Many factories built the Merlin


By the mid-1930s, it was becoming clear that the growth of airframe and aero engine production required by the RAF’s expansion schemes would far outstrip the capacity of existing manufacturers. The solution was for the government to pay for ‘shadow’ production capacity, mostly in the automotive industry. A 1934 government analysis of Kestrel production capacity concluded that it would be insufficient in wartime. The suggested remedy was an ‘educational’ shadow scheme, with Rolls- Royce teaching Humber how to build Kestrels. However, as with Condor production, Rolls-Royce was reluctant to share its secrets. It instead decided to increase the capacity of its Derby factory, as well as sub-contracting more work.

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