Folland Aircraft Co
Formed at Hamble in 1936 as British Marine Aircraft Ltd. (associated with
British Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd). The intention was to manufacture
the Sikorsky S42 flying boat, but this project was abandoned. In 1937
H.P.Folland became Managing Director and the company was renamed Folland
Aircraft Co. The company then concentrated its efforts on subcontract /
component work until 1940.
During 1940 the company built 12 "large engine test" aircraft for the
flight testing of large piston engines. The next production did not happen
until 1954 when the Midge (prototype for the Folland Gnat ) first flew (At
Chilbolton). This was followed by production of some 120 aircraft for the
RAF ,India,Yugoslavia and Finland. As with the Midge ,all were transported
to Chilbolton for flight testing. During this time the company became part
of Hawker Siddelly Aviation, which ,in turn later became part of British
Aerospace. No further complete aircraft were built at Hamble. Instead, major
components were manufactured, principally for Harriers.