Air Navigation Co. Ltd.
Air Navigation and Engineering Company


Norbert Antoine Chereau (b. 1863, d. 29 September 1939) came to England in 1893, where he became interested in the Blériot motor lamp business (made his fortune manufacturing automotive accessories), subsequently becoming the London Manager. Having taken the keenest interest in the early flying experiments of M. Blériot, he naturally took charge of the arrangements for the crossing of the Channel in July, 1909. After this he relinquished the lamp business to devote himself entirely to aeronautics. A Blériot School was established at Hendon on 1 October 1910, and in 1914 sheds were taken at Brooklands and enlarged to provide offices and manufacturing facilities.

Realising that a British company would have more chance to sell his models to the British government, in 1915, Blériot set up the Blériot Manufacturing Aircraft Company Ltd. The hoped for orders did not follow, as the Blériot design was seen as outdated. Following an unresolved conflict over control of the company, it was wound up on 24 July 1916. Even before the closure of this company Blériot was planning a new venture in the UK. Initially named Blériot and SPAD Ltd and based in Addlestone, the company was wound up in 1916 and reconstituted under Norbert Chereau in 1917 as the Air Navigation Co. Ltd. and became the Air Navigation and Engineering Company in August, 1919.

In 1922, following a requirement for a passenger and mail carrier for the Australian Larkin Aircraft Supply Company Limited, the company built a 10-seat biplane airliner, the Handasyde H.2, originally designed by G. H. Handasyde, who had no production facilities for his own Handasyde Aircraft Co. Ltd.. The aircraft was not a success, but was later developed into the ANEC III. The first original designs by ANEC were three monoplanes (ANEC I, IA and II), designed by W.S. Shackleton (later of Beardmores), which were among Britain's earliest ultralight aircraft.

Following the failure of the Handasyde H.2, the aircraft was redesigned John Bewsher, late of the Sopwith company, in 1926 and three ANEC.III’s were produced to the same requirement of the Larkin Company, and contributed to the development of aviation in Australia, two being converted to Larkin Lascowls, one of which was not retired until June 1932. The company’s last design, the ANEC IV biplane, also by John Bewsher was for the 1926 Daily Mail competition for two seaters fitted with engines of less than 170lb.

ANEC survived in a difficult aviation climate until late 1926, producing Blériot Whippet cars in addition to its light aircraft, but recievers were appointed in November 1926. Following Norbert Chereau's retirement, the company went into liquidation in 1928.

Company References
  1. British Light Aeroplanes 1920-1940, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2000)
  2. Flight 22 May 1914.
  3. Bleriot in Britain 1899-1927, Say Sanger (Air-Britain (Historians), 2008)

Project Data top

Project No
Type No
Alternative Name(s)
Spec (Requirement)
   I      1923    Proto  3 1S, 1E high-wing light plane  1,2,4,6,8,12
   II      1924    Proto  1  2S, 1E high-wing light plane  1,2,4,7,9,12
   III      1925    Prdn  3  7S, 1E biplane transport  1,3,10,12,13
     Sky Sign Carrier    1925    Proj  0  2 crew,4 pax, 3E light biplane light sign carrier  12
   IV  Missel Thrush    1926    Proto  1  2S, 1E light biplane  1,2,4,5,11,12

Company References
  1. British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 1, A.J. Jackson (Putnam, 2nd Ed., 1973)
  2. British Light Aeroplanes 1920-1940, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2000)
  3. British Commercial Aircraft 1920-1940, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2003)
  4. Ultralights, The Early British Classics, Richard Riding (Patrick Stephens, 1987)
  5. Aeroplane Monthly Jan 1979
  6. Aeroplane Monthly Sep 1984
  7. Aeroplane Monthly Jun 1985
  8. Flight 29 Mar 1923
  9. Flight 25 Sep 1924
  10. Flight 11 Feb 1926
  11. Flight 09 Sep 1926
  12. Bleriot in Britain 1899-1927, Ray Sanger (Air-Britain (Historians), 2008)
  13. The Martinsyde File, Ray Sanger (Air Britain (Historians), 1999)

Production Summary top
Select the Prdn_List button to go to the appropriate listings page.

Note: In the Production Summary, conversions are only listed where they result in a change from one Type to another. Changes to sub-type or Mark Number are not shown in the summary. For details of these, see the individual listings.

Type No


Qty (New)

Qty (Conv.)









  ANEC IV Missel Thrush



   Total ANEC Production     8   

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Page Revision History Page Top

Revised at Version 1.4.0
  • Added Sky Sign Carrier project.

V1.4.4 Created by Roger Moss. Last updated August 2020