Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Rotol Airscrews

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Sept 1940.
1942. Erecting platform for airscrews.
April 1943.
1943 April.
May 1943
July 1943.
August 1943.
August 1944.
November 1944.
January 1952.
January 1957.

Rotol Airscrews of Staverton, Churchdown, Gloucester

1930s For some years Rolls-Royce and Bristol Aeroplane Co had been co-operating in the development of the Hele-shaw Hub[1].

1937 The company was formed on 13th May 1937 by Rolls-Royce and Bristol Aeroplane Co to take over both companies's propeller developments, the market being too small for more than one company in this space. The name was a contraction of "ROlls-Royce" and "BrisTOL". Rotol props were considered leading edge - their models equipping the Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire, and many other Second World War aircraft.

They started in temporary premises in Llanthony Road, Gloucester but transferred to the new factory at Staverton at the end of 1937

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

WWII Took over other factories at Worcester (Constant Speed Units), Frome (Precision and finished parts), Ossett and Trafford Park (wooden blades) and Kilmarnock (electric propellers).

WWII Rotol produced over 30,000 airscrews for Hurricanes and Spitfires in three, four or five blade versions, as well as for other aircraft. By the end of the war a total of 100,000 airscrews had been produced and used on more than sixty types of production aircraft and another forty prototypes.

1943 Changed name from Rotol Airscrews to Rotol

By the end of the war they had introduced the first five-bladed propeller to see widespread use, used on late-model Spitfires.

At some point, acquired Hordern-Richmond Aircraft

1952 Acquired British Messier[2]

1959 Rotol and its subsidiary British Messier was acquired by Dowty Equipment to became Dowty Rotol[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 9 July 1937
  2. The Times, Nov 10, 1952
  3. The Times, Aug 13, 1959
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Rotol by Bruce Stait. Published 1990. ISBN 0 9516815 0 8