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.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below