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Aircraft Disposal Company Ltd
ADC Aircraft

The Aircraft Disposals Company (ADC) or Airdisco, was a British firm established in March 1920 to take over from His Majesty's Disposals Board to dispose of surplus aircraft not required for use by the diminishing RAF.

One of the founders was Frederick Handley Page, the British aviation pioneer. ADC bought the entire available stock of surplus aircraft engines and spares, including 10,000 airframes and 30,000 engines, for the sum of £1,000,000 plus a share of any profits. Many ex-military aircraft were converted to various civil roles before being sold on while others were sold to military buyers.

Stored in six depots, with the main one at Waddon Aerodrome, Croydon, Surrey, specimen aircraft were demonstrated in many parts of the world, and a drawing office was formed under J. Kenworthy, formerly with Austin and Westland. Many modifications (e.g. Lamblin radiators) were made on standard military types.

In February 1924 Martinsyde’s manufacturing rights, goodwill and stock of aircraft were bought up by the Aircraft Disposal Company, who continued to develop the F.4 as the ADC 1 with Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar radial engine. Eight of this type sold to Latvia in 1926, in the same year Nimbus Martinsyde (with ADC Nimbus engine) appeared.

By 1925, it had sold 2,000 airframes and 3,000 engines, generating profits of over £2,500,000, of which half was returned to the British Treasury.

The company produced a small range of aircraft engines under the direction of Frank Halford, the 'Cirrus' line continued to be manufactured by Cirrus Aero Engines Ltd and their successors.

The company had several sites across Britain including 11 acres (45,000 sq.m) of Regents Park in London known as Marylebone Green. Three of the National Aircraft Factories became part of the Aircraft Disposal Company including Aintree in Liverpool, Waddon in Croydon, and at Stockport near Manchester.

The company became known as Airdisco from its telegraph address. The company had offices at Regent House, 89 Kingsway London WC2. The company name was changed to The Imperial & Foreign Corporation Ltd and was finally wound up in 1930.


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