Dowty Group - Press Releases

Here are a selection of press releases by the Dowty Group over the years


Dowty Group – 1952
A Director of several subsidiaries of the Dowty group, Mr. F. J. A. Mangeot, A.C.A., has been elected to the board of the parent company. Born in 1911, he was educated at Westminster School. After a year at the French Institute in London, where he took a commercial course in two languages, Mr. Mangeot was articled to Price Waterhouse Co., chartered accountants, in 1928 and, after qualifying in 1933, remained with the firm until 1938. In that year he joined Production Engineering Ltd., industrial management consultants, and worked with them until 1948, when he was appointed to the Dowty organization as chief accountant. He served in that capacity until election to the boards of the subsidiary companies—Dowty Mining Equipment, Ltd., Dowty Seals, Ltd., and Ashchurch Products (Realisations), Ltd.

Dowty Equipment Australia – 13 June 1952
Yet another branch of the Dowty organization has now been established, this time under the title of Dowty Equipment (Australia) Pty. Ltd. The headquarters of the new undertaking are to be at Sydney, N.S.W., and in charge will be Mr. Peter Handcock, who recently left England by B.O.A.C. He has been with the parent company since 1937. Before his present appointment he was contracts manager at Cheltenham. The initial activities of the new company will be in connection with the servicing and repair of Dowty aircraft undercarriage and hydraulic equipment. Mr. Peter Handcock will be assisted in his new duties by Mr. P. W. Long as service manager.

Dowty Apprentices’ Prize Giving – November 1952                                                       The third annual apprentices’ prize giving of Dowty Equipment, Ltd., took place at Arle Court, Cheltenham, on November 14th.  Sir  Roy  Fedden  made  the  presentations,  and  a number  of  Dowty  executives  were  also  present,  including  Mr. G. H. Dowty (Chairman and Managing Director).  Over  60 per  cent  of  apprentices  in  all  courses  had  passed  their  examinations  at  the  end   of  the  training  year.   Three  had   won   prizes  at  the  North  Gloucestershire  Technical  College,  while  two  others  had  obtained  Higher  National  Certificates.  “I  am  convinced,”  Sir  Roy  told  the  apprentices, “that  here  you  can  get  training  as  good  as,  or  better  than,  anywhere  else.   The   field  is  wider,  not  so  specialized, and  you  will  get  more  personal  training  than  in  one  of  the  very  big  factories.”

Dowty Progress – 19 December 1952
At the sixteenth annual general meeting of Dowty Equipment, Ltd., held on December 8th, at Arle Court, Cheltenham, Mr. G. H. Dowty, F.R.Ae.S. (Chairman) said that the group’s current sales of equipment for British aircraft were higher than at any time since the war. They were proud that, among the super priority aircraft, the Hawker Hunter, Gloster Javelin and Avro 698 had Dowty undercarriages and hydraulic equipment. Other new types for which the company was supplying equipment were the French Marcel Dassault Mystere, the Vickers-Armstrongs Swift and the Saunders Roe Princess flying-boat. In his review of the progress of the overseas companies, the chairman said that last summer he had visited Dowty Equipment of Canada, Ltd., and was pleased to report a satisfactory position. Plans for extending the Ontario factory had been approved. The company was providing the first aircraft undercarriage drop test rig ever to be installed in Canada. It would be capable of testing undercarriages for an all-up weight of 150,000 lb and it would no longer be necessary for Canadian aircraft constructors to rely on England or the United States for such tests. Of Dowty Fuel Systems, Ltd., the chairman said that this subsidiary had pioneered that particular type of fuel system for gas turbines known as “spill control.” This normally required two pumps for satisfactory operation but the company have successfully tested a single-pump spill system with an integral all-speed governor. This had reduced the complexity of the original arrangement and indications were that this system would be widely adopted. Dowty fuel pumps were now fitted as standard on Sapphire, Ghost, Goblin, and Double Mamba engines and on the American TJ32C and J65. In his financial statement, Mr. Dowty told shareholders that the group’s profit, before taxation, was £560,011 an increase of £129,825 over the figure for the previous year. There was, however, a heavy increase of £98,532 in the amount required to meet taxation liabilities.

