Consolidation of the UK Aircraft Industry

16 January 2017

Concorde Hanger, Manchester Airport



The lecture outlines the origins, development of, and subsequent changes and consolidations in the UK aircraft design and manufacturing industry, from the earliest beginnings in 1910 to the present day. A brief history is given of every UK aircraft company which existed at the end of the second world war, and how the UK government and leaders of the aircraft industry forcibly re-shaped and merged the individual companies, trying to respond to the changes in the UK and world post war political and commercial environments. 



The major influences of UK political and industrial leaders and their successes, mistakes and powerful attempts at coercion are outlined, alongside the desires of and errors by "industry barons" attempting to maintain positions of industrial primacy. In the 50 years between 1949 and 1999, the "shenanigans" of the negotiations and interference as aircraft company merger and rationalisation took place are described.


The history is illustrated by brief company profiles, with both text and product pictures of all the changes as the UK aviation industry scene in 1946 morphed into its present-day form. The differences from and similarities to aircraft industry changes in the USA are noted and illustrated.


The lecture concludes on the optimistic note of the present-day importance of the UK aircraft industry to UK GDP and the high level of participation in aircraft projects in the international project environment which now pertains.


This is our annual joint meeting with The Aviation Society.




Speaker Details

Paul Hodgson C.Eng, FRAeS, Chief Designer (retd.) BAE Systems


Concorde Hanger, Manchester Airport

Concorde Hanger
Aircraft Viewing area
Manchester Airport, 19.30 for 20.00

Arrive at the Runways Visitors Park (previously called the Aviation Viewing Park) after 19.00 to avoid the usual parking change.