Crowded Out: The Cunliffe-Owen CONCORDIA

Britain’s post-war civil aircraft industry saw many successes, but as manufacturers jostled in a crowded market, casualties were inevitable. David Ransted recalls the all-too-brief history of the Cunliffe-Owen Concordia.

A rare colour image of the prototype Cunliffe-Owen Concordia taken during its maiden flight from the company’s Eastleigh facility on May 19, 1947. ALL IMAGES KEY ARCHIVE UNLESS STATED

Designed for the nascent post-war ‘feeder airliner’ market, Cunliffe-Owen’s Concordia was a mediumrange ten-seat commercial transport, designed by the company’s chief designer, W Garrow-Fisher, and built at Eastleigh in Hampshire. In the late-1930s, wealthy industrialist Sir Hugo Cunliffe-Owen, 1st Baronet, chairman of the British American Tobacco Company, had sought a way in to the aviation industry, creating Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft as a subsidiary in 1937. The company’s initial project was the Cunliffe-Owen OA-Mk1, a modified licence-built version of the Burnelli UB-14B ‘flying wing’ design. It attracted little customer attention and only two were built, one of which served during World War Two as General de Gaulle’s personal transport.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view. You can also access it if you’re subscribed to one of our Key Publishing magazines.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our introductory offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.