Cunliffe-Owen OA-1
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Cunliffe-Owen OA-1

On 9 August 1937 Sir Hugo Cunliffe-Owen, chairman of British-American Tobacco, founded BAO at Eastleigh near Southampton. The company changed its name to Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft Ltd in May 1938, and improved and re-engined a single example of the American 14-seat Burnelli UB-14 airliner under the designation OA-1, replacing the two Pratt & Whitney radials with Bristol Perseus XIVs.

Ivan Fisher, 25.11.2014

I remember seeing this aircraft flying at Martlesham Heath AAEE in 1939.

luchille, 27.05.2011

lift-thurst-drag compost in life now or tomorrow?

Barry, 14.02.2011

As rightly noted this aeroplane was developed from the original Burnelli design and built at the factory at Eastleigh especially set up for the purpose by Sir Hugo Cunliffe-Owen. When tested at the A&AEE at Boscombe Down in early 1939 it was found to be poorly built if not poorly designed. An example being the escape hatch for the flight deck crew of two was in the cockpit roof and if the crew were able to evacuate the craft from here there was a good chance they could "come a cropper" on the tail plane. Designed for 20 passengers but with seats for only 15 the OA-1 was impressed into military service after the start of the war and was ferried by an ATA crew, beleived to include Jim Mollison, to North Africa where it survived till the end of the war only to be set on fire as part of the local celebrations. The factory at Eastleigh in the mean time was used for the manufacture of various aircraft parts throughout the war.

Jan Reece-Hoyes, 23.06.2010

Am looking for information on Rex Morley Hoyes who was Managing Director of Cunliffe Owen Aircrafts. Would appreciate photos etc.
With tyhanks, Jan Reece-Hoyes, Australia.

Andrew Raney, 12.04.2008

The Cunliffe-Owen OA-1 was a license built Burnelli UB-14.
The aircraft later served as General Charles de Gaulle's Transport during WW II. More details at

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