Montage of aviation images. Follow this link to skip navigation.
Link to the aviation archive

Aviation Archive: Aviation Heritage

Link to home page
Link to canals section
Link to railways section
Link to aviation section
Link to learning zone
Link to about this site
Link to send feedback
Navigation ends

The beginnings in 1910

The British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, as it was first named, was not the first aircraft manufacturer in Britain. Short Brothers Limited and Handley Page Limited had started a year before but it was distinguished by the way Sir George had set it up. He foresaw a commercial enterprise with aeroplanes being owned by many so he and his younger brother Samuel ploughed, a then substantial sum, of £25,000 as start up capital into the venture. Many thought them mad to waste money such, Bristolian businessmen had long had a reputation of being exceedingly close with money. The White family went on to control directly an ever expanding aviation industry for the next 37 years.To begin, they bought designs from France and an agreement was signed licensing the company to manufacture aeroplanes from the Societe Zodiac.One was duly purchased by Sydney Smith to be shown at the Olympia Aero Show of 1910. Following the show the aircraft was taken to Brooklands where the company had leased a building near the flying ground. The aircraft refused to lift off no matter how they tried and eventually they gave up following the recommendation of the French pilot, Edmond.The company then looked at an improved version of the successful Henri Farman type biplane. Five other Zodiacs were scrapped, it was fortunate that the company finances could absorb this 'learning curve'

Go to the next page >

This is page 1 of FILTON - THE AIRCRAFT.
View the complete story contents.

A French designed Zodiac at Olympia in 1910

A French designed Zodiac at Olympia in 1910
Find out more about this image >

A Henri Farman type biplane at Richmond in 1910

A Henri Farman type biplane at Richmond in 1910
Find out more about this image >

  Intro     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     11     12     13     14     15