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Aircraft to be produced in the UK once again as BN eyes IOW return

Britten-Norman Islander (Image: BN)

Britten-Norman Islander (Image: BN)

Aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman is set to return aircraft manufacturing to the UK when it moves production back to Bembridge, Isle of Wight.

Britten-Norman, which makes the Islander propellor aircraft, started out at Bembridge but moved most of the production to Eastern Europe in the the 1960s with a final assembly line in Southampton.

The company now plans to invest in two production lines on the Isle of Wight creating hundreds of highly skilled jobs locally but also to retain its Southampton site.

One aircraft to be built there is the planned Zero-Emissions Islander which is has received significant interest.

The Zero Emissions Islander is being developed in association with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions.

One of Loganair’s Britten-Norman Islanders

When the factory is up and running, Britten-Norman will be the only UK company to design and manufacture aircraft in the UK.

Speaking about the plans, Britten-Norman CEO William Hynett OBE said: “The project is a great success story for the British aircraft manufacturing industry. I am very proud to be involved in this next chapter at Britten-Norman”

As well as the Islander, which is a civilian aircraft, Britten-Norman also produce a military variant called the Defender which is used for counter intelligence and surveillance.

Bembridge is one of two large airfields on the Isle of Wight. Britten-Norman has had a presence there since 1965.

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