Hawker Siddeley Aviation Limited was the identity for the aircraft sector of the Hawker Siddeley Group between 1948 and 1959.
Shortly after acquiring Folland Aircraft in 1959, there was huge government pressure on all the aviation concerns to rationalise an industry where ‘far too many companies were competing for a diminishing number of contracts’.
Out of this controversial policy came the decision to only offer new government contracts and development grants to organisations that had been formed through various mergers and take-overs. This resulted in 2 major consortiums, British Aircraft Corporation and the Hawker Siddeley Aviation.
Hawker Siddeley Aircraft was already well-established as a major aircraft manufacturer of aircraft such as the Hunter when it merged with De Havilland Aircraft Company
and Blackburn Aircraft Company
in 1960. Although the various parts continued to produce aircraft under their own branding, this 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.
Hawker Siddeley Head Office Kingston
During the 1960s, the company developed one of their most famous aircraft, the Hawker Harrier
which went on to become the first fully operational VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) jet aircraft.
Manufactured at the 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 non-aviation and foreign interests remained under a holding company known as Hawker Siddeley Group Plc which was eventually 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
||Hawker Siddeley Aircraft
||Hawker Siddeley Aviation
||Hawker P.1127 / Kestrel / Harrier
||Hawker Siddeley HS146
||Hawker Siddeley HS801 Nimrod
||Hawker Siddeley HS1182 Hawk
See HG Hawker & Hawker Aircraft for a list of early aircraft