P.A. Hilton Ltd was founded fifty years ago by Paul Hilton for the design, development and manufacture of engineering laboratory teaching equipment.

P.A.Hilton Ltd is a recognised market leader within the undergraduate Thermodynamics, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Combustion, Propulsion, Fluid Mechanics, and Heat Transfer disciplines. The company continues to expand its catalogue to include Compressible Flow, Aerodynamics, Renewable Energy, Engine Test, Computerised Data Acquisition as well as a complete range of Vocational Refrigeration Training Equipment.

What Makes Us Unique?


All Hilton equipment is designed in-house by our highly competent team of R & D engineers, who ensure Hilton products are always at the cutting edge of engineering advancement, ready to teach the next generation of students. Hilton engineers always ensure Hilton products are as user-friendly as possible and durable enough to withstand class after class of inquisitive engineering trainees. All Hilton units we send out have been individually tested by our experienced technicians, before being packed into durable wooden crates and sent onwards to laboratories around the globe. First-time Hilton customers frequently compliment the manuals they receive with their apparatus, which contain not only operating procedure, but also theory and detailed experiments and hand-outs, saying they are the best they have ever seen. We can also provide on-site installation and commissioning services and staff training sessions on our equipment, when required.


We also listen. Following popular demand by our customers, many Hilton units are now modular in design allowing customers to add and upgrade equipment as budgets permit. Since acquiring the Hi-Tech range we have also overhauled many of the units in it to make them suited to student needs in the 21st Century, whilst retaining the established principles and versatility of the Hi-Tech teaching equipment range. Over the years there is a strong trend for Teachers to come back to Hilton time after time, seeking the familiar Hilton equipment they themselves used during their time as an undergraduate. These loyal Hilton customers know that key to the success of their students education is enabling them to put into practice the theory they have learnt by hands-on experiments which are interesting, repeatable and safe.

Generations to Come

Many key units within the product ranges have been tried and tested by generations of engineering students. We often hear that particular examples of our units are still in use 20, 30 or even 40 years on. These units are like current Hilton units - built to last. Calculating the life-time value of a piece of Hilton equipment in this way demonstrates that Hilton units provide phenomenal value for money. We pride ourselves on our after-sales service. We keep accurate records of what was sold and support units with spares and accessories for as long as we possibly can. Furthermore, each of our customers knows that Hilton products are backed by a company with 50 years experience in the industry, who will continue to support their Hilton apparatus for years to come.

Recent Landmarks

In 2004 P.A. Hilton acquired the Hi-Tech product range, a brand with over forty years’ experience in the sector and well-recognised as a world leader in ‘Structures’, ‘Theory of Machines’, ‘Strength of Materials’, ‘Vibration’, ‘Friction’, and ‘Forces’ Training equipment. These ranges complemented and expanded the Hilton offering to over 400 items, meaning the range of possibilities for customers now are virtually endless. Combined the companies have together over a century of continuous service to Universities and Colleges worldwide.

Since the United Nations Montreal Protocol first came into being in 1987, the phasing out of harmful CFC refrigerants is something that P.A. Hilton has played an active role in. Partnering with UNIDO and UNEP on a range of projects over the years P.A.Hilton have helped to convert and upgrade old laboratory equipment to more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Dr Paul Hilton – Company Founder

Paul Hilton was born in Batu Gajah in Malaya in 1922. He studied at Brighton Grammar School and later Brighton Technical College in the UK. During WWII he served as an aircraft pilot in the Royal Air Force (where he was highly decorated for his gallantry). After the war he became an aircraft engineer for 'de Havilland Aircraft' before setting up his own company P.A.Hilton Ltd in the late fifties.

Paul Hilton developed a range of teaching equipment and his first customer for his newly developed “ram jet” teaching aide was Imperial College London in 1959. Paul Hilton married Gillian Thornton in 1968; they had a son and a daughter. As his home and export business and product range expanded he located his company at Horsebridge Mill on the River Test in Hampshire.

In 1993 in recognition of his services to the teaching of engineering he received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, in its new incarnation as Brighton University.

Today, the company continues to flourish as a proud British manufacturer, maintaining Dr Hilton’s commitment to the highest levels of customer service, engineering innovation and exceptionally high product quality. Dr Hilton’s reputation as a supplier of top-quality educational teaching equipment across the world is one the company continues to uphold with honour.