Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust
Armstrong Siddeley Aviation
In 1919 the board of AW had announced to the press their intention to “close down aircraft production because of the loss of government orders, together with no clear government policy for civil aviation. They didn’t see a future in aviation”.
However, Siddeley believed fervently that his company had a future in aero engines and by making his own aircraft, fitted with his engines, he could ensure their future.
Siddeley realised that S-D could not continue alone in the post war climate of overcapacity and reduced government orders and he looked for a partner to weather the future uncertainties. S-D had relied on AW to produce high quality castings for their aero engines and it is easy to surmise that a combination of the two company’s skills would be complementary. Siddeley approached AW with a view to amalgamating both companies motor and aviation interests, his arguments must have been very persuasive because in 1919 AW acquired all the assets of Siddeley-Deasy.
A new subsidiary company was formed known as Armstrong Siddeley Motors; this was effectively S-D with all of AW’s motor and aviation manufacturing capability folded into it. The Newcastle aircraft manufacturing capability was closed down and moved to the Parkside works in Coventry; although almost none of the workers followed.
In the new company aero engines carried the name of Armstrong Siddeley whilst, presumably because of the strong brand name, the aircraft carried the name of Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft (AWA).
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