Catalogue description Ministry of Aviation and successors: Scientific Research (Air) and Future Aircraft Division, Hovercraft Section and successors: Registered Files (AW Series)

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Details of AVIA 98
Reference: AVIA 98
Title: Ministry of Aviation and successors: Scientific Research (Air) and Future Aircraft Division, Hovercraft Section and successors: Registered Files (AW Series)

This series contains files of the Hovercraft Section (and its successors) of the Ministry of Aviation, the Ministry of Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Industry. The files relate to departmental responsibility for, and policy on, hovercraft (including policy on noise and on accidents); individual hovercraft (including those for military purposes) and their operational requirements, trialing and development; financial aspects of research work; exchange of information with other countries, and foreign trials.

Date: 1960-1977
Related material:

For reports from a variety of sources, inherited by DTI, and dealing with various hovercraft and their development see BT 268

For NC files, eight of which deal with Hovercraft, see FV 3

For other related files (Ministry of Technology and successors: Electrical, Chemical (Process Plant) and Shipbuilding Industries Division and successors: Registered Files (SB series)) see the series FV 36

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: AW file series
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Department of Trade and Industry, Hovercraft Directorate, 1970-1974

Ministry of Aviation, Hovercraft Section, 1960-1967

Ministry of Defence, 1947-

Ministry of Technology, Hovercraft Directorate, 1969-1970

Ministry of Technology, Hovercraft Section, 1967-1969

Physical description: 238 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure
Administrative / biographical background:

In February 1967 the Hovercraft Section of the Future Aircraft Weapon Systems Branch of the Scientific Research (Air) and Future Aircraft Division, Ministry of Aviation was transferred to the Ministry of Technology (Mintech), the title initially continuing, but by March 1969 this unit had become the Hovercraft Directorate of the Research Administration Division, subsequently the Research Planning Division. On transfer to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in October 1970, the Hovercraft Directorate remained in being, becoming, in May 1971, a branch of the Research Division and, in November 1971, the Research and Requirements Division. This Division was transferred to the Department of Industry in May 1974.

The directorate was disbanded in 1974 and responsibility for military hovercraft procurement and development was assumed by the Ministry of Defence. Sponsorship responsibility for the civil hovercraft industry remained with the Department of Industry but was transferred to the Shipbuilding Policy Division.

The Scientific Research (Air) and Future Aircraft Division was responsible for:

  • aerodynamic, material and structural research, including control of the research aircraft programme;
  • evaluation and forward planning of future aircraft projects;
  • the Anglo-French Combat/Trainer Projects;
  • liaison with the Air and Naval Staffs on future requirements;
  • analysis of technical and scientific resources in the aircraft industry;
  • co-ordination of the Air Research Programme;
  • inventions;
  • clearance of scientific and technical reports, etc., for the Chief Scientist.

The Future Aircraft Weapon System Branch was responsible for the second and fourth tasks mentioned above. The Hovercraft Section was responsible for Hovercraft research, development and projects. The Aircraft Research Branch was responsible for allocation, supervision and co-ordination of aerodynamics reseach work at Establishments and of research aircraft projects at aicraft firms.

The Hovercraft Directorate had sponsorship responsibility for the hovercraft manufacturing industry as well as directing the hovercraft research and development programme and the procurement of military hovercraft. It liased with the National Research Development Corporation on all applications of the air cushion principle, except hovertrain.

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