Hawker Siddeley Aviation
Shortly after acquiring Folland Aircraft in 1959, there was huge government pressure to rationalise an industry where ‘far too many companies were competing for a diminishing number of contracts’. Out of this policy came the decision to only offer new contracts to organisations that had been formed through various mergers and take-overs.
Hawker Siddeley Group merged with De Havilland Aircraft Company and Blackburn Aircraft Company in 1960 and although these continued to produce aircraft under their own branding, it was a very short-lived reprieve for these famous aviation names.
In 1963, and after a period of reorganisation, Hawker Siddeley Group was created leading to re-branding of the constituent company products as either Hawker Siddeley or ‘HS’ types.
During the 1960’s the company developed one of their most famous aircraft, the HS Harrier which went on to become the first operational VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) jet aircraft. Manufactured in Kingston on the banks of the River Thames with assembly at Dunsfold, the Harrier led the way in the development of vectored thrust technology, much of which will be used in the aircraft of the 21st century.
Other sectors of the Hawker Siddeley Group included a Dynamics Division (Guided Weapons) and Railway, Locomotive and Subway Rolling Stock businesses throughout the USA and Canada.
On 29th April 1977, the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act saw the nationalisation of Hawker Siddeley Aviation and Hawker Siddeley Dynamics Divisions which were merged with British Aircraft Corporation to create British Aerospace. The remaining non-aviation and foreign interests remained under a holding company known as Hawker Siddeley Group Plc which was sold to BTR in 1992.
The Hawker Siddeley brand was known worldwide with interests in railways (both diesel and electric) and rapid transport systems and the name of its founder Harry Hawker still continued in aviation until 2012 as the Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. In fact, it still continues today as Hawker Siddeley Switchgear in both the UK and Australia
|Hawker Aircraft Company|
|1935||Hawker Siddeley Aircraft|
|1963||Hawker Siddeley Aviation|
|1960||Hawker P.1127 / Kestrel / Harrier||1974||Hawker Siddeley HS146|
|1967||Hawker Siddeley HS801 Nimrod||1981||Hawker Siddeley HS1182 Hawk|