Stanley Hooker? Sounds well worth a further look.
"You need to read Sir Stanley Hooker's autobiography "Not much of an Engineer"."
Mmm, not come across that name before, though I'm aware of much of the stuff he worked on, and he sounds like a very very very impressive man. Anyway, hopefully a few folks will have a read, I certainly will.
But as luck would have it, I already know what kind of stuff was used for aircraft engine design during WW II,because that's what a family member was doing at Rolls Royce in Crewe at the time.
Yes there was maths and grid paper (which I didn't mention just now but do understand, as an ex-physicist myself), and slide rules (which I did mention and have used, briefly). I may even still have one of those WW II slide rules somewhere; it was a thing of beauty. Times change.
But I think what I wrote still stands - engineering stuff wasn't as well characterised back then as it is now, doing the numbers was much more tedious back then than it is now, and control systems on engines were far far less accurate back then than people have expected them to be for the last couple of decades.
Half an hour to spare? Try this talk on the life of Hooker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5_54YUHr7M
Once again sir, thank you for the extra reading material.