Formed in 1917 as the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company
Ltd. to take over subcontract work
from the Aircraft Manufacturing
Company and H. H. Martyn & Co Ltd. of Cheltenham.
D.H.4 and D.H.6 fuselages had been built by
Martyn, and by the end of the war the company had supplied
Fighters and 165 RAF F.E.2bs, as well
as Nieuport Nighthawks and other fuselages.
Fifty Nighthawks, renamed Sparrowhawks, built for
Japan to a 1920 order, were shortly followed by the first
true Gloucester aircraft, the Bamel single-seat
biplane, designed and built in less than four weeks. Its
designer, H. P. Folland, joined the company soon after the
Bamel's completion. A line of biplane fighters followed, the
Grebe and Gamecock being notable successes,
1926 the company was renamed Gloster Aircraft Company
Ltd. moving its main factory to Hucclecote, Gloucester.
Joining the Hawker Siddeley Group in 1934, Gloster
continued fighter production with the Gauntlet and Gladiator,
the latter being
the RAF's last biplane fighter. During
the Second World War Gloster built 2,750 Hurricanes and
3,330 Typhoons, and produced Britain's first jet aircraft to
specification E.28/39, the first of two single-jet prototypes
flying in 1941 and
leading to the twin-jet Meteor of 1944.
A total of 3,545 Meteors was produced by Gloster and
Armstrong Whitworth. Gloster's final production aircraft
was the twin-jet delta-wing Javelin all-weather interceptor,
flown in 1951, of which 435 were produced for the
RAF. Gloster ceased aircraft production in 1956.