L.E. Baynes
Brant Aircraft Ltd.
Abbott-Baynes Sailplanes Ltd.
Abbott-Baynes Aircraft Ltd.
Carden-Baynes Aircraft Ltd.
Baynes Aircraft


Leslie Everett Baynes was born in Barnes, Surrey, on 23 March 1902, the son of James and Florence Baynes, and was one of Britain’s most talented designers. Baynes originally started work in the aircraft industry in 1916 with the Airco at Hendon, working as a junior on the DH.4. On the dissolution of Airco in 1920, Baynes, unlike many of his co-workers, did not move on to the new de Havilland concern but took a job with Searbrook Brothers in London, working on car design. However, he still retained involvement with the aircraft design; in 1921 he patented a variable pitch propeller (Patent No. GB183011, published 20 July 1922).

In 1924 Baynes returned to the aircraft industry, obtaining employment with Short Bros. Ltd. at Rochester, where he worked on a variety of projects both as draughtsman and stress analyst. In 1927 Baynes designed a two seat high wing monoplane. Failing to get financial backing, he left Shorts Brothers and went to work for Blackburn at Brough and then in 1929 moved to Cirrus Engines Ltd at Croydon.

On 22 September 1930, Baynes, in conjunction with F.W.J. Grant, founder of Surrey Flying Services, Brant Aircraft Ltd (being a conjoining of the names Baynes and Grant) at Waddon Aircraft Factory, Stafford Rd, Wallington, Surrey, primarily to produce an aircraft of Baynes' design to take the Sidarblen C.I. oil engine. This was being developed at Croydon by Sidarblen Engines, Ltd., a company originally formed by Lt. Col. Barrett-Lennard and Lt. Col. Ormonde Darby to develop a C.I. oil aero engine to A.A. Sidney's patents and design. Sidney, a director of Sidarblen Engines, Ltd., and who at one time had been manager and engine designer at Beardmore's in connection with oil and petrol engine development became chairman of Brant Aircraft, Ltd. Nothing became of this venture, but during this time Baynes designed and built the first Scud glider, the prototype of which was built by Brant at the Waddon factory.

In 1931, Abbott-Baynes Sailplanes Ltd, of Farnham, Surrey, was founded as a subsidiary of E.D. Abbott Ltd by Baynes and Edward Abbott and all further Scud I sailplanes were built by them. The Scud II followed in 1932 and, in 1935, one flown by Mungo Buxton took the British Height Record for a glider to 8,750 feet. In 1933, Abbott and Baynes joined with Herbert Gardner Travers to design a unique swing wing trainer, though the project progressed no further. Other projects undertaken by Abbott-Baynes included building replicas for the Alexander Korda film "The Conquest Of The Air" in 1935.

In 1935, Sir John Carden requested a sailplane which could be launched unaided and suggested a retractable engine, to which Baynes obliged. He designed a new sailplane, the Scud III, which, when fitted with a Villiers engine, was called Carden-Baynes Auxiliary. Construction was still undertaken by Abbott, by now operating as Abbott-Baynes Aircraft Ltd.

Sir John Carden had established Carden Aero Engines Ltd., also at Heston, in 1935. He saw a need for a cheap low powered propulsion unit for ultralight aircraft. The engine was an adaptation of the well proven and reliable Ford 10 Model C motor car engine uprated from 10 bhp to 31 bhp. Also in 1935, Abbott-Baynes took part in the Flying Flea movement by launching the Abbott-Baynes Cantilever Pou, a much modified version of the Henri Mignet Pou-de-Ciel, powered by the Carden-Ford engine. Although very promising, the ban on all Flying Fleas brought an end to the program and the company ceased trading as Abbott-Baynes the same year.

Following the death of Sir John in an air accident in December 1935, Baynes formed Carden-Baynes Aircraft Ltd at Heston in 1936 to continue work they had begun for a new two seat light plane, based on the earlier Abbott-Baynes-Travers project. Carden Aero Engines Ltd was also taken over by the new company but later sold to Chilton Aircraft Ltd. The aircraft emerged in 1936 as the Bee, a small two-seat high-wing monoplane with two Carden Ford S.P.1 engines. Unfortunately, finance dried up and Carden-Baynes went into receivership in June 1937. Lord Weir proposed an amalgamation of Carden-Baynes with Kay Gyroplanes Ltd, and in July a new company, the Scottish Aircraft Construction Ltd, bought the rights to the Bee, along with the rights to the Kay Gyroplane, but nothing further came of this venture. Baynes carried on with the design of a three-seater, the B.4, and to this end formed Baynes Aircraft in November 1937, but development was halted by war. Also in 1937, Baynes designed the first “convertiplane”, preceding the V-22 Osprey by some 50 years.

