Aircraft Components


Large numbers of aircraft were built during the first world war and so a correspondingly large number of engines were needed. In June 1918 the War Department required nearly 65,000 engines. 

The interior of the Clyno works, showing the assembly of the Dragonfly engines. Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.
The largest single requirement was for 8,580 ABC Dragonfly engines. The Dragonfly had nine cylinders, weighed only 600lb, and could deliver 365h.p. Orders were sent to companies all over the country including Clyno Engineering and Guy Motors in Wolverhampton. Early in 1918, Clyno received an order for 8 prototype engines and 500 production engines. Work on the engines quickly got under way and the first engine was delivered on 22nd April 1918, followed by another in June.
By the end of the year, 6 of the prototype engines and 4 of the production engines had been completed. The final two prototypes were delivered early in 1919, along with 47 production engines. The other 453 were cancelled. The orders came too late in the day, because the war soon ended, and  the Ministry cancelled all outstanding items. 

Another view showing Dragonfly assembly at Clyno.

Much of the design work was carried out by Arthur G. Booth. 
Read a paper that was given by him and view some of his Clyno photographs

Guy Motors

Sidney Guy left Sunbeam in 1914 to start Guy Motors. The company, which was formed in May 1914, built light commercial vehicles. A new factory was built at Park Lane and the first product was a 30cwt lorry, with a light pressed steel frame, special patented suspension and overdrive. The company also produced a light mail car. At the beginning of the first world war, the Ministry of Munitions took over the factory for military production, and Guy became the largest manufacturer of depth charge firing mechanisms. Early in 1918, the company started to produce aero-engines. On 19th April, Guy received an order for 12 experimental ABC Wasp engines, which were designed by Granville Bradshaw, who used to work for Star. He designed Star's monoplane and flew the aircraft at Dunstall Park. Guy also received an order for a single experimental ABC Dragonfly radial engine, on 12th April. Production quickly got under way and Guy received a further order for 600 Dragonfly engines. It took the company only 24 days to complete their first engine. They were congratulated by the Director General of Aircraft Production and Supply, William Weir. At the end of the war, all outstanding orders were cancelled by the Ministry. Before cancellation, Guy managed to deliver 1 Dragonfly and 12 Wasp engines. The company received £65,000 in compensation for the cancelled order. Before the end of the war Guy began development of a V12, liquid cooled aero engine, but this was also cancelled after the war. 

H. M. Hobson Ltd / Lucas Aerospace

Find out about Hobson's


The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company came to Wolverhampton in 1927. Its Aviation Division made tyres, wheels and brakes for aircraft. It also produced an anti-skid braking system. Its products were fitted to many aircraft including the Viscount, the Herald, the Carvair, and the Accountant.

Marston-Palmer Limited

This is a small group of aerospace manufacturers, including Lucas Aerospace, Turners, and Dowty Aerospace. Its products are aircraft heat exchangers and engine rings. It also makes hydraulic components and aircraft bulk liquid storage facilities.

Turner Manufacturing

In 1934 Turners acquired a license to manufacture German designed hydraulic and pneumatic undercarriages. It soon began to produce undercarriages of its own design, and these were built in large numbers during the second world war. It also made tail wheels for Lancasters and Blenheims. After the war Turners returned to making car components. In the 1950's the company made parts for the Rolls Royce Dart engine, and rotor heads, tail rotors and undercarriages for Westland helicopters. The company was taken over by the Spicer Transmission Division and still makes aircraft components.

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