Dowty Equipment - Synopsis

In 1940, the Aircraft Components business which George Dowty had set up changed its name to Dowty Equipment Ltd.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Visits to Works Report 1952

The headquarters of Dowty Equipment, Ltd., was located at Arle Court, situated in over 70 acres of parkland on the main Gloucester road, some 3 miles south-west of Cheltenham.

A delightful mansion in warm Cotswold stone housed the directors’ offices.

The factory buildings were sited to merge harmoniously into their natural surroundings, so that the ideal atmosphere of a country estate was maintained.

Concealed on three sides by masses of old trees were drawing offices, assembly, machine, plating and polishing shops, testing rigs, inspection, maintenance, medical, canteen and recreation blocks.

The factory, which had some 1,500 employees, was chiefly engaged on prototype and development projects on aircraft undercarriages, pumps and other components for hydraulic systems.

Here undercarriages for all types of aircraft were designed, developed and tested.

They included those for the Bristol “Brabazon”, and many of Britain’s post war high-speed fighters.

Situated at Arle Court was the largest undercarriage drop test rig in the world, and three smaller ones were also in constant use in the undercarriage research department.

It was on this equipment that the original tests on the “Comet” undercarriage were carried out on behalf of the de Havilland Aircraft Company.

The hydraulic test department is fully equipped to test all types of pump, valve and complete hydraulic system.

During the Second World War Dowty’s inventive and creative engineer’s mind was fully unleashed.

Twenty-eight different aircraft were fitted with Dowty equipment, which included 12,900 sets for the Hurricane, over 90,000 other undercarriage units, and more than a million hydraulic units.

Dowty Equipment – Publication

The list of Dowty equipped aircraft included these famous planes: Hurricane, Typhoon, Lancaster, Halifax, Meteor, Stirling, Blenheim, Manchester, York, Lysander

Dowty Equipment Publication

Plants were set up throughout Britain and in Canada and the USA.

After the Second World War Dowty applied his new approaches to hydraulics to wider fields—motorcycle forks, hydraulic pit props and a prime support system, industrial pumps, and hydraulic control systems.

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