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Armstrong Whitworth A.W.16

The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.16 was a British single engine biplane fighter aircraft.

The A.W.16 was developed to meet the requirements of Specification F9/26.

With the first prototype flying in 1930, it was too late for consideration against this specification, so it was submitted for the Fleet Air Arms Specification N21/26 for a naval fighter instead.

It was a single bay biplane with wings of unequal span braced with N-type inter wing struts, and bore a close family resemblance to the A.W.XIV Starling Mk I, though with a less Siskin like, humped fuselage.

The undercarriage was fixed, undivided and spatted.

The Armstrong Siddeley Panther radial engine, earlier known as the Jaguar Major was enclosed by a Townend ring.

Problems with the Panther engine delayed the aircraft, and the competing Hawker Nimrod was purchased before the AW.16 could be delivered for evaluation.

When it was evaluated, it showed inferior performance to the Nimrod, and had poor handling on an exposed carrier deck.

Armstrong Whitworth continued to try to sell the aircraft, and produced a second prototype (G-ACCD) fitted with a more reliable Panther IIA engine for submission against Specification F7/30 for an order from the Royal Air Force.

However, by this time the A.W.16 was out of date, and was quickly discarded from consideration, which was eventually won by the Gloster Gladiator.

A number of production aircraft were made, however, with 17 ordered by the Kwangsi Air Force in China .

The first prototype A.W.16 was in 1933 experimentally fitted with the 15 cylinder, 3 row radial Armstrong Siddeley Hyena, but this engine suffered from cooling problems and was abandoned.





25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)


33 ft 0 in (10.06 m)


11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)

Wing area

261 sq ft (24.2 m2)


Clark YH

Empty weight

2,795 lb (1,268 kg)

Gross weight

3,520 lb (1,597 kg)


1 × Armstrong Siddeley Panther IIA, 14 cylinder radial engine,

525 hp (391 kW)


Maximum speed

200 mph (320 km/h, 170 kn) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)


270 mi (430 km, 230 nmi)


2 hours

Service ceiling

26,100 ft (8,000 m)

Time to altitude

6 min to 10,000 ft (3,000 m)



2 × forward firing .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns in the sides of fuselage with 500 rpg.


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