Castle Bromwich Aeroplane Factory, of CBAF in short, was the largest aircraft production plant in the wartime Britain, and had become the main manufacturing source of the two most successful British aircraft types of the war, the Supermarine Spitfire and the Avro Lancaster.
In 1936, the British government had formalised a plan under the Air Ministry to increase capacity within Britain’s aircraft industry. Part of the program was funding a brand-new aircraft production facility near the Castle Bromwich Aerodrome, based on a notion that the local Birmingham skills-base and production techniques used in the manufacture of motor vehicles could be transferred to large-scale aircraft production.
The main facility was completed in 1939, to a cost of a whopping £4,000,000. The first Spitfires Mk. II left the production line in June 1940, not before some severe organisational problems and multiple delays had been sorted out.
The first CBAF Lancaster was flown on 22 October 1943. Its production lifted CBAF to become the largest and most successful plant of its type during the 1939-45 conflict.
Thanks to the generous donation of Mr. Chris Taylor, we have received a photocopy of an album owned by his grandfather, Charles Edward Taylor. Mr. Taylor worked in a management position at the factory, and the album seems to have been a commemorative piece containing many official photos of the works.
They are a unique document of a past era in industrial production – on a scale which is mind-boggling even today.
All photos in this gallery are credited to [Charles Edward Taylor Collection].
Enjoy the tour of the factory – Click on any image to begin