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deHavilland  Aircraft

De Havilland Aircraft Company Limited /dəˈhævɪlənd/ was a British aviation manufacturer established in late 1920 by Geoffrey de Havilland at Stag Lane Aerodrome Edgware on the outskirts of north London. Operations were later moved to Hatfield in Hertfordshire.

Origins

In January 1920 Geoffrey de Havilland was working for Airco as technical director and chief designer. BSA bought Airco on 20 January 1920 from George Holt Thomas on the say-so of one BSA director, Percy Martin, having done inadequate due diligence. Within days BSA discovered Airco's true circumstances and shut it down in July 1920. The resulting losses were so great BSA was unable to pay a dividend for the next four years.

 

With Thomas's help de Havilland took modest premises at the nearby Stag Lane Aerodrome and formed a limited liability company, De Havilland Aircraft Company Limited, incorporated 26 September 1920. The directors were de Havilland, Arthur E. Turner and chief engineer Charles Clement Walker. Nominal capital £50,000.

 

The real capital was from  Geoffrey de Havilland (£3,000) and George Holt Thomas (£10,000), with various others adding a further £1,000. Banking on an order worth about £2,500 originally intended for Airco de Havilland brought in friends Charles Clement Walker (aerodynamics and stressing), Wilfred E. Nixon (company secretary), Francis E. N. St.Barbe (business and sales) and Frank T Hearle (works manager). Hugh Burroughes went to the Gloster Aircraft Company. The fledgling enterprise was lucky to be approached the next year by a man wanting a new aeroplane built for him, Alan Samuel Butler. He invested heavily in the business.  The first year's turnover was £32,782 and net profit £2,387 and in early 1922 they bought Stag Lane aerodrome for £20,000.  They survived until 1925 when de Havilland's own design, the Moth (first flown 22 February 1925) proved to be just what the flying world was waiting for.

 In 1928 de Havilland Aircraft Company Limited went public

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