Boulton Paul Aircraft Factory, Pendeford, Wolverhampton

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Date:1940 - 1941 (c.)

Description:This photograph is taken of Boulton Paul's factory shop floor. It shows three men undertaking repairs on a Boulton Paul aircraft tail turret type 'E' which was fitted to a Halifax Bomber.

Boulton Paul Aircraft Ltd. was established in Pendeford in 1934 when the original Norwich based company, Boulton & Paul Ltd., sold its aircraft department. The factory in Pendeford was extended in 1937 and eventually covered three times the area of the original works. A training school was set up at Cannock, and the factory was a major employer in the area.

During World War One, John North, the chief engineer had helped the company to pioneer several developments in aircraft aerodynamic engineering, such as, the P.6 two seater biplane and the P.7 Bourges, the first effective twin-engined fighter bomber. He had also invented the concept of a fully enclosed power operated gun turret, which was fitted to the Overstrand aircraft, making it the first aircraft in the world to have such a turret.

During World War Two the factory responded to the German threat, by camouflaging the factory and building a dummy factory nearby. In fact, it was never targeted in German bombing raids. The Defiant aircraft was a great success for Boulton Paul during this period, as this aircraft fought in the Battle of Britain during the Second World War.

Since then Boulton Paul Ltd. has joined with a succession of larger aircraft manufacturers to become Smiths Aerospace Actuation Systems Wolverhampton.

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Image courtesy of: Boulton Paul Aircraft Association

Donor ref:20 XY Boulton Paul shop floor - repairs 1940s.jpg (58/12659)

Source: Codsall and Bilbrook Local History Society ,  Boulton Paul Aircraft Association

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