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 148,386 pages of information and 233,857 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Folland Aircraft

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Dec 1939.


September 1954.
1954. "Midge" - light jet fighter.
1954. Folland Gnat.
1955. Gnat.
1956. Gnat. Designed for the Bristol Orpheus engine.

Folland Aircraft of Hamble, Southampton.

1937 Henry Folland bought British Marine Aircraft and renamed it Folland Aircraft Limited on December 24, 1937.

Follands began aircraft assembly at Hamble making parts for Bristol Blenheim and Beaufort bombers. Folland later took on sub-contract work making parts for de Havilland Mosquitos and Vickers Wellingtons.

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1940 The company flew the first aircraft of its own design, the Folland 43/47 (Design number FO 108) in 1940.

1950 W. E. W. Petter, who had designed the Westland Lysander, English Electric Canberra and English Electric Lightning, joined the company as chief engineer.

1954 Petter designed the Folland Midge, which first flew on August 11, 1954, and the Folland Gnat training jet (July 18, 1955). Both were built at Hamble until the 1960s. Petter became managing director on the death of Henry Folland.

In 1959 Folland was acquired by Hawker Siddeley who dropped the Folland name in 1963.

Ultimately, Folland became part of British Aerospace (BAe). Although Hamble airfield closed in 1986, BAe continued to use the premises there for the production of major assemblies for Harrier and Hawk jets.

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