ADC Aircraft

The Aircraft Disposal Company (ADC) or Airdisco, was a British firm established in March 1920 to take advantage of the large number of World War I-surplus military aircraft on the market.[1] The company changed name in 1925 to ADC Aircraft Limited.

Aircraft Disposal Company (Airdisco)
ADC Aircraft
FateWound up
FounderFrederick Handley Page 
Key people
Frederick Handley Page, Frank Halford


In 1920 the British government, through the Disposal Board of the Ministry of Munitions, sold the entire stock of surplus aircraft, aero-engines and related equipment held in the United Kingdom to the Imperial and Foreign Corporation Limited.[2] The sale included more than 10,000 aircraft and 35,000 aero-engines, for the sum of £1,000,000 plus a 50% share of any profits.[3] The Imperial and Foreign Corporation formed the Aircraft Disposal Company to sell the equipment and to take over the management of the storage organisation and the large aircraft depots throughout the country.[2] The Handley Page Company were appointed sole managing and selling agents for ADC although problems with the financial arrangement soon put Handley Page at risk and the agreement was made in March 1921 between Handley Page Limited, Frederick Handley Page and ADC to stop ADC liquidating the Handley Page Company.[4]

The former military aircraft were converted to various civil roles before being sold on while others were sold to military buyers. By 1925, it had sold 2,000 airframes and 3,000 engines, generating profits of over £2,500,000, of which half was returned to the British Treasury.[5]

The company had several sites across Britain including 11 acres (45,000 m2) of Regent's Park in London known as Marylebone Green. Three of the National Aircraft Factories became part of the Aircraft Disposal Company including Aintree in Liverpool, Waddon in Croydon, and at Stockport near Manchester.

The company became known as "Airdisco" from its telegraphic address, "Airdisco, London".

The company had offices at Regent House, 89 Kingsway London WC2. The company name was changed to ADC Aircraft Limited in 1925 and was finally wound up in 1930.


Aircraft engines

The company produced a small range of aircraft engines under the direction of Frank Halford, the 'Cirrus' line continued to be manufactured by Cirrus Aero Engines Ltd and their successors.[6]

See also

Related lists



  1. Gunston 2005, p.7.
  2. "Terms of Surplus Aircraft Sale". The Times (42360). London. 16 March 1920. p. 16.
  3. Barnes 1976, pp. 26–27.
  4. "Company Meetings – Handley Page Limited". The Times (43067). London. 26 June 1922. p. 21.
  5. Barnes 1976, p.27.
  6. Lumsden 2003, p.54.


  • Barnes, C.H. Handley Page Aircraft since 1907. London: Putnam, 1976. ISBN 978-0-370-00030-5.
  • Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Manufacturers. Stroud, UK:Sutton Publishing, 2nd Edition, 2005. ISBN 0-7509-3981-8.
  • Lumsden, Alec. British Piston Engines and their Aircraft. Marlborough, Wiltshire: Airlife Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-85310-294-6.
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