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Gloster Aircraft Co Ltd
Gloucestershire Aircraft Company Ltd
Gloster Aircraft Company Ltd



Formed in 1917 as the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company Ltd. to take over subcontract work from the Aircraft Manufacturing Company and H. H. Martyn & Co Ltd. of Cheltenham. D.H.4 and D.H.6 fuselages had been built by Martyn, and by the end of the war the company had supplied 461 Bristol Fighters and 165 RAF F.E.2bs, as well as Nieuport Nighthawks and other fuselages.

Fifty Nighthawks, renamed Sparrowhawks, were built for Japan to a 1920 order, and were shortly followed by the first true Gloucester aircraft, the Bamel single-seat racing biplane, designed and built in less than four weeks. H. P. Folland, joined the company soon after the Bamel's completion. A line of biplane fighters followed, the Grebe and Gamecock being notable successes, and in 1926 the company was renamed Gloster Aircraft Company Ltd. moving its main factory to Hucclecote, Gloucester.

 

Up to 1930, all but one of their machines had been single-engined, the exception being the A.S.31, which was not originally a Gloster design but based on the de Havilland DH.67B.

 

Joining the Hawker Siddeley Group in 1934, Gloster continued fighter production with the Gauntlet and Gladiator, the latter being the RAF's last biplane fighter. During the Second World War Gloster built 2,750 Hurricanes and 3,330 Typhoons, and produced Britain's first jet aircraft to specification E.28/39, the first of two single-jet prototypes flying in 1941 and leading to the twin-jet Meteor of 1944.

 

Henry Folland, Gloster’s chief designer, would leave Gloster when it was taken over by Hawker in 1937.

 

A total of 3,545 Meteors was produced by Gloster and Armstrong Whitworth. Gloster's final production aircraft was the twin-jet delta-wing Javelin all-weather interceptor, flown in 1951, of which 435 were produced for the RAF. Gloster ceased aircraft production in 1956.

Gloster, Armstrong Whitworth and Avro joined Hawker Siddeley Aviation in 1965.

 


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