Dowty Group

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Dowty Group
IndustryAircraft equipment
SuccessorTI Group
HeadquartersCheltenham, UK
Key people
Sir Robert Hunt (Chairman)[1]

Dowty Group was a leading British manufacturer of aircraft equipment. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, but was acquired by TI Group in 1992.


The company was founded by George Dowty in 1935, making aircraft equipment in Cheltenham under the name Dowty Aviation.[2] In its early years the company invented the first internally sprung aircraft wheel and went on to make landing gear for Frank Whittle's jet-propelled Gloster aeroplane.[1] In 1960 the company acquired Rotol Airscrews, giving it a propeller manufacturing capability (Dowty Rotol).[2] In 1961 it acquired Boulton Paul Aircraft, no longer a large scale manufacturer of aircraft, producing research aircraft, but producing powered control units for aircraft, as well as other activities.[3] This was named Dowty Boulton Paul Ltd.

In the 1960s the company went on to develop fuel control systems for the Harrier jump jet and power controls for the Concorde supersonic airliner.[1]

Dowty Group collaborated with the French Group Messier on aircraft landing gear and hydraulics over a long period of time.

In the late 1980s the company diversified into telecommunications and computer equipment, acquiring Datatel, a software business, in 1987,[4] Case Group plc, a telecommunications business, in 1988[5] and Dataco, a provider of network services, in 1990.[6]


The company manufactured hydraulic and actuation systems, advanced propeller systems, turbine engine components and tubular systems, as well as owning the Hamble aircraft structures business.[7] The Dowty Group was also a market leader in the manufacturing of mining equipment.[8]

Demise of the business[edit]

The company was acquired by TI Group in 1992.[9]

In 1993 TI Group hived off seven former Dowty Group companies engaged in the manufacture of electronic equipment by way of a management buy-out to form Ultra Electronics.[10]

In 1994 TI Group transferred the Dowty landing gear business into a joint venture formed with SNECMA, known as Messier-Dowty:[2] in 1998 that business became wholly owned by Safran.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Sir Robert Hunt: Obituary The Telegraph, 17 October 2004
  2. ^ a b c Gloucester Transport History
  3. ^ University of Wolverhampton: Local history
  4. ^ Dowty Group acquires Datatel Inc
  5. ^ Dowty Group launches tender offer for Case Group
  6. ^ Dowty Group launches a tender offer for Dataco
  7. ^ GE Aviation: History
  8. ^ Dowty Mining Equipment
  9. ^ British engineering firms merger moves forward New York Times, 1992
  10. ^ "Ultra Electronics Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2005 Page 31" (PDF). Ultra Electronics Holdings plc. 2005. Retrieved 25 September 2006.