From 1939 to 1954, Baynes was the chief designer to the Alan Muntz Company of Heston, and he organized the aircraft division, Alan Muntz & Co Ltd (Aircraft Division). In 1941, he put up a proposal for a detachable wing with a 100-foot wingspan which when attached to a tank would turn it into a glider. This concept was developed as far as the Baynes Bat prototype, designed by Baynes along with Richard Becker and Viv Billings. Since Muntz had no construction facilities, the glider was built by Slingsby. Prewar, Muntz had acquired the rights to the Pescara generating system, from which he developed the Pescara-Muntz P.42 gas generator. In 1939, Baynes designed both a flying boat and a fighter using this powerplant. The Turbinlite airborne searchlight system, conceived by Sidney Cotton and William Helmore, was also developed at Alan Muntz under the same design team of Baynes, Becker and Billings.

After the war, Baynes designed a high-lift research aircraft to test the flap system devised by Robert Talbot Youngman of the Fairey Aviation Company, the aircraft being known as the Youngman-Baynes High-Lift and was built by the Heston Aircraft Company. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he was busy with research in the area of variable-sweep supersonic aircraft.

In 1954, Baynes set up Baynes Aircraft Interiors Ltd., a subsidiary of the Alan Muntz Company, located at Langley, later moving to Bournmouth. Baynes artistic flair was put to good use and the company received many contracts, notable from Bristol. Despite the company name, Baynes was still applying his skills to all aspects of aircraft design as witnessed by patents for aerial targets amongst others.

Baynes died at Swanage, Dorset, on 13 March 1989.

Company References
  1. Aeroplane Monthly, March to June, Sept. 1992
  2. British Gliders and Sailplanes 1922-1970, Norman Ellison (Adam and Charles Black, 1970)
  3. British Light Aeroplanes, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2000)
  4. Airwork, A History, Keith McCloskey, (The History Press, 2012)
  5. Flight 10 Oct 1930.

Project Data top

Project No Type No Name Alternative Name(s) Year Spec Status Qty Description References
 Baynes (1924)
     Monoplane    1924    Proj  0  2S, 1E high wing monoplane  (10)
 Brant (1930)
     Scud I    1931    Proto  1  1S sailplane  See Abbott-Baynes Scud I
 Abbot-Baynes (1931 - 1935)
     Scud I    1931    Prdn  11  1S sailplane  1,10,23,31,32,33,44
     Scud II    1932    Prdn  4  1S sailplane  1,10,16,29,34,35,44
     Travers Trainer    1933    Proj  0  2S, 1E high monoplane  (2),(37)
     Scud III    1935    Prdn  2  1S sailplane  1,3,8,11,25,44
 Carden-Baynes (1935 - 1937)
     Auxiliary    1935    Prdn  (2)  1S powered sailplane  See Abbott-Baynes Scud III
     Cantiever Pou    1936    Prdn  4  1S, 1E ultralight  3,13,19,26,27
     Bee    1936    Proto  1  2S, 2E monoplane  1,7,12,21,28,45,46
 Baynes (1937 - 1939)
 B-4        1937    Proj  0  3S, 2E monoplane  12,29
     Heliplane      1937    Proj  0  2E tilt-rotor    6,36,47
 Baynes (Alan Muntz & Co Ltd (Aircraft Division) 1939 - 1954)
     Not Identified      1939    Proj  0  6E, 130t turbine powered flying boat  (14),(38)
     Not Identified      1939    Proj  0  Turbine powered fighter  (14)
     Carrier Wing    1941    Proj  0  Glider - Carrier wing for tank  41
     Carrier Wing  Bat  1941    Proto  1  1S glider - scale model of   a carrier wing  1,4,9,17,18,43
 Y    Youngman-Baynes High-Lift  (see note 1)  1948    Proto  1  2S, 1E research monoplane  4,5,15,20,30
     Not Identified      1949    Proj  0  1S, 2E variable-sweep, supersonic research aircraft  22,(39),(40),41,42,48
     Not Identified      1949    Proj  0  1S, 1E variable-sweep, subsonic research aircraft  48
     Not Identified      1950    Proj  0  1S, 2E variable-sweep, supersonic naval fighter  48

Project References                    To show project references in a floating window

