Britten-Norman

Britten-Norman (officially B-N Group or BNG) is a British aircraft manufacturer owned by members of the Zawawi family from the Sultanate of Oman, making it the last remaining UK independent commercial aircraft producer. Britten-Norman has sold more than 1,250 aircraft to customers in more than 120 countries. In addition to aircraft manufacturing, the company also performs maintenance, overhaul and repair work as well as performing sub-contract engineering and design work. The company's sole factory is located at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight although airframes are assembled under sub contract in Romania. Romanian[1] aircraft used to pass through Avions Fairey in Belgium to the UK for certification.[2] Nowadays aircraft are manufactured under UK control in Romania and are then shipped as kits to the UK for assembly and certification. The company manufactures such aircraft as the Islander and the militarised Defender both of which are capable of short take-off and landing (STOL) operations. The three-engined Trislander is still operating but is no longer manufactured. The aircraft are typically used for inter-island schedules. Many modern Islanders/Defenders have been fitted with turbine rather than piston engines. Some are employed on police or fishery patrol tasks, providing an efficient and roomy alternative to a twin-engined helicopter. Hampshire Constabulary that oversees matters on the Isle of Wight and across Hampshire was one of two police forces using Islander aircraft. In the UK it is now ust the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) that uses the BN 4000 Defender, though the Irish police, the Garda Siochana use one. Turbine-Islanders are the only fixed-wing aircraft in use by the British Army. John Britten and Desmond Norman started developing crop-spraying equipment in the middle 1950s and used de Havilland Tiger Moths (modified at their factory near Ventnor, Isle of Wight) for a contract in Sudan. After that, Britten and Norman (who had both trained with De Havilland) turned their hand to aircraft design. Their first design was the Britten-Norman BN-1 Finibee, a light single-seater parasol wing aircraft. They pitched the design to several aircraft companies but found no one willing to produce the design. Britten and Norman made a detailed analysis of the aviation market and decided there was a demand for a twin-engined utility aircraft with the minimum of complex systems that could operate from short, rough airstrips as well

s be used for high-density commuter flights. This brief developed into the BN-2 Islander, and the Britten-Norman company was formed to produce the aircraft, which first flew in 1965. During the 1960s, Britten-Norman were involved in the development of hovercraft via their subsidiary Cushioncraft Ltd; their first craft, the CC1, was the world's second hovercraft. Desmond Norman then designed a four-seater touring aircraft to compete with established types such as the Cessna 172 and Piper Cherokee. A single prototype of the BN-3 'Nymph' was built and flown in 1969, but failed to attract significant orders. Norman set up his own company to build the plane, renamed the 'Freelance' and produced components and fuselage sections for six aircraft. However, orders were still not forthcoming and following failure to win a military order for the 'Firecracker' design, Norman's company was wrapped up. After Norman's death in 2002, his son has overseen the completion of one of the Freelances to airworthy condition, and plans to assemble and sell the other five, with the possibility of full-scale production starting if possible. Following the failure of the 'Nymph', Britten-Norman continued to develop and improve the Islander design, which was enjoying great success. This culminated in 1970 with the Trislander, a trimotor version with greater range and capacity. In 1975 Britten-Norman won the Queen's Award to Industry for technological innovation for the Trislander. Ownership of the company has passed through a number of hands. The Fairey Aviation group acquired Britten-Norman in 1972. Following their financial troubles it was sold to Oerlikon-Buhrle (owner of Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland in 1978,[3] hence the Pilatus Britten-Norman designation of some of their aircraft). Oerlikon-Buhrle sold Britten-Norman to Litchfield Continental in 1998. On 19 October 1998– Biofarm Inc. (BIOF) announced its acquisition of 100% of the capital stock of Britten – Normal Limited (BN) from Litchfield Continental Limited. B-N Group was formed in 2000 to acquire the assets of Britten-Norman Limited. On 14 December 2005 Cirrus Aircraft announced that Britten-Norman will provide final re-assembly of Cirrus’s award winning SR20 and SR22 aircraft delivery to European customers. Britten-Norman, will perform final Cirrus aircraft re-assemblies, including wing and tail attachment, initially for European customers and potentially for other geographic markets in the future.