L. Brennan


Louis Philip Brennan was born on the 28th January 1852 at Main Street, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, the son of a hardware merchant, Thomas Brennan, and his wife, Bridget. Thomas and Bridget Brennan sold their business in Castlebar in 1861, and emigrated with their youngest son, nine year old Louis, to Melbourne, Australia. After his primary education he went to Joel Ease's Technical College, in Collingwood, Melbourne.

Brennan took up employment with an engineering firm and continued his inventive experiments. His first major invention was the steerable torpedo, for which he was granted a patent. In 1880 he accepted an offer of £110,000 from the British Government for the “exclusive rights” to his invention and an invitation to go to England. Brennan became manager of the Government Torpedo Manufacturing Plant, at Gillingham, Kent, which manufactured his own torpedo, from 1880 to 1896.

From 1916 to 1919 Brennan served in the munitions inventions department. From 1919 to 1926 he was engaged by the air ministry in aircraft research work at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, and gave much time to the invention of a helicopter. The government spent a large sum of money on it, but in 1926 the air ministry gave up working on it, much to Brennan's disappointment.

While on holiday in Montreux, Switzerland, Louis Brennan was knocked down by a car on 26th December 1931, and died as a result of the injuries received on 17th January 1932 in Montreux.

Project Data top

Project No

Type No


Alternative Name(s)







   Helicopter  1919  Proto 1 Helicopter 1,2,3,4,5,6

Project References
  1. Cierva Autogyros, Peter W. Brooks (Airlife Publishing, 1988)
  2. https://oldmachinepress.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/brennan-helicopter/
  3. Aeromilitaria, 2015/2 (Air-Britain Publications)
  4. Air Pictorial Aug 1971
  5. British Research and Development Aircraft, Ray Sturtivant (Haynes, 1990)
  6. The Evolution of the British Rotorcraft Industry 1842-2012, David Gibbings (The Journal of Aeronautical History, Royal Aeronautical Society, 2012, at  https://www.aerosociety.com/media/4854/the-evolution-of-the-british-rotorcraft-industry-1842-2012.pdf)
  7. https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,25142.0.html

Production Data

   Total Brennan Production     1   

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