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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
1968 Fire gutted the factory which was engaged in filling the large US order
1969 July: Slingsby Aircraft Holdings Group went into liquidation.
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
1974 Developed machine for removing oil spills from water
They became Slingsby Engineering
1979 Became part of British Underwater Engineering (UBE).
Slingsby Engineering manufactured the one-man submersible "Spider".
Slingsby’s last glider, the T65 Vega, ceased production in 1982.
July 1982 Slingsby Aviation was set up.
1997 The company became a subsidiary of Cobham plc. 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.