In a bold move that marks the history of aeronautics, Britten-Norman reintroduces production of the iconic Islander on British soil. Fifty years after leaving the UK for Eastern Europe, this legendary aircraft, witness to epic flights and intrepid missions, returns to its origins
The Islander sees the light of day again: The comeback of the phoenix of British aviation
The Islander, a true symbol of robustness and innovation since its creation in 1965, has left its mark on the history of world aviation. Known for its ability to land on unprepared terrain, short runways and in extreme conditions, this aircraft is the epitome of British engineering. After decades of production in Eastern Europe, the news that everyone was waiting for has finally arrived: Britten-Norman, the historic manufacturer, announces the great return of production of this emblematic aircraft on British soil.
Revitalization of the aerospace industry: The Islander at the heart of a renaissance
The inauguration of the new production line in Bembridge on September 21 by MP Bob Seely was not just a media event. It was the tangible beginning of a renaissance for the British aviation industry. Beyond national pride, this repatriation means massive investments, optimization of the supply chain and above all, a planned increase of 400% in aircraft production by 2027. Great Britain is thus resuming its leading position in global aeronautical production.
The legacy of the Islander: a memorable flight at the heart of its legend
But the Islander isn’t just famous for its performance and ruggedness. It is also the legacy of countless aerial adventures. Take, for example, the epic 1978 flight where an Islander, piloted by Captain Richard Thompson, made an emergency landing in the Antarctic blizzard, with near-zero visibility and freezing winds gusting to over 100 km/h. This flight, intended for a rescue mission, not only saved a team of stranded researchers, but also reinforced the Islander’s legend as a reliable aircraft in the most extreme conditions. Today, this legend continues to be written.
tags: Britten-Norman, Islander, United Kingdom, history, Eastern Europe, legendary aircraft, intrepid missions, British aerospace industry