Dowty Board Appointments – 23 July 1954
The appointment of two directors and a chief designer is announced by Dowty Group, Ltd. Mr. E. J. Nicholl, B.Sc.(Eng.), A.F.R.Ae.S.—a director of Dowty Equipment, Ltd., Dowty Equipment (Canada), Ltd., and Dowty Auto Units, Ltd.—has been elected joint managing director of Dowty Equipment, Ltd. (in conjunction with Mr G H Dowty) and managing director of Dowty Fuel Systems, Ltd. Mr. Dowty will continue to act as chairman of both companies. Mr. F. J. A. Mangeot, A.GJL, a director of five Dowty companies—Equipment, Auto Units, Mining Equipment, Seals and Ashchurch Products—has been elected to the board of Dowty Fuel Systems. Mr. R. C. Cussons, D.F.C, M.A.(Cantab), F.R.Ae.S., assistant chief designer to Dowty Equipment, is promoted to become that company’s chief designer. Mr. Cussons served with the R.A.F. from September 1939 until December 1946, attaining the rank of Squadron Leader. He joined / Dowty Equipment’s undercarriage design department in 1946 and in March 1950 was appointed Assistant Chief Designer

Dowty Group – 17 December 1954
In his report to shareholders this year, Mr. G. H. Dowty, chairman of the Dowty Group, begins by saying: “This must be a most peculiar year to our shareholders – it will be a year without an Annual General Meeting. The shares formerly held in Dowty Equipment, Ltd., were exchanged . . . into shares of Dowty Group, Ltd.—a holding company which came into being only this year, and its first accounts will be made up to March 31st, 1955.” Mr. Dowty went on to say that the year under review (ended March 31st, 1954) had been one in which a profit of a record breaking seven figures had been achieved. In the past six years the group had opened no fewer than seven new plants. The Canadian company in particular had continued to progress; orders on hand represented two-and-a-half years’ work at the present rate of turnover, and further factory extensions were taking place. In his financial statement, the Chairman showed that the seven figure profit was £1,115,957, an increase of £252,876 over the previous year. Tax at £704,537 showed an increase of £121,741, but this included £116,797 for the Excess Profits Levy which ceased to be chargeable after December 31st, 1953. During the two years of its operation, says Mr. Dowty, “this so-called Excess Profits Levy” cost the group about a quarter of a million pounds.

Dowty Electronics – 18 March 1955
The electronics field is the latest to be entered by the repeatedly expanding Dowty Group. It was announced last week that they have acquired the Cheltenham firm of Davis, Wynn and Andrews, who were among the pioneers in the development of electronic instruments. Mr. G. H. Dowty will now be chairman of the electronics company, and Mr. T. D. H. Andrews, hitherto its managing director, is being appointed technical director.

Dowty Equipment – 6 May 1955
Mr. Leslie T. P. Banbury, who has been made a director of Dowty Equipment, Ltd.; he is already a Director of several of the Dowty companies, (flight) Mr. K. A. N. Mills takes over from Mr. Banbury the position of Secretary of Dowty Equipment, Ltd. Mr. Banbury remains Secretary of the parent company, Dowty Group, Ltd

Dowty Group – 13 May 1955
Following the recent statement by Mr. G. H. Dowty that the educational activities of the Dowty Group were to be extended, comes news of the appointment of Mr. K. J. Hume as Chief Education officer. Mr. Hume has held posts with the de Havilland Aircraft and Engine companies and is at present head of the National College of Horology. He will take up his new duties in August.

Dowty Fuel Systems – 21 October 1955
At a recent Board meeting, Mr. K. Mills, secretary of Dowty Equipment, Ltd., was appointed company secretary of Dowty Fuel Systems, Ltd.

