Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is an aircraft maintenance, modification and design company located at Cambridge Airport, which it also owns and operates. The company covers all aspects of design, manufacture, maintenance, modification, conversion and logistic support of military, commercial and business aircraft. It employs over 4,400 people and is based on an 800-acre (3.2 km2) site with 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2) of covered hangar space. It works on a large variety of aircraft types and projects.


Formerly known as Marshall's of Cambridge, the Marshall companies have been involved in aerospace and specialist vehicle engineering since the early 20th Century. Marshall Aerospace is one part of the Marshall Group. Founded initially as a motor dealership by David Gregory Marshall in 1909,[1] the Marshall Group now (2012 figures) has an annual turnover in excess of £1 billion and nearly 4,500 employees.

With its headquarters on an 800-acre site in Cambridge, UK, the group operates worldwide in the fields of aerospace, military land systems and fleet management; together with a network of 67 franchised automotive dealerships in the UK.[2]

Marshall Aerospace has been involved with all levels of aircraft maintenance, modification and conversion for more than seventy years. The company has the authorisation and experience to work on a range of aircraft from Cessna Citations to Boeing 747s in civil use, and Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Lockheed L-1011 TriStars for the military. Marshall Aerospace carries out maintenance from routine daily maintenance to a full aircraft depot level checks.

All forms of conversions, re-configurations, modifications and repairs can be designed and implemented by Marshall Aerospace. The company’s commercial aircraft hangar can house a range of different aircraft, for example one, Boeing 747-400, one McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and two Airbus A320s.[clarification needed] Marshall also has other hangar space that can hold up to 12 C-130s.


Royal Air Force Hercules C-130K (C3) in commemorative Hercules Integrated Operational Support Colour Scheme.

Marshall Aerospace has been the UK Designated Company for the Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules since 1966 and Sister Design Authority since 1988. The company oversaw the introduction of 25 second generation C-130Js and the retirement of half of the RAF's first generation aircraft. The company was the design authority for the RAF fleet of Tristar tanker and freighter aircraft, and remains the appointed sister design authority for the RAF Boeing E-3D Sentry. Major maintenance and modification activity is undertaken on all these types, plus a complete range of other military and commercial aircraft.

Notable past design achievements have included the design and build of the Concorde droop-nose and visor in 1967, and a vestibular sled for medical research[further explanation needed] which flew 112 orbits in Space Shuttle Challenger on STS-61-A in 1985. More recent projects include a variety of passenger to tanker and freighter aircraft conversions, together with the L-1011 converted as a launch vehicle for satellite delivery for Orbital Sciences and production of long range fuel tanks for Boeing 747-400ER and Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, as well as for the P-8A multi-mission maritime aircraft.

Marshall Aerospace was the designated body assisting the Vulcan to the Sky project to restore to flight the Vulcan B.2 XH558.

The company has a long history of rapid response to customers, an example being the complete repaint of a Tristar at Cambridge on 16 January 1991. The aircraft was repainted in "desert colours" overnight and flown back to the Gulf for operations on 17 January 1991, the first full day of Operation Desert Storm.

Since 1998 the Marshall Aerospace technical training department has provided systems training to all levels of engineering. There are various training programmes available for people of all ages, from apprenticeships and graduate schemes, through to Adult Re-training programmes. The courses provided are integral to meeting the business aims of the company.

AWD Trucks

Marshall acquired AWD Trucks in 1992.[3]


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