The origins of Luton-based Hunting Aircraft rest with Charles Hunting, a veterinary surgeon. Hunting was originated in 1874 as a shipping business which diversified into aircraft maintenance and air transport in the 1930's.
In 1936 Hunting took up occupation of facilities at what was to become Luton Airport just 2 years later alongside Percival Aircraft (see seperate page).
In September 1944, Percival Aircraft was acquired as a part of the expansion of the Hunting Group although it continued to trade with the Percival name for many years.
At the end of 1945 Hunting entered the airline business with Hunting Air Travel Limited with commercial operations at Bovingdon Airport in Hertfordshire. The airline business was eventually split from the group in 1953.
By far the most successful aircraft during the Hunting Percival era was the Jet Provost which first flew at Luton in 1954. The aircraft spanned the various incarnations of the company ending as the BAC Jet Provost T55 and subsequently as the BAC Strikemaster.
In response to a paper issued by British European Airways calling for a 'second generation' jet-liner, Hunting proposed the H107, a 30-seater design that was to go on to form the basis for the BAC1-11.
In 1960 Hunting Aircraft became part of the merger that formed British Aircraft Corporation.
The Hunting name continues successfully today as Hunting Plc, a leading provider in the oil and gas industries.
|Percival Aircraft Limited|
|1944||Hunting Percival Limited|
|1957||Hunting Aircraft Limited|
|1960||British Aircraft Corporation|
|1955||Hunting Percival P.84 Jet Provost||1963||Hunting H.126|