Thales Aeronautical Services Group

From its earliest predecessor companies, beginning in the 1920s, British Airways had a need for accurate charts. Historical names like Intone, Handley Page, The Daimler Airway, British Marine Air Navigation Company, and Imperial Airways Limited were some of the early companies that later combined to become British Airways. The companies became known as BOAC, with BEA becoming the company serving inter-European flights. Led by BOAC, the post-World War II world entered the jet age with the Comet 1 flying London to Johannesburg in 1952, halving the previous flight time. British Airways launched the world's first supersonic passenger service, simultaneously with Air France, with Concorde in January 1976. Throughout its rich history, British Airways' Aerad Charting Department played a vital role in the company's expansion.

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In 1997, British Airways sold its Aerad Charting Department to RACAL Avionics. RACAL Avionics put Aerad together with their Navigation Data Department to form the Aeronautical Services Group (ASG).

Racal, created in 1950, designed and produced a radio receiver, the famous 'RA17' - in production from 1955 to at least 1973 - designed in cooperation with Dr. Trevor Wadley and utilizing his famed Wadley Loop circuit. In 1979, Racal bought Decca Radar forming Racal-Decca, which conducted business in the United States. In 1983, Racal competed for one of the original licenses to operate a cellular network in the UK, both it and British Telecom were successful.

Racal established the Racal Telecom (now Vodafone) In October 1999, demerged Racal Telecom and Racal sold its telecom business to the American communications group, Global Crossing. In 2000, Racal became Thomson-CSF Racal plc and later was renamed Thales Group.

In 1879, the Thomson-Houston Electric company was formed in the United States and became a partner with General Electric a few years later. Compagnie Francaise Thomson-Houston (CFRH) was set up as a partner to GE. Through the years, this company was merged with other companies a number of times while focusing on the electronics and defense industries. In 1988, the French government, who had nationalized the companies in 1982, split the consumer electronics and defense businesses in 1999, forming two companies, one being Thomson-CSF (today Thales Group).

In 2002, SAS incorporated SFS as an independent subsidiary and acquired Thales Aeronautical Services Group forming a new company, European Aeronautical Group (EAG).



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