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Armstrong Whitworth Argosy

The Armstrong Whitworth Argosy was a British post-war transport/cargo aircraft, it was the final aircraft to be designed and produced by aviation company Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft.

Although given different internal design numbers, the AW.650 civil and AW.660 military models were, for most practical purposes, the same design, while both models also shared the “Argosy” name.

Development of the Argosy originates in the AW.66, a proposed twin engined military transport that was designed with British Air Ministry’s Operational Requirement 323 (OR323) in mind.

While Armstrong Whitworth terminated work on the AW.66, it decided to go forward with a civilian-oriented derivative of the design, designated AW.65, as it was judged to be commercially viable.

The AW.65 was redesigned to use four Rolls-Royce Dart turboprop engines, and thus was re-designated as the AW.650.

On 8 January 1959, the first Argosy conducted the type’s maiden flight.

In Britain, military planners took interest in the Argosy and released a new specification for a militarised variant, designated AW.660.

First flown on 4 March 1961, this model featured double the range of the Series 100 and otherwise differed by an alternative door arrangement, which was largely to facilitate paratrooper operations.

The Argosy was operated by both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and various civil operators across the globe for numerous years.

The type was withdrawn from RAF service during 1978, while the last Argosy was retired from civil operations during 1991.





Up to 69 troops,

54 paratroopers,

48 stretcher cases


29,000 lb (13,000 kg) of cargo


86 ft 9 in (26.44 m)

(Overall length)

Fuselage length

64 ft 7 in (19.69 m)


115 ft 0 in (35.05 m)


29 ft 3 in (8.92 m)

Wing area

1,458 sq ft (135.5 m2)

Empty weight

56,000 lb (25,401 kg)

Gross weight

97,000 lb (43,998 kg)

Max take-off weight

105,000 lb (47,627 kg)

Fuel capacity

4,140 imp gal (4,970 US gal; 18,800 L)


4 × Rolls-Royce Dart RDa.8 Mk 101 turboprops,

2,470 shp (1,840 kW) each (ehp)


4 bladed Rotol


Cruise speed

253 mph (407 km/h, 220 kn)


3,450 mi (5,550 km, 3,000 nmi)

Service ceiling

23,000 ft (7,000 m).


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