Home / Portsmouth Aviation Blog / Portsmouth Aviation: 90 years of history

Portsmouth Aviation Ltd is a family-owned business and have been serving clients across the world for over 90 years. Although our focus and expertise have evolved, our ability to deliver cost-effective engineering, manufacturing solutions and manifesting a sense of community and belonging, has remained the same. We have a highly skilled team of professionals who are passionate and motivated to achieve. We encourage our employees to learn, grow and progress, which in turn builds a creative and innovative workforce.

Portsmouth Aviation’s History

Portsmouth Aviation was originally founded in 1929 under the name Inland Flying Services which primarily flew passengers to and from the Isle of Wight. Shortly after, the company assumed the name Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation and were proud employers of the pioneering aviatrix Amy Johnson, who was the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. In the 1940s, the company’s name was changed to Portsmouth Aviation and was involved in manufacturing activity that supported the allied forces in World War II. The business was proud to produce the Airspeed Oxford and Horsa Glider and was involved in the maintenance, testing and evaluation of World War II weapon systems. 

After the war, production was expanded to include the manufacturing of bus and coach bodies. However this was only short lived, in 1960’s Portsmouth Aviation decided to consolidate its smaller clients and focus on large international projects. The company’s portfolio during the 1970’s included work on the FV180 Combat Engineer and military used VIPA1 Camera Pod.

The 1980’s was a busy decade for Portsmouth Aviation, they collaborated with a major US client and also developed a UK standard weapon system for the Royal Air Force. Whilst also sourcing a new solution for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence (NBCD) systems in conjunction with the Royal Navy. Due to the success of large projects and prestigious contracts over the past few years, Portsmouth Aviation were able to invest in new manufacturing equipment and in-house design softwares, which in turn allowed us to develop our capabilities and offerings as a company.

What does Portsmouth Aviation offer clients now?

After over 90 years in business, Portsmouth Aviation’s position continues to evolve but still maintains its support to the community and defence sector. This experience, serving a wide range of industry sectors, provides a unique combination of mature, precision products that are designed, developed and manufactured under one roof in our state-of-the-art facility.

In the modern marketplace, businesses rarely work alone. Whether it’s sourcing components, facilitating the transportation of goods, or developing digital software solutions, organisations operate at the centre of a complex, interconnected and interdependent economic ecosystem. As a result, your choice of business partner plays a major role in determining the extent of your success. Our focus on our customers’ immediate needs has allowed us to position ourselves as the business partner that improves your products and services, delivers on time and provides cost-effective solutions to your manufacturing challenges.

From our expert Design Engineering service to our state-of-the-art Metal Fabrication capability, we manage every step of the process.We’ve made a concerted effort to ensure that the entire manufacturing process – from design to production – is completed in-house. That allows us to provide our customers and partners with a one-stop-shop for their manufacturing needs and minimises the time required to complete a project, as well as reducing costs and eradicating inaccuracies and production mistakes.

At Portsmouth Aviation, we recognise that we’re more than just a business – we’re a partner to a diverse array of organisations both nationally and internationally, as well as an important employer in the local community. 

We’ve invested heavily in building a workplace culture that prioritises creative relationships with our customers and partners. At the heart of the company is an emphasis on close communication, mutual respect and an innovative approach to problem-solving. We understand that many businesses rely heavily on our ability to provide products on time and to exacting specifications. Our expectation is that we meet these demands and fulfil our obligations for every customer.

If you’d like to learn more about Portsmouth Aviation, explore our service offerings further or read some of our case studies. Get in touch to find out more and discuss your options with us…

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