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An image of a Handley Page O/400 landing at RAF Andover, Hampshire. Courtesy of PA Images.

Capacity for War: Preparing the British Aviation Industry in the 1920s

Matthew Powell
RUSI Journal, 8 August 2018
Aerospace, Defence Management, UK, History
Aircraft manufacturers and the Air Ministry struggled to agree on the industry’s structure in preparing for the next war.

This article explores the relationship between the Air Ministry and the British airframe industry in the 1920s and the efforts undertaken to increase the capacity of the industry to increase output in the event of a national emergency. It charts the negotiations between the Society of British Aircraft Constructors (SBAC) and Air Commodore Lionel Evelyn Oswald Charlton in 1925. It argues that the Air Ministry was looking at the strategic problems that would be faced if the industry were not able to increase production while the SBAC was only concerned with its survival and looked to exploit the Air Ministry’s concerns.

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