Project References      

1        British Gliders and Sailplanes 1922-1970, Norman Ellison (Adam and Charles Black, 1970)

2        British Light Aeroplanes, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2000)

3        Ultralights - The Early British Classics, Richard Riding (Patrick Stevens Ltd., 1987)

4        British Research and Development Aircraft, Ray Sturtivant (Haynes Publishing, 1990)

5        On The Wings Of A Gull - Percival and Hunting Aircraft, D.W. Gearing (Air Britain Publications, 2012)

6        Helicopters 1900-1960, Bill Gunston & John H Batchelor (Phoebus Publishing, 1977)

7        Aeroplane Monthly Sep 1981

8        Aeroplane Monthly Jan 1982

9        Aeroplane Monthly May 1990

10      Aeroplane Monthly Apr 1992

11      Aeroplane Monthly May 1992

12      Aeroplane Monthly Jun 1992

13      Aeroplane Monthly Jul 1992

14      Aeroplane Monthly Sep 1992

15      Aeroplane Monthly Jan 1995

16      Aeroplane Monthly Jun 1997

17      Aeromilitaria 2005/4 (Air-Britain Publications)

18      Aeromilitaria 2007/3 (Air-Britain Publications)

19      Air Britain Archive 1998/3

20      Air Britain Archive 2007/3

21      Air Britain Archive 2008/1

22      Air Enthusiast Quarterly No.69

23      Flight 6 Feb 1931

24      Flight 16 Sep 1932

25      Flight 9 May 1935

26      Flight 7 May 1936

27      Flight 22 Oct 1936

28      Flight 18 Mar 1937

29      Flight 25 Nov 1937

30      Flight 30 Sep 1948

31      Sailplane & Glider 16 Jan 1931

32      Sailplane & Glider 23 Jan 1931

33      Sailplane & Glider 15 May 1931

34      Sailplane & Glider 23 Sep 1932

35      Sailplane & Glider 11 Nov 1932

36      The Aeroplane, 4 Aug 1951

37      British Patent No. 430, 62, published 24 Jun 1935

38      British Patent No. 526, 05, published 11 Sep 1940

39      British Patent No. 664, 58, published 2 Jan 1952

40      British Patent No. 713, 25, published 11 Aug 1954

41       http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,27963.msg291504.html#msg291504

42      British Secret Projects - Jet Fighters Since 1950 (2nd edn), Tony Buttler (Crecy, 2017)

43      Secret Projects: Flying Wings and Tailless Aircraft, Bill Rose (Midland, 2010)

44      Sailplanes 1920-1945, Martin Simons (EQIP Werbung & Verla GmbH, 2006)

45      The Aeroplane 17 Mar 1937

46       https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,24087.0.html

47       https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3624.0.html

1.     British Gliders and Sailplanes 1922-1970, Norman Ellison (Adam and Charles Black, 1970)
2.     British Light Aeroplanes, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2000)
3.     Ultralights - The Early British Classics, Richard Riding (Patrick Stevens Ltd., 1987)
4.     British Research and Development Aircraft, Ray Sturtivant (Haynes Publishing, 1990)
5.     On The Wings Of A Gull - Percival and Hunting Aircraft, D.W. Gearing (Air Britain Publications, 2012)
6.     Helicopters, 1900-1960, Bill Gunston & John H Batchelor (Phoebus Publishing, 1977)
7.     Aeroplane Monthly Sep 1981
8.     Aeroplane Monthly Jan 1982
9.     Aeroplane Monthly May 1990
10.     Aeroplane Monthly Apr 1992
11.     Aeroplane Monthly May 1992
12.     Aeroplane Monthly Jun 1992
13.     Aeroplane Monthly Jul 1992
14.     Aeroplane Monthly Sep 1992
15.     Aeroplane Monthly Jan 1995
16.     Aeroplane Monthly Jun 1997
17.     Aeromilitaria 2005/4 (Air-Britain Publications)
18.     Aeromilitaria 2007/3 (Air-Britain Publications)
19.     Air Britain Archive 1998/3 (Air-Britain Publications)
20.     Air Britain Archive 2007/3 (Air-Britain Publications)
21.     Air Britain Archive 2008/1 (Air-Britain Publications)
22.     Air Enthusiast Quarterly No.69
23.     Flight 6 Feb 1931
24.     Flight 16 Sep 1932
25.     Flight 9 May 1935
26.     Flight 7 May 1936
27.     Flight 22 Oct 1936
28.     Flight 18 Mar 1937
29.     Flight 25 Nov 1937
30.     Flight 30 Sep 1948
31.     Sailplane & Glider 16 Jan 1931
32.     Sailplane & Glider 23 Jan 1931
33.     Sailplane & Glider 15  May 1931
34.     Sailplane & Glider 23  Sep 1932
35.     Sailplane & Glider 11 Nov 1932
36.     The Aeroplane 24 Aug 1951
37.     British Patent No. 430,662, published 24 Jun 1935
38.     British Patent No. 526,105, published 11 Sep 1940
39.     British Patent No. 664,058, published 2 Jan 1952
40.     British Patent No. 713,525, published 11 Aug 1954
41.     http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,27963.msg291504.html#msg291504
42.     British Secret Projects - Jet Fighters Since 1950 (2nd edn), Tony Buttler (Crecy, 2017)
43.     Secret Projects: Flying Wings and Tailless Aircraft, Bill Rose (Midland, 2010)
44.     Sailplanes 1920-1945, Martin Simons (EQIP Werbung & Verla GmbH, 2006)
45.     The Aeroplane 17 Mar 1937
46.     https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,24087.0.html
47.     https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3624.0.html

  1. Constructed by Heston Aircraft Ltd and featured a wing built by Heston and Muntz and known as Project 'Y' mated to a modified Percival Proctor fuselage. The aircraft was known by Percival as Type At (later P.46)

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.)


 Scud I



 Scud II



 Scud III






 Cantilever Pou







 Carrier Wing



 High Lift



Total Baynes Production


Total Baynes Cancelled Orders


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Page Revision History Page Top

Revised at Version 1.4.0
  • Added single engine and naval variable sweep projects.
  • Corrected production totals.
  • Added Note 1.

Revised at Version 1.3.0
  • Expanded detail of Brant Aircraft.

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