Parnall Aircraft Company

Our History

The roots of Parnall Aircraft Company are firmly planted in the early years of military aviation history. Parnall Aircraft Ltd was established in 1935 as the culmination of a long history of ventures carried out under the Parnall name since 1820, beginning as a weights-and-measures manufacturer in Bristol.

World War I

Manufacturing seaplanes
and aeroplanes

At the outset of the First World War, Parnall & Sons began manufacturing seaplanes and aeroplanes under the directorship of George Parnall. The company attracted such world-class design talent such as Harold Bolas, the mind behind the Parnall Panther and the Parnall Elf. Bolas had previously worked with the famous RJ Mitchell, designer of the original Supermarine Spitfire.

World War II

Producing Components for a Range of Active Planes

During the Second World War the Parnall Factory at Yate produced components for a range of active planes, including the Spitfire itself. The factory continued in full production even after an attack by the Luftwaffe in 1941. Nor did the return of peace to Europe after the wars hamper Parnall’s role within the aircraft industry. Attention turned instead to the production of components for civilian-type planes, as well as parts for the prototype of the Concorde.

Present Day

The Future of the
Parnall Aircraft Company

Today, the activities of the Parnall Aircraft Company include historic reconstruction, engineering training, and experiments in industrial design: while paying tribute to our rich and varied heritage, our eyes are set firmly on the future.