Beagle Aircraft

Beagle Aircraft Limited
Industry Aerospace, Engineering
Fate Placed into receivership, assets disposed.
Founded 1960 (as British Executive & General Aviation Limited)
Defunct 1969
Headquarters Shoreham, Sussex, UK
Parent Pressed Steel Company

Beagle Aircraft Limited was a British light aircraft manufacturer of types such as the Airedale, Basset, Husky and Pup. It had factories at Rearsby in Leicestershire and Shoreham in Sussex. The company was dissolved in 1969.


The British Executive & General Aviation Limited (trading as BEAGLE) was formed in 1960 when the Pressed Steel Company created an aircraft design office (to design the Beagle B.206) and took over two separate aircraft manufacturers, Auster Aircraft Company of Rearsby, Leicestershire and F.G Miles Limited of Shoreham, Sussex.[1]

Initially the three parts of the company operated independently, the Rearsby factory as Beagle-Auster Limited[2] and the Shoreham factory as Beagle-Miles Limited. This did not last long and the three parts of the company were merged at Shoreham as Beagle Aircraft Limited in 1962.

In 1965 the parent company Pressed Steel was acquired by the British Motor Corporation. The company reviewed the involvement in light aircraft manufacturing and requested financial help from the British Government. The British government bought Beagle in 1966 and provided the help needed. When the company needed more financial help in 1969, the Government put the company into receivership. The Receiver tried to revive and sell the company (now renamed Beagle Aircraft (1969) Limited), but failed and the company assets were disposed of.


The Beagle B.206 was a twin piston-engined design evolved from the Bristol 220 project made in small numbers from 1961 to 1969. At this time Beagle also sold the Airedale, Terrier and D5/180 Husky, with marginal success. In 1967 the single-engined Beagle Pup made its first flight and was made and sold in greater numbers until the company's bankruptcy. At this time the military Bulldog was being developed from the Pup by Beagle; Bulldog production was then completed by Scottish Aviation at their Prestwick factory following the demise of the Beagle Aircraft Company. At the turn of the 21st Century, many Bulldogs were being sold by air forces to civilian operators, in much the same way that Austers were transferred from Army or RAF squadrons during the 1940s and 1950s.

Beagle also collaborated with Ken Wallis in building five Wallis WA-116 autogyros at Shoreham in 1962 for evaluation by the British Army. This collaboration ended when the British Army chose the Westland Sioux for this role.

See also



  1. Flying Magazine: 43. December 1961. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. Jackson 1974, p. 187.


  • Jackson, A.J. British Civil Aircraft since 1919 (Volume 1). London, Putnam, 1974. ISBN 0-370-10006-9

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