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Armstrong Whitworth Military Prototypes

Armstrong Whitworth Military Prototypes

Armstrong Whitworth F.K.1 Sissit

The Armstrong Whitworth Sissit, 1st flight 1914, also known as the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.1, was a prototype single engined biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War.

The first aircraft designed by Armstrong Whitworth, the Sissit was underpowered and only a single example was built.

Armstrong Whitworth F.K.5 & F.K.6

The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.5 (1st flight 1915) and F.K.6 (1st flight 1916) were experimental triplanes built as escort fighters by Armstrong Whitworth during the First World War.

They carried two gunners in nacelles mounted on the centre wing.

One example of each type was built, with no further development or production following.

Armstrong Whitworth F.K.7

The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.7 was a British two seat general purpose biplane built by Armstrong Whitworth during the First World War.

Only one was built in 1916, This aircraft was upgraded to the F.K.7.

Armstrong Whitworth FM.4 Armadillo

The Armstrong Whitworth Armadillo was a British single-seat biplane fighter aircraft built by Armstrong Whitworth.

The first prototype made its maiden flight during April 1918.

The type was not subject to formal evaluation by the Air Ministry, with the poor view from the cockpit being criticised.

By the time the Armadillo appeared the Sopwith Snipe, powered by the same engine and faster was already in large scale production and Murphy had started work on the more advanced Ara fighter, so the Armadillo was abandoned, the second prototype not being completed.

Armstrong Whitworth Ara

The Armstrong Whitworth Ara was an unsuccessful British single-seat biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War built by Armstrong Whitworth.

Two of the three prototypes were completed, the first flying in mid-1919.

The Ara was abandoned towards the end of the year when Armstrong Whitworth closed down its aircraft department.

Armstrong Whitworth Sinaia

The Siddeley-Deasy Sinaia, also known as the Armstrong Whitworth Sinaia was a twin engined biplane day bomber with gunners in rearwards extensions of the engine nacelles.

Two examples were ordered by the Air Ministry but only one was completed 1921.

Armstrong Whitworth Awana

The Armstrong Whitworth Awana was a British prototype troop-transport aircraft built to meet a 1920 Air Ministry requirement.

Two prototypes were ordered by the Air Ministry on 27 June 1921, and the first prototype, serial number J6897, first flew on 28 June 1923.

Evaluated at Martlesham Heath, control during landing was found to be poor, and the structure overall too flimsy.

The second prototype addressed some of these concerns, but the Vickers Victoria was selected for production instead.

Armstrong Whitworth A.W.14 Starling

The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.14 Starling was a prototype British single-seat biplane fighter developed for the Royal Air Force in the late 1920s which unsuccessfully competed against the Bristol Bulldog.

Two prototypes were ordered, with the first J8027, powered by a 385 hp (287 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar VII radial engine which was flown on 12 May 1927.

It was underpowered, and was re-engined with a 460 hp (340 kW) Jaguar V engine but its performance remained unimpressive, with the first prototype failed to exceed 160 mph (260 km/h), well short of the required 180 mph (290 km/h), while low speed handling was also poor.

The second prototype, J8028 was extensively redesigned, with a more streamlined fuselage and revised wings, which although retaining the Clark YH aerofoil section, had smaller lower wings.

Powered by a 525 hp (391 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Panther II engine, it first flew on 5 December 1929.

It was evaluated as both a land-based interceptor against Specifications F.9/26 and F.20/27 and as a naval fighter to meet the requirements of Specification N.21/26.

Performance was improved but it