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Blackburn Aircraft Company

Yorkshireman Robert Blackburn, one of Britain’s aviation pioneers, built his first aircraft in 1909

Robert Blackburn

Having established himself as one of the early innovators of flight in the UK, Blackburn established The Blackburn Aeroplane Company in 1911.  3 years later, and after marrying an heiress in 1914, he expanded the business to become The Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Company.  

He opened a factory at Roundhay Road, Leeds where he gave regular demonstration flights and introduced the first scheduled flights into the UK with a regular ½ hour passenger service between Leeds and Bradford and then Leeds to Hounslow near London.  In 1916 Blackburn created a new factory on the northern bank of the River Humber, at Brough in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Blackburn Sidecar Project
One of Blackburn's more strange designs was the Side Car Project of 1919
Roundhay closed in the late 1920's and the use of the adjacent airstrip in the park was relinquished although the factory was re-opened for aircraft manufacturing in 1934.

The Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Company changed its name to Blackburn Aircraft Limited in 1936 and joined forces with Maurice Denny, a Dumbarton Shipbuilder to establish a new Blackburn Factory at Barge Park, Dumbarton for the production of the Blackburn Botha. Before and during WWII, Blackburn Aircraft (Dumbarton) produced 250 Shorts Sunderland Flying Boats as well as preparing and converting many American aircraft for use by the Fleet Air Arm

Blackburn merged with General Aircraft Limited in 1949 and was renamed Blackburn and General Aircraft Limited.  Despite seeing a reasonable success with the Blackburn Beverley (based on the GAL.60 Universal Freighter) by 1958 the company reverted back to Blackburn Aircraft Limited. 

The bulk of the manufacturing was concentrated on the factory at Brough in the East Riding of Yorkshire where they made a huge number of different designs ranging from the propeller-driven General Aircraft GAL.60/65 Beverley heavy-lift transport to the Blackburn Buccaneer sub sonic jet strike aircraft. 
Blackburn Buccaneer MkII Head On Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 head on
The bulk of manufacturing was concentrated at the factory in Brough in the East Riding of Yorkshire, where a large number of different designs were manufactured ranging from the propeller-driven GP seaplane in 1916 to the Blackburn Buccaneer sub sonic jet strike aircraft in 1958. 

Finally, the company was absorbed into Hawker Siddeley in 1960 and the Blackburn name was dropped in 1963.


1910 Blackburn Aeroplanes of Leeds
1913 Blackburn Aeroplane Company
1914 Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Company                       
1936 Blackburn Aircraft Limited
1949 Blackburn and General Aircraft Limited
1958 Blackburn Aircraft Limited
1963 Hawker Siddeley Aviation
1977 British Aerospace
1999 BAE Systems


1910 First Monoplane  1928 F.1 Turcock
 1910 Second Monoplane  1928 F.2 Lincock
 1911 Mercury  1  1929 F.1 Nautilus
 1912 Type D - Single Seat Monoplane  1929 T.7B (Or 3MR4)
 1912 Type E - All Steel Monoplane  1930 C.B.2 Nile (Hull Only)                         
 1913 Type I - Land & Sea Monoplane  1930 R.B.2 Sydney
 1914 Type L - Seaplane  1931 B.1 Segrave
 1915 Twin Seaplane Trainer  1932 B.2
 1916 General Purpose  1932 B.3 M.1/30
 1916 Tri-plane (Flying Scout)  1932 B.5 Baffin
 1916 White Falcon Monoplane  1932 C.A.15C
 1918 Blackburd  1932 T.8 Baffin
 1918 N.1B (Not completed)  1933 R.B.3 Perth
 1918 R.T.1 Kangaroo  1933 T.9 Shark
 1920 T.1 Swift  1934 B.7
 1921 T.2 Dart  1935 B.6 Shark II
 1922 R.1 Blackburn  1937 B.24 Skua
1923 Pellet 1938 B.25 Roc
1924 Bluebird 1 1938 B.26 Botha
1924 T.4 Cubaroo 1940 B.20
1925 R.2 Airedale 1942 B-37 Firebrand F
1925 T.3 Velos 1947 B.48 Firecrest 
1926 R.B.1 Iris 1949 B.54/ B88 (Y.B.1)
1926 Sprat 1949 B.54 (YA5)
1926 T.5 Ripon 1950 B.101 Beverley
1928 Beagle 1958 B.103 Buccaneer

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