Collection Item Summary:
Rotol Airscrews, Ltd was formed in 1937 as a joint venture of Rolls-Royce and Bristol. The name, a combination of “Rolls-Royce” and “Bristol,” was suggested by the wife of a Bristol employee being transferred to the new enterprise.
A British shortage of duralumin material during World War II led to application of the Schwarz process, where special machinery pressed a hard metal mesh coating and cellulose sheet over the entire propeller primarily consisting of soft wood, usually pine or fir, to produce very hard composite wood blades.
In the post-war period, with the metal material shortage ended, so did application of wood blades. In 1958 Bristol and Rolls-Royce sold Rotol to the Dowty Group. Today Dowty Rotol is one of the world’s leading propeller manufacturers.