Wixey, Ken.


Stroud, 1st ed., 1995. Vii + 152 pp., numerous photo-ills. D.j., 25 x 18cm. Owner's aviation bookplate; FINE. Gloucestershire played an important part in the development of aircraft and their engines. The First World War saw the establishment in the county of four companies destined to shape its aircraft industry, namely the forerunners to Bristol Aeroplane Co., Gloster Aircraft Co., Parnall Aircraft Ltd., and Bristol's aero-engine division, later Rolls-Royce. During World War II the three main manufacturers, with back-up from Dowty (Cheltenham) and Rotol (Staverton), supplied the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm with aircraft, gun turrets, propellers and scores of components. Gloucestershire-built aircraft like the Blenheim, Beaufighter and Typhoon blasted their way to victory in 1945, while aero-engines such as the Pegasus, Mercury and Hercules, powered RAF bomber aircraft like Blenheim, Wellington, Stirling, Lancaster and Halifax. Many thousands of aircraft also used landing gear and propellers built in Gloucestershire by Dowty and Rotol, and were defended by power-operated gun turrets produced by Parnall. There was even a bright star in the post-war firmament of Gloucestershire aviation, namely the supersonic Anglo-French Concorde, designed, built and flight-tested in the county. This book describes Gloucestershire's influential role in British aviation and relates the story of the three aircraft manufacturers and their products over seventy years.

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