Brockworth, United Kingdom – Dowty Propellers announced today that its new headquarters and production facility at Brockworth, England includes a special tribute to the location’s significance in Britain’s aviation history – with this honour also shared with the local community.
Prior to the inauguration ceremony for Dowty Propellers’ new facility this afternoon, Ian Whittle – the son of British turbojet engine inventor Sir Frank Whittle – unveiled a display at the Jet Age Museum incorporating a 1-metre-long runway segment from the original Gloster Aircraft Aerodrome. The aerodrome was where such iconic airplanes as the Gloster E.28/39 (Britain’s first jet-powered aircraft) performed taxiing trials, and the Gloster Meteor (the only Allied jet fighter to be put into service during World War II) was built and flown.
In addition to the display donated to the Jet Age Museum – an all-volunteer, charitable organisation dedicated to the preservation of Gloucestershire’s aviation legacy – an identical tribute with another runway segment has been located in the reception area of Dowty Propellers’ new Brockworth facility.
Recognising the aerodrome’s contributions to Britain’s aviation industry, Dowty Propellers – in partnership with Arlington (developers of Gloucester Business Park) – recovered and restored these two runway segments before construction began on the grounds of its new facility. The site for Dowty Propellers’ new installation is in a zone of Gloucester Business Park that previously was covered by a portion of the runway for the Gloster Aircraft Company. In the more than 50 years since the aerodrome was shut down and subsequently sold off, the area has been developed into housing, retail and the business park.
“As Dowty Propellers looks to the future with our state-of-the art operation at Gloucester Business Park, we also understand the importance of honouring this location’s association with Britain’s aircraft heritage,” Oliver Towers, the President of Dowty Propellers, said. “We are pleased to have taken steps to preserve an important part of Gloucestershire’s aviation history.”
Dowty Propellers’ new headquarters and production facility at Gloucester Business Park is a new location for the company’s development, manufacture and support of state-of-the-art propeller systems with all-composite blades. This 183,000-sq. ft. operation replaces the company’s original headquarters and blade manufacturing facility in Gloucester that was destroyed by fire in February 2015.
From the origins as Rotol Airscrews – created in 1937 to pursue then-emerging propulsion technologies – Dowty Propellers has played an important role of its own in the British aviation industry, maintaining a leadership position during 80 years of developing, producing and supporting propeller systems for civil and military aircraft, along with marine hovercraft.
- Read the GE Aviation blog’s feature story: “Dowty Propellers Pays Tribute to the Past, Looks Forward to the Future at New Manufacturing Facility.”
About GE Aviation
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components, integrated digital, avionics, electrical power and mechanical systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings and is part of the world’s Digital Industrial Company with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive.
About Dowty Propellers
As a leader in the development, manufacture and support of electronically controlled, all-composite propeller systems, Dowty Propellers provides solutions for the propulsion needs of today and tomorrow. Its products are used in applications that range from commercial airliners and military airlifters to multi-role seaplanes and marine hovercraft. With a proven record of product development, introduction and support, Dowty Propellers continually invests in technologies, production capabilities and human resources – resulting in propeller systems that are safe, efficient and reliable. Its history of firsts-to-market includes the all-composite propeller blade and full-authority digital propeller control. More than 23,000 advanced composite blades have been delivered to date by Dowty Propellers, with the lead blade logging over 45,000 hours of flight time.
About Jet Age Museum (www.jetagemuseum.org)
Jet Age Museum exists to preserve and promote the rich aviation heritage of the county of Gloucestershire, England, from the early days of aviation, through the birth of the jet age and the pioneering work of Sir Frank Whittle, up to the modern era. The Museum, run entirely by volunteers and funded by donations, is currently expanding it’s under cover facilities and displays, and welcomes visitors from all over the world.