Sopwith Aviation Company

The Sopwith Aviation Company was a British aircraft company that designed and manufactured aeroplanes mainly for the British Royal Naval Air Service, the Royal Flying Corps and later the Royal Air Force in the First World War, most famously the Sopwith Camel. Sopwith aircraft were also used in varying numbers by the French, Belgian, and American air services during the War.

In April 1919, the company was renamed Sopwith Aviation & Engineering Company Limited. In September 1920, the company entered voluntary liquidation after a move to build motorcycles failed. The patents and assets were bought by a new company H.G. Hawker Engineering. Upon the liquidation of the Sopwith company, Tom Sopwith himself, together with Harry Hawker, Fred Sigrist and Bill Eyre, immediately formed H.G. Hawker Engineering, forerunner of the Hawker Aircraft and Hawker Siddeley lineage. Sopwith was Chairman of Hawker Siddeley until his retirement. Hawker and its successors produced many more famous military aircraft, including the inter-war Hart, and Demon; World War II's Hurricane, Typhoon, and Tempest; and the post-war Sea Fury, Hunter and Harrier. These later jet types were manufactured in the same factory buildings used to produce Sopwith Snipes in 1918 as Hawker Aircraft bought the Ham Factory when Leyland's lease expired.