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FINAL THOUGHTS

The Aerodyne Radio Company of the 1930s were pretty conservative with their designs and their styling, offering a contemporary appearance but with little 'flair'. In other words, manufactured in a typically understated British way that, say, EKCO and MURPHY were quite often not.

Aerodyne eschewed the boldness of Wells Coates or R.D. Russell. They preferred to sell on convention and apparent 'good' construction. It is true that they used reasonable quality components and attractive veneers on the cabinets; but the lack of variation in design shows clearly in this leaflet. They stayed safely within the confines of price and appearance and never ventured into unknown territory. It is also evident that their designs were created with mass-production in mind, with simple cabinet construction, unit chassis shapes, easily adaptable for technical or model changes, even dial escutcheon styles, drive mechanisms, knobs, cabinet carcasses and speakers were used on more than one receiver. The bulk of their products were TRF receivers and only a few superhet sets were marketed. Rather like Ford cars of the time, the keynote was component adaptability. Ford's wheel covers and door handles changed little for many years. So it was with Aerodyne. I have been unable to research the company deeply and it may well be that their business approach, marketing strategies and design ethos are now lost in the mist of time. Certainly it is very unlikely that any employees of the company remain on this earth! What does seem apparent is that they sold via wholesalers and non-specialist dealers (probably furniture or household goods retailers)

Whatever the case they were held in quite high regard by owners, and by service engineers. There was - still is - something quaintly endearing about the name, the styling, the circuits used. Rather sad to think that Aerodyne no longer extends its wings; so little remains of this once vibrant company, other than the surviving radios and a few printed leaflets.

 

The Aerodyne 'SWAN' (circa 1933, so predating this leaflet)

After soaring quite high, the Aerodyne Radio Company fell to the ground and went into liquidation in 1938. The brand name has not been seen for many years. The name was carried post-war on at least one radio model by Ultra (a typical example of brand engineering, the cabinet was veneered in an alternative manner to the otherwise identical Ultra model) and I even recall seeing a 17" 405 line TV using the brand, probably mid-late 1950s or early 1960s. Badge engineering of this sort has become standard in today's electronics industry.

 For a pictorial restoration of the above Swan, click here:  PHOTOGUIDE

For more details about the company and their products, see 'Aeromagic the Rise and Fall of Aerodyne'. Issue138, Aug/Sept. 2012, Radio Bygones magazine

 

 

 

 

 

Aerodyne SWAN

VINTAGE RADIO world: SIXTEEN YEARS OF WEB PRESENCE