Planes Ltd.

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Great Britain patents, Planes Ltd. and William Phillips Thompson, improvements in flying machines, published September 1910 and April 1911; patent, Planes Ltd. and Robert Cooke Fenwick, improvements in flying machines, published October 1912. "Pendulum Stability" biplane was built by Handley Page, 1909-1910, and then modified at Freshfield by Fenwick. Flown many times in last quarter of 1910 by Fenwick, balance was such that it was said able to fly over one mile without the aviator once touching the handle; unfortunately, the craft was destroyed in December 1910 at Formby Sands when it was smashed by an over-flying biplane while being flown at 70ft above ground. New monoplane, apparently built 1911, was flown several times by Fenwick in early 1912, and, it appears, a military-type monoplane was in the works in early 1912. Ca. May 1912, Fenwick and Swaby purchased rights to Plane Ltd.'s latest monoplane, for which they were the designers and constructors, and formed Mersey Aeroplane Co. to build that craft in space leased from Planes Ltd. at Freshfield.


There does not appear to be another Planes Ltd. aircraft after Mersey Aeroplane Co. was formed. British patent records show a patent for improvements in repairing pneumatic tyres for motor cars in 1913. A new Planes Ltd. registered 16 Sep 1935 in England (see 1935FM348) appears to have nothing to do with the Planes Ltd. listed here. SD282 attributes a pendulum stability biplane, undated, and an ornithopter, 1916, to William P. Thompson. Our research suggests that the first is a reference to a patent and also to the "Pendulum Stability" biplane, both property of Planes Ltd,. and that that the ornithopter is most likely a reference to a patent, not yet identified by us, for which he was the patent agent.


  • SD231, 282
  • 1909FM466
  • 1910FM810, 1001-1001, 1012-1013
  • 1911FM171
  • 1912FM107, 392, 448, 479
  • 1917FM451
  • European Patent Office Worldwide database.

Names Planes Ltd.
Country Great Britain
City Freshfield, Formby, Merseyside, England
Started aero 1909
Ended aero 1912
Key people
Wikidata id