Dowty Apprentices Rewarded – 2 December 1955
Speaking at the recent annual prize giving to apprentices of Dowty Equipment, Ltd., at Arle Court, Cheltenham, Sir Godfrey Ince (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and National Service), said that automation was likely to require more skilled men for maintenance work, and more skilled men for the production of automatic control equipment. He saw no reason why this country, with its inventive genius and its craftsmen, should not become the leading producer of such equipment. Later in his address Sir Godfrey said that at Dowty’s young men were being trained as skilled craftsmen by experts in one of the best equipped and most efficient training schools in the country.
In welcoming Sir Godfrey, Mr. George Dowty mentioned the help given in apprentice-training by Mr. A. W. Hildrew, Principal of North Gloucestershire Technical College.
First-Year Apprentices: C. Snell, W. Popiel; 2nd Year: M. Crouch, M. Evans; 3rd Year: D. Parker, C. D. Williams; 4th Year: R. B. Shayler, D. Morgan; 5th Year: J. Child, I. R. Hughes. Plant Department Progress Prize: J. Savory; Production Engineering Apprentice Prize: B. T. Smith; Coventry Precision Ltd. Prize: Senior, M. Perkins; Junior, P. Sanderson; New Mendip Engineering Prize: Senior, R. Evans, Junior, R. Styles; Commercial Training Prize: B. Harries.
Completed Indentures
Dowty Equipment Ltd: R. G. Brown, I. J. Camm, R. J. Canning, V. K. Carter, J. W. Child, E. P. Gardiner, D. Hall, R. P. Hodges, I. R. Hughes, P. Leach, D. G. Llewellyn, T. Lush, J. A. Moore, J. R. Palmer, E. D. Simons, B. T. Smith, R. S. Walters, A. Woodward. Dowty Nucleonics: D. Stewart. New Mendip Engineering: M. Tae, M. Pidden, W. Hutchison, K. P. Mullet, G. A. Peaple, D. Ludlow.

Dowty Apprentice Prizegiving – November 1956
Speaking at the annual prizegiving to Dowty Group apprentices at Arle Court, Cheltenham, recently, Sir Arnold Hall, technical director of the Hawker Siddeley Group and formerly director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, said that a hundred years ago people were writing about the “dreadful state” of technical education in this country. But in the last century we had managed to do more in the engineering world than any other country, despite our small resources. Mr. K. J. Hume, Group education officer, said that under the Dowty training scheme there had been more than 70 per cent passes in examinations and 20 National Certificates had been awarded. Among the prize-winners introduced by Mr. D. M. Mann, education officer, were the following: First year apprentices, D. Birch, M. Griffiths; 2nd year, D. Parry, Mr. Mackenzie; 3rd year, J. Chase, M. Crouch; 4th year, R. Blake, R. Attwood; 5th year, A. Jordan, R. Shayler. Plant Department Progress Prize: C. Page; Production Engineering Apprentice Prize: M. Hickman; Coventry Precision, Ltd., Apprentice Prize: M. Bird (sen.), P. Sanderson (jun.); New Mendip Engineering, Ltd., Prize: A. Sawyer (sen.), L. Bealing (jun.); Commercial Training Prize: H. Dutton.

Dowty Apprentice Prizegiving – December 1957                                                                    A large gathering of apprentices and trainees of the Dowty Group, their parents and friends, were addressed by Mr.A. F. Burke, deputy chairman and managing director of deHavilland Aircraft, Ltd., on November 22. The occasion was the Dowty Group’s annual prizegiving at Arle Court, and Mr. Burke was optimistic about the future both of the aircraft industry and of those entering it. The trouble with the British, he felt, was that we were too modest. We didn’t shout enough about our own achievements and were far too eager to give away our hard earned knowledge. Few people realised the extent of our achievements, for example, the first American jet aircraft had a Dowty fuel system and a deHavilland engine. Paying tribute to Sir George Dowty, Mr. Burke told the apprentices “You have in your Chairman an example of what can be done with nothing to back you but a sound engineering training, enthusiasm, confidence in oneself, courage, and the health and ability to work hard.”  Mr. Burke reassured parents worried by the threat of redundancy in the military aircraft industry. “I can assure you they have chosen wisely. It is the most advanced side of engineering and from it, anyone could go into any other branch.”  Welcoming Mr. Burke, who later presented the prizes, Sir George Dowty described him as one of the great leaders of the aircraft industry. He reminded the assembly that before many of them were born Mr. Burke flew the Atlantic in the R.I00. Mr. K. J. Hume, Dowty Group education and training officer, thanked Mr. Burke for his address and spoke briefly on the educational activities of the group during the past year.

