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ABC Motors

Walton-on-Thames, UK
ABC Motors Limited (All British (Engine) Company) of Hersham, Surrey, England was a manufacturer of cars, aircraft, motor scooters, and engines for road and air. Established by Ronald Charteris in Hersham, Surrey in 1912, its chief designer was Granville Bradshaw. It was absorbed into Vickers in 1951 and the factory finally closed in the 1970s although some of the premises survived as part of the Hersham Trading Estate and were occupied by the Ian Allan publishing company.

The ABC radial aero engines of the World War I period were advanced for their time, and were initially thought to be very promising. They were all more or less plagued by problems – and although a number of types for the Royal Air Force were designed around ABC engines (especially the ill-fated Dragonfly) none of these types were to see squadron service with the RAF.
ABC also made a large number of engines for electrical generators and other purposes – mostly with a flat twin cylinder layout and unusual exhaust-over-inlet valve configuration. These smaller ABC engine have the distinction of being possibly the first airborne APUs- the Coastal class blimp (first flown in 1916) had a 1.5-horsepower unit installed to provide electricity for the onboard wireless set, while a similar engine was used to power the searchlight of the Supermarine Nighthawk 'Zeppelin killer' of 1917.

 

 


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