Originally a flying school operator the company took on maintenance work in 1938.
During the Second World War, Scottish Aviation was involved in aircraft fitting for the war effort. This included maintenance and conversion of the Consolidated Liberator bomber.
The factory building of Scottish Aviation, which still exists today, was formerly the "Palace of Engineering" at the 1938 Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. The building was dismantled from its Glasgow site and re-erected at the companies site in Prestwich.
In the 1950s the company looked to diversify from aircraft manufacturing work which was in decline, following the end of WWII, so looked for business ideas that could use the existing manufacturing capacity. One sector they tried was the manufacture of cabs for tractors. Early cabs were a light steel frame with thin sheet steel cladding or canvas sides. Tractor manufacturers did not offer cabs as standard, and a number of firms started to offer them as a accessory, for self fitting or dealer fitments. By the early 1970s this market declined as cabs became standard fitments by tractor manufacturers due to Health and safety rules introducing the requirement for roll-over protection on all new tractors. Some manufactures supplied them to the tractor makers, but other smaller ones lost there market share.