Though this company became part of British Aircraft Corporation in 1960, its origins date back to 1911 at its Coventry Works (Coventry Ordnance Works Ltd.), where quantity production of other manufacturers' designs was undertaken during First World War. After the Armistice development centered on the Kingston flying-boats, following the lines of the Cork, a product of the Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Company Ltd., which was then also part of English Electric. Original features manifest in Ayr flying-boat and Wren ultralight monoplane (1923), but aircraft work ceased in the mid-1920s. In 1938 it was resumed, with contracts for the Handley Page Hampden (followed by the Halifax). In May 1944 an order was placed for de Havilland Vampire jet fighters. Over 1,000 Vampires built before production got under way on company's own Canberra, the first British jet bomber and the first to serve with the RAF. Canberra production continued for ten years, totaling over 1,300 examples, including 403 license-built Martin B-57s for the USAF. Numerous variants developed, notably for reconnaissance; other countries using the type included Ecuador, France, Peru, Rhodesia, Sweden, and Venezuela. Many records broken (e.g. London-Cape Town December 1953). Lightning twin-jet single-seat fighter of 1952 was RAF's first supersonic fighter (in level flight); entered service December 1959. Much development of this type was undertaken by British Aircraft Corporation, but two-seat version emanated from English Electric.
British Aircraft Corporation was formed out of Bristol, English Electric, Vickers-Armstrong and Hunting Aircraft Ltd, in 1960.