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 148,490 pages of information and 233,926 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Aircraft Manufacturing Co (Airco)

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
1917. Ref AA below
1920. Ref AA below
1920. Hucks Aircraft Engine Starter based on a Ford Model T. Exhibit at the Shuttleworth Collection.

The Aircraft Manufacturing Co (Airco) was established at The Hyde in Hendon, North London, England during 1912 by George Holt Thomas.

1911 George Holt Thomas obtained the UK manufacturing rights to the Henry and Maurice Farman aircraft.

1914 Geoffrey de Havilland joined as chief designer. His designs were marked with his initials DH.

1914 Hugh Burroughes was appointed general manager[1].

WWI: The company built 4,000 aircraft, ranging from the DH2 to the DH10, including substantial numbers built by H. H. Martyn from 1915.

1917 The company acquired the aircraft manufacturing activities of H. H. Martyn to form the Gloucestershire Aircraft Co which was producing 45 aircraft / week by 1918. They produced ten of the Felixstowe F5 Seaplane

1920 Following the cessation of hostilities, the company's undue reliance on military orders became a handicap and the company became bankrupt in 1920. Its assets were bought by the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) which did not pursue aviation-related business. The aviation-related assets of the company were bought by Geoffrey de Havilland and he formed De Havilland in the same year.

Post-WWI: The company, in conjunction with La Societe des Moteurs Gnome and George Holt Thomas, was awarded £74,000 by the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors for the Gnome 80 hp and La Rhone engines in addition to the £200,000 already received from H.M. Government; and £75,000 for the Gnome monosoupape engine. Also the company together with Captain De Havilland were awarded £35,000 by the Commission, for the D.H. aeroplanes. And the company was awarded £65,000 by the Commission in respect of communication to the US government of inventions, designs, etc in relation to aircraft and aircraft accessories[2]

1937 Aeroplane spares, flying clothing, maps, books, airport lighting and equipment. [3]

List of Models

The company's DH16 and DH18 types were operated by Aircraft Transport and Travel, the first airline established in the United Kingdom, which was also owned by George Holt Thomas.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 31 October 1985
  2. The Times, Jan 13, 1925
  3. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing) by J. M. Bruce. Published in 1982. p38
  • The Encyclopedia of British Military Aircraft by Chaz Bowyer. Published in 1982. ISBN 1-85841-031-2
  • Warplanes of the World 1918-1939 by Michael J. H. Taylor. Published 1981. ISBN 0-7110-1078-1
  • AA. [2] Image courtesy of Aviation Ancestry