Aviation of World War II

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Charles Richard Fairey

Charles Richard Fairey

Founded in 1915 by Charles Richard Fairey (later Sir Richard Fairey) and Belgian engineer Ernest Oscar Tips on their departure from Short Brothers, the company first built under licence or as subcontractor aircraft designed by other manufacturers.

One notable Hayes-built aircraft type during the late 1930s and World War II was the Swordfish.

Receipt of large UK military contracts in the mid-1930 s necessitated acquisition of a large factory in Heaton Chapel Stockport in 1935 that had been used as the National Aircraft Factory No. 2 during World War I.

Flight test facilities were built at Manchester's Ringway Airport, the first phase opening in June 1937. A few Hendon monoplane bombers built at Stockport were flown from Manchester's Barton Aerodrome in 1936. Quantity production of Battle light bombers at Stockport/Ringway commenced in mid 1937.

Large numbers of Fulmar fighters and Barracuda dive-bombers followed during WWII. Fairey's also built 498 Bristol Beaufighter aircraft and over 660 Handley Page Halifax bombers in their northern facilities.

Postwar, Firefly and Gannet naval aircraft were supplemented by sub-contracts from de Havilland for Vampire and Venom jet fighters. Aircraft production and modification at Stockport and Ringway ceased in 1960.