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British Industrial History

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Slingsby Aviation

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Slingsby Aviation is an aircraft company based in Kirkbymoorside.

The company was founded in nearby Scarborough as Slingsby by Frederick Nicholas Slingsby, a furniture manufacturer, World War I aviator and gliding enthusiast. Its first aircraft was a German designed Falke which flew in 1931.

In 1934 the company moved to Kirbymoorside and operated as Slingsby, Russell and Brown Ltd. As demand for gliders increased, a new factory was needed and built in Welburn, close to Kirbymoorside in July 1939 - Slingsby Sailplanes Ltd was founded.

WWII Slingsby contributed to the production of military gliders with the Slingsby Hengist.

After World War II the company, trading as Slingsby Aircraft Ltd, continued to produce gliders for civilian use in competitions and clubs, the Slingsby Skylark series being the best post-war bestseller.

1965 Slingsby Sailplanes Ltd won order from USA for the Dart glider[1]

1968 Fire gutted the factory which was engaged in filling the large US order

1969 July: Slingsby Aircraft Holdings Group went into liquidation.[2]

1969 November: Slingsby Aircraft was acquired by the Vickers Group, becoming part of the Shipbuilding division.

1970 Vickers pumped in funds and expertise in glass-reinforced plastics; the company was investigating use of carbon fibres for gliders[3]

1974 Developed machine for removing oil spills from water[4]

1977 Vickers Slingsby developed a plastic 3 man mini-submarine using expertise from the main submarine activity; the first 2 went to Vickers Oceanic[5]

They became Slingsby Engineering

1979 Became part of British Underwater Engineering (UBE).

Slingsby Engineering manufactured the one-man submersible "Spider".[6]

Slingsby’s last glider, the T65 Vega, ceased production in 1982.

July 1982 Slingsby Aviation was set up.

1986 Slingsby Aviation was acquired by ML Holdings[7].

1990 Acquired a large part of Airship Industries, in liquidation[8]

1997 The company became a subsidiary of Cobham plc[9]. Cobham has 3 main groups of companies: FR Aviation, Aerospace Systems (formerly Flight Refuelling Group) and the Chelton Group of companies (of which Slingsby Aviation is a member).

Slingsby designs and manufactures composite structures, ranging from large marine structures, such as submarine rudders, to lightweight helmets for helmet mounted display systems, mainly for the aerospace and defence industries.

Slingsby Aviation’s SAH2200 hovercraft has operated in such varied regions as the Arctic Circle and Africa. Two are seen in the James Bond movie, Die Another Day.

The company builds the T-67 Firefly, a two seater military training aircraft.

Slingsby Aviation employs around 130 people on its 12,220 square metre (131,000 square feet) site. The company has its own airfield with a 750 metre reinforced grass runway.

Slingsby Advanced Composites helped develop the airframe for BAE Systems' Mantis unmanned aerial vehicle

2010 Cobham sold Slingsby Advanced Composites to Marshall of Cambridge[10]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times (London, England), Thursday, Oct 07, 1965
  2. The Times Jul 14, 1969
  3. The Times, May 28, 1970
  4. The Times, Aug 14, 1974
  5. The Times, Apr 13, 1977
  6. The Engineer 1982/11/25
  7. The Times August 23, 1986
  8. The Times November 14, 1990
  9. The Times, January 20, 1998
  10. The Times, April 05, 2010

[1] Wikipedia