dennis Burney, was the son of former Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy)
Admiral of the fleet is the highest rank of the British Royal Navy and other navies, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-10. The rank still exists in the Royal Navy but routine appointments ceased in 1996....

 Sir Cecil Burney Bt.

Burney was managing director of the private firm that built the R100
HM Airship R100 was a privately designed and built rigid airship made as part of a two-ship competition to develop new techniques for a projected larger commercial airship for use on British empire routes...

 airship, where he was assisted by Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute Norway was a popular British-Australian novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer. He used his full name in his engineering career, and 'Nevil Shute' as his pen name, in order to protect his engineering career from any potential negative publicity in connection with his novels.-...

, later to become famous as a writer. He invented the highly successful paravane
Paravane (weapon)
The paravane is a form of towed underwater "glider". It was developed by Cdr Usborne and Lt Burney financed by Sir George White, founder of the Bristol Aeroplane Company....

 during the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 a device used for cutting cables from mines. In 1939 he was again joined by Nevil Shute in the development of an early air-launched gliding torpedo, the Toraplane, and the gliding bomb, Doravane. Despite much work and many trials the Toraplane could not be launched with repeatable accuracy and the Toraplane was finally abandoned in 1942.

Burney was Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Uxbridge
Uxbridge (UK Parliament constituency)
Uxbridge was a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected one Member of Parliament using the first-past-the-post voting system, from 1885 until it was abolished at the 2010 general election....

 from 1922 until he retired in 1929.

His private interests led him to set up a company Streamline Cars Ltd
Streamline Cars Ltd
thumb|right|250px|Two versions were made; this one had a vestigial bonnetthumb|right|250px|The Streamline was not a small carStreamline Cars Ltd was the company responsible for making the Burney car designed by Dennis Burney....

 to build technically advanced aerodynamic rear-engined cars from 1930–1934, that were taken up by Crossley Motors
Crossley Motors
Crossley Motors was a British motor vehicle manufacturer based in Manchester, England. They produced approximately 19,000 high quality cars from 1904 until 1938, 5,500 buses from 1926 until 1958 and 21,000 goods and military vehicles from 1914 to 1945.Crossley Brothers, originally...

Among other military weapons, he was the inventor of the squash-head shell (High Explosive Squash Head
High explosive squash head
High explosive squash head is a type of explosive ammunition that is effective against buildings and is also used against tank armour. It was fielded chiefly by the British Army as the main explosive round of its main battle tanks during the Cold War...

 shell) and the British developer of the recoilless rifle
Recoilless rifle
A recoilless rifle or recoilless gun is a lightweight weapon that fires a heavier projectile than would be practical to fire from a recoiling weapon of comparable size. Technically, only devices that use a rifled barrel are recoilless rifles. Smoothbore variants are recoilless guns...

 which were known as Burney guns. He demonstrated the advantages of the latter by constructing a recoilless shotgun
A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug...

 with a 1 inch bore which he was able to shoot with no discomfort from the recoil.
During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 he led development of what became, in official terms, Ordnance, RCL, 3.45 in
Ordnance, RCL, 3.45 in
The 3.45 inch RCL was a British recoilless weapon, designed by Sir Dennis Burney during the Second World War. Delayed by problems due to wear upon firing, it did not see action, as was hoped, in the Far East...


He succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1929 and was in turn succeeded by his only child.

External links

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