Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,478 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Aero Engines

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of Hanham Road, Kingswood, Bristol. Telephone: Kingswood 73013. Telegraphic Address: "Aero, Kingswood"

Manufacturers and suppliers in Great Britain.

1935 Aero Engines Ltd was formed to manufacture French Hispano-Suiza aircraft engines under licence from General Aircraft Ltd, as well as General Aircraft's Monarch engine, aircraft equipment and armaments[1] in the newly acquired Douglas factory in Bristol. Production of Douglas motorcycles would end.

1936 Increase in capital. Rescinded decision to end motor cycle production - the Aero-Douglas was superior to the previous model; all of the output would be supplied to an established distributor. Also manufactured aircraft wings and other components for others. 700 employees[2].

1936 Developed a light aircraft, fitted with the Sprite engine; development of the Monarch engine and one other under development; 900 employees by the end of the year[3].

1937 Ended licence from Hispano-Suiza; replacement work included foundry work, armaments, motorcycles, aircraft components. Reverted to use of the Douglas name for the motorcycles. MD of General Aircraft was invited to help reorganise the works; he joined the board[4].

During 1936-1937, Aero Engines introduced two HOAE of their own design, the O-49 and the O-96.

1937 Aero engines and parachute fittings. "Elf" Aero Engines. "Sprite" Aero Engines.

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. "Sprite" Aero Engine. Petrol Driven Industrial Truck. (Stand No. D.923)

1938 Acquired the rights to the Weir Mk1 and Mk11 engines; the series of engines would be renamed Pixie[5].

1942 More than half of products carried the Douglas name, especially trucks, so consideration was being given to a change of company name[6].

1944 Philco Radio and Television Corporation acquired shares in Aero Engines Ltd that had previously been owned by General Aircraft, with consequent changes in board membership[7].

1944 Record sales of Douglas Industrial trucks[8]. Also made wings for several types of aircraft, generating sets, engines for rader equipment and other purposes[9].

1946 Resumed production of motorcycles; acquired sole rights to the electric vans of A. C. Morrison (Engineers) Ltd[10].

1946 Charterhouse Finance acquired a large interest in the company from Radio and Television Trust (previously called Philco Radio and Television Corporation). Large orderbook for motorcycles, electric vehicles, etc.

1946 Change of name to Douglas (Kingswood) Ltd[11]. Issue of shares to raise capital.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 15 June 1935
  2. The Times, 17 February 1936
  3. The Times, 2 December 1936
  4. The Times, 22 December 1937
  5. Flight 4 August 1938
  6. The Times, 23 December 1942
  7. The Times, 9 February 1944
  8. The Times, 3 January 1945
  9. The Times, 4 January 1946
  10. The Times, 4 January 1946
  11. The Times, 16 December 1946