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Hawker Siddeley Company

Hawker Siddeley Company is a British aircraft manufacturing company.

Hawker Siddley has its roots in the aftermath of the First World War, when after the bankruptcy of Sopwith Aviation[?], the Sopwith test pilot Harry Hawker[?], with financial backing, bought the assets of Sopwith and formed H.G. Hawker Engineering[?].

Between the wars Hawker produced a successful line of bombers and fighters for the Royal Air Force. These included the Hart[?] and the Hind[?].

Renamed in 1933 to Hawker Aviation, Hawker took advantage of the Great Depression and its strong financial position to purchase a series of British aviation companies including Gloster Aircraft[?], Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft[?], Armstrong Siddley Motors[?], and A.V. Roe. This group of companies was renamed Hawker Siddley in 1935.

This was the form of the company during the Second World War, when it produced many aircraft in many designs including the famous Hawker Hurricane fighter plane, which along with the Spitfire was instrumental in winning the Battle of Britain.

Almost every Hawker design of the Second World War was a success (even if not initially), mainly attributable to the design genius of Sidney Camm[?] (later Sir Sidney). Designs included:

Non-Camm design in the Hawker Siddley stable included the Gloster Meteor, the first Allied jet fighter.

After the war Hawker Siddley produced one of the outstanding post war jet aircraft the Hawker Hunter[?], which set a world speed record of 728mph in 1953.

In the late 1950s a spate of British aviation industry consolidation led to the acquisition of de Havilland Aircraft in 1959 and Blackburn Aircraft[?] in 1960. Followed in 1962 by Avro Canada. I think that's right, anyway.

In this period the company developed the first operational, and by far the most successful VTOL jet aircraft, the Hawker Harrier. This aircraft remained in production into the 1990s and service beyond the millennium.

In 1977 Hawker Siddeley, was merged by act of Parliament (nationalised[?]) with BAC[?] to form British Aerospace. The non-UK and non-aviation parts of the company were spun-off to form separate enterprise including:

In 1980, Hawker Pacific Aerospace was formed.

In 1991, the Hawker Siddeley Group Public Limited Company[?] is acquired by BTR Aerospace Group.

See also: Aircraft - Hawker Pacific Aerospace

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