In 1935, the long reign of rigid rear ends for racing motorcycles ended when Stanley Woods won the Senior TT on a Moto Guzzi 500 with rear suspension. At Velocette in England, racing engineer Harold Willis saw it was time for change. Willis, a private pilot, was friends with George Dowty of Aircraft Components Co. Dowty had through sheer persistence introduced to aviation the oleo strut—a telescopic suspension unit combining hydraulic damping with use of compressed air as a springing medium. Dowty had earlier fought his way through the conservatism of giant rubber bands, leather straps, and other contrivances that had been used to support aircraft during taxiing and to absorb the impact of landing. Dowty, for a time a part of Messier-Bugatti, is now an element in the world’s largest manufacturer of aircraft landing gear, Safran.