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Folland Aircraft Ltd had its foundations in February 1936 at Hamble, Hampshire, when British Marine Aircraft Ltd was formed with the intention of producing the Sikorsky S-42A flying-boat under licence. This scheme came to nothing and in May 1937 the company underwent a complete reorganisation and change of name. H. P. Folland, formerly chief designer of the Gloster Aircraft Company, became managing director, and the firm initially undertook sub-contract work.

Undertook subcontract work on Bristol Blenheim and Beaufort, de Havilland Mosquito and Hornet, Short Sunderland and Supermarine Spitfire, among others.


Henry Folland, Gloster’s chief designer, would leave Gloster when it was taken over by Hawker to form Folland Aircraft. His most successful aircraft design of all time, the Folland Gnat jet trainer (449 built).


First original design was Fo 108 engine testbed aircraft, 12 built to Specification 43/37. Further subcontract participation in Comet, Sea Vixen, Britannia, Hunter, and HS 748 programs. Lightweight fighter designed by W. E. W. Petter flown initially as Fo 139 Midge, then as Fo 141 Gnat with Bristol Orpheus engine. Sold to Finnish and Indian Air Forces as fighter aircraft and developed as Fo 144 Gnat T.1 trainer for the RAF.

Became Hamble Division, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, in 1959.

Avro, de Havilland and Folland joined Hawker Siddeley Aviation in 1965.

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