IRVIN-GQ is a company based in Llangeinor, Wales, United Kingdom that designs, manufactures and supplies a range of parachutes and emergency, rescue and survival equipment to the military, coastguard and civilian aerospace markets. Its factory in Llangeinor employs around 250 people.
IRVIN-GQ, together with Aircraft Materials Limited and Advanced Inflatable Products of the UK, Para-Flite Inc. and Irvin Aerospace Inc. of the United States and Irvin Aerospace Canada Limited of Canada, forms Airborne Systems Group, a company wholly owned by Alchemy Partners.
The Irvin Airchute Company was founded in Buffalo, New York, United States in 1919 by Leslie Irvin, who had made the world's first free-fall parachute jump in that year. In 1925 the Royal Air Force ordered Irvin Airchute Company parachutes for its crews. It was acquired by GQ Parachutes (founded in 1932 by James Gregory and Raymond Quilter), which since the 1930s has played a prominent role in the development of emergency escape parachutes.
Since 1991, the company has operated a specialised outsourced service facility, the Airborne Forces Parachute Support Unit (AFPSU), which repairs, maintains and packs all of the parachutes and related equipment for The Parachute Regiment of the British Army.
In December 2002 the company announced a £5 million investment programme including the creation of around 200 jobs and the move of its main UK production site from Blackmill in Bridgend to Llangeinor. In September 2006 the company formed part of a trade mission to China led by the then First Minister for Wales Rhodri Morgan. In January 2010 the company secured a £50 million contract with the French Ministry of Defence.
Co-located at Llangeinor with Irvin-GQ are:
- Aircraft Materials Limited, a company for design, development and manufacture of a wide range of systems for the aerial delivery of cargo, aerial material handling, personnel and cargo restraint and safety harnesses.
- Advanced Inflatable Products, a manufacturer of balloons, inflatable and fabric engineered products for the defence and aerospace markets.
- "Parachute firm wins £50m deal to supply France". Wales Online. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Bridgend-based parachute manufacturer Airborne Systems Europe to employ more staff". Wales Online. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Milestones". Airborne Systems. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
- "Parachute firm in job expansion". BBC News. 5 December 2002. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Morgan in Chinese trade mission". BBC News. 11 August 2004. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- Official Website
- Search and Rescue Equipment - Airborne Systems
- Aerial Delivery Equipment: Cargo Parachutes: Military Parachutes
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