Dowty Directorship – March 1958                                                                                               Mr. H. S. Butt, who has been appointed to the Board of Dowty Equipment, Ltd., as production director, joined the company in 1949 as production manager after having been with the Bristol Aeroplane Co., Ltd., continuously since his apprenticeship days (in 1939 he inaugurated and managed their shadow factory at Weston-Super-Mare, which built Beaufighters and afterwards aluminium houses). He was made 1948 for his services to industry.

Dowty Reorganization Forecast – 22 May 1959                                                         When  Sir  George  Dowty  presented  prizes  to  Rotol  apprentices  on  May  8  he  said  he  had  been  happy  to  receive  an invitation  to  do  so,  as  it  gave  him  an  opportunity   of  meeting Rotol  apprentices  for  the  first  time  as  members  of  the  Dowty organization.  Sir George, who is chairman  and managing  director of the Dowty  Group and chairman  of  Rotol Ltd., commented  that Government  policy  in  reducing  the  size  of  the  manned  air  force was  having  a  profound  effect  on  the  group’s  order  books.   The falling-away   of   military   orders   meant   that   there   was   intense competition in the civil aviation business.   Changes  would  have to  be  made  in  the  group  to  ensure  a  proper  integration   of  its activities;  and  concern  for  the  future   and   possible  feelings   of insecurity  was  natural.  “But I am an optimist,” said Sir George. “From that day twenty-eight years ago when I started my own business single-handed, my optimism has never    faltered. Although  the  Rotol  company  has  joined  us  at  a  time  when  we have  entered  what  will  undoubtedly   prove  to  be  a  permanent depression  in  the  aircraft  industry,  there  is  no  need  for  undue alarm. “Sir George was introduced by Lt-Gen.  Sir John Evetts, Deputy Chairman of Rotol, and presented prizes to 99 apprentices.   Both before   and   after   the   prize giving  ceremony  the   newly   opened exhibition  hall  was  thronged  with  visitors  to  see  a  display  of Rotol/British  Messier  products.

Dowty Exports Director – 19 April 1962
Dowty Group has announced the appointment of Mr H. Newport as a director of Dowty Exports Ltd. He joined Rotol Ltd on its formation in 1937, after serving with the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s engine department, and became assistant chief engineer before going to Australia as area manager to open the Rotol offices there. He returned to this country to become assistant sales manager and was later made sales manager.

Dowty US Appointments – 23 January 1964
Mr K. D. Morley has been appointed to the boards of Dowty Corporation and Dowty Rotol Incorporated following the resignation of Mr V. N. Thacker. Mr Morley will be vice-president of each of the Dowty Group’s companies in the United States. The affairs of these two companies have been taken over by Dowty Equipment of Canada Ltd. The warehousing activity of Dowty Rotol Inc. will continue in Washington DC.

Dowty’s “Long Friendship” Order – 11 March 1965
Dowty Rotol has received an export order worth nearly £500,000 from Fairchild Hiller for propellers, undercarriages and auxiliary gearboxes for the new FH-227 stretched F-27 Friendship airliner. This equipment will be fitted in the 18 FH-227 Friendships ordered in January by Mohawk Airlines.

Sir George Dowty – 13 January 1966
G. H, Dowty (Sir George Dowty) Founder, chairman and managing director of the Dowty Group Ltd, one of Britain’s leading industrial organisations, Sir George made his name and laid the foundations of his commercial success by his work on aircraft undercarriages. He was awarded the Edward Busk Memorial Prize in 1937 and the RAeS Gold Medal for Advancement of Aeronautical Science in 1955. During 1952-53 Sir George held office as the Society’s president, and in 1964 he was appointed an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Tewkesbury.

