Aircraft manufacturing on the Isle of Wight began long before the Britten-Norman Islander took to the air. Pete London shines a light on one of the island’s most successful but little-known early products
Designing and building light civil types, Simmonds Aircraft of Weston, Southampton, was formed by Oliver Simmonds in 1928. But the market was highly competitive and despite reasonable sales for the company’s size, Simmonds soon found itself in financial trouble. During 1930, it was acquired by management and investment company Whitehall Securities Corporation and rebranded as Spartan Aircraft.