Dowty Rotol – 16 May 1968
New Managing Director of Dowty Rotol Ltd in succession to Mr R. F. Hunt is Mr A. Rippon, DFC, who commanded No 150 Sqn, flying Lancaster’s, in the war. From 1959 to 1966 he was Group Sales Director of Lockheed Precision Products

Goodyear / Dowty Agreement – 19 August 1971
The Aviation Division of the Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Co (Great Britain) Ltd. has announced that Dowty Rotol Ltd., Gloucester, will manufacture, on a subcontract basis, Goodyear aircraft wheel, brake and hydraulic equipment. Dowty Rotol has for many years manufactured anti-skid valves for aircraft equipped with Goodyear antiskid systems. Goodyear Aviation Division has completed an expansion of its Heathrow service depot, which adds a further 5,400 sq ft of floor space.

Dowty Rotol – 23 September 1971
Dowty Rotol has received an order worth more than £1,000,000 for aviation equipment for the export version of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier being supplied to the US Marine Corps. The equipment, which includes the complete landing gear and a range of hydraulic, flight control and fuel systems components, will be manufactured at Dowty Rotol’s Staverton, Glos, factory, the largest in the Dowty Group.

Dowty Contribution to MRCA – 23 September 1971
MRCA (Multi-Role Combat Aircraft – Tornado) recently announced go-ahead for MRCA will mean a considerable increase in work for Dowty Fuel Systems Ltd, which is now developing the reheat fuel-control system for the Rolls-Royce RB.199 engines which power this aircraft. The development programme is valued at £6-5 million, and will be shared among Dowty Fuel Systems, Lucas and Microtechnica in Italy; Dowty’s share will be 60 per cent. Development work is expected to continue until 1977, when full production will be in hand. Mr W. M. Huyton, managing director of Dowty Fuel Systems, said that this development contract could well lead to the largest production order the company had ever had.

Dowty Rotol – 28 Feb 1974
Dowty Rotol (Cheltenham) has licensed Sundstrand (4747 Harrison Ave, Rockford, 111) to build and sell Dowty ram-air turbines and associated equipment. The agreement gives Sundstrand exclusive sales rights in the United States and Canada, and provides for exchange of technical information.

Dowty Group – 31 October 1978
David Dibble has been appointed sales director of Dowty Boulton Paul; Sydney Robinson becomes executive director and William Adams executive director procurement and planning for Dowty Fuel Systems.

Dowty Group -September 1982
Dowty’s £39 million profit A short-term lack of growth in Dowty’s Aerospace and Defence Division should be improved by investment in advanced equipment, reports group chairman Sir Robert Hunt in announcing a £30 million profit on a £351 million turnover for the year ending March 31, 1982. The Aerospace and Defence Division increased turnover but its profit contribution “reflected the more difficult conditions earlier in the year and the closure costs of two smaller companies”. A reduction in the Aerospace and Defence Division orders was offset by increased orders received by the Mining and Industrial divisions. Current forecasts take no account of replacements for equipment lost in the South Atlantic conflict

Dowty Group – 3 March 1984
Dowty’s Aerospace and Defence and Electronics Divisions saved the group from a severe downturn in the half-year ending September 30, 1983. In that period, the mining and industrial divisions’ turnover fell from £98 million to £70 million: in the same period aerospace and defence and electronics rose from £100 million to £107 million. Group profit before tax was £17 million compared with £12 million. Chairman Sir Robert Hunt sees “encouraging signs in all four divisions”, and forecasts a good year for aerospace, defence, and electronics.

Dowty Aerospace Corporation – 2 May 1987
E. J. Eldridge, director and general manager of Dowty Rotol product support, is appointed a director of Dowty Aerospace Corporation, co-ordinating repair and overhaul work in North America

Dowty Group – 18 July 1987
Woodville Polymer Engineering, a subsidiary of Colt Industries, USA, has been bought by Dowty Group for nearly £40 million cash. Woodville’s technology includes advanced polymer engineering, composites, insulation foams, and coated and fabricated products. Woodville is a major supplier to the Royal Navy of acoustic and radar absorption and decoupling polymers for stealth applications. These activities are complementary to Dowty’s own business in stealth and anti-submarine programmes.

Dowty Electronic Systems – 1 August 1987
Managing director Colin Cocks announces the following appointments: Dr David Grant, director advanced programmes and technology and a board member of each operating company. F. J. Nockolds becomes managing director of Dowty maritime systems, which has new directors in T. Bolton, R. W. Coles, and R. A. Ripper. P. J. Lester becomes managing director of Dowty defence and air systems, which will have as Director’s A. Belisario, R. A. Bull, L. W. J. Farrow, N. R. Hemming and D. S. B. Marr (marketing director). J. M. Masson becomes director of projects, Dowty fuel systems.

Dowty Group – 20 February 1988
Dowty and Dassault have joined forces in a bid for Airbus A330 and A340 flight controls. Dowty Boulton Paul and Dassault’s equipment division will make a joint response to Airbus Industrie’s requirements for powered flying control units for the two new long-haul passenger projects launched in 1987. “The design expertise and the manufacturing skills, and experience of our two companies in the field of advanced flight control systems, coupled with our joint product support facilities worldwide, are unparalleled”, says Claude Lattes, managing director of Dassault’s equipment division. Mike Spence, Dowty aerospace division’s managing director, adds: “They will enable Dassault and ourselves to produce the best”.

Dowty Group Appointments – 11 March 1989
Dowty Electronic Systems Robert W. Blakemore is Director and General Manager of the newly formed Domain Magnetics Division. G. R. Drury becomes financial director of DDASL. Nigel W. R. Smith becomes Director of projects of Fuel Systems Division. D. L. Hobson becomes Marketing Director of the new Weapon Systems division. Dowty Maritime Systems’ G. F. Mclntyre becomes Technical Director of the Gresham Division. Dowty Electronic Components David J. Richardson becomes Managing Director.

Dowty Aerospace – 29 April 1989
Jim Lightfoot is appointed managing director of the aerospace division of Dowty Group. He was previously managing director of Dowty Rotol, one of the division’s companies. Graham Lockyer is appointed managing director of Dowty Rotol. He was previously production director. Dowty Group subsidiary Dowty Aviation Services of Singapore has opened a Bahrain office under the management of Rob MacGregor.

Dowty Electrics – 9 December 1989
Dowty Electrics is to design and develop the pilot’s sticktop controller for the European Fighter Aircraft (EFA). The contract could be worth at least £1-5 million to Dowty over the programme’s life. The controller will provide 11 switches for pilot operation. Dowty Electric is the first company in the group to sign a contract for the EFA programme

Domain Magnetics – 10 April 1990
A former Dowty apprentice Chris Plumb has been named Director of operations at Domain Magnetics division of the company’s defence and air-systems business. Plumb was head of projects at Dowty Fuel Systems

Dowty Aerospace Yakima – 26 June 1990
Dowty Aerospace Yakima has appointed Ronald Herrell as vice-president of manufacturing. He was involved in the introduction of computer-aided design and manufacturing at Dowty’s Yakima, Washington, factory.

Dowty Group – 23 October 1990
UK Engineering and aerospace group Dowty is to acquire Silcofab Engineered Elastomers from privately owned Canadian company Robco for C$12 million ($10 million). Silcofab, which manufactures silicone and fluoro-silicone moulded products, will become part of Dowty’s Polymer Engineering division.

Dowty Group – 1990
Dowty Group reports 1989 pre-tax profits up 13.5% to £37 million ($59 million) on a turnover up 26% to £337.5 million. Operating profit was up 20% and, despite industrial action affecting output, aerospace division (Dowty Rotol and Dowty Boulton Paul) increased turnover almost 10% to £130 million

New York Times – 11 June 1992
The TI Group P.L.C., the British engineering company, claimed victory yesterday in its hostile bid of $:500 million, or $920 million, for the Dowty Group P.L.C., a rival engineering and aerospace company. “This is a merger for growth that creates the second-largest engineering company in the U.K. and one of the biggest in Europe,” TI’s chairman, Christopher Lewinton, said. TI said that it had received 55.4 percent of Dowty’s total share capital in acceptances from stockholders when the bid closed but that more would be coming. Dowty is the second British engineering company to fall victim to a hostile takeover within a year. The Hawker Siddeley Group P.L.C. earlier fell victim to BTR P.L.C., the industrial conglomerate.


Dowty Aerospace - News Release July 2000
Original photo in the Dowty archive at the Gloucestershire Heritage Hub
Dowty Aerospace - News Release November 2000
Original photo in the Dowty archive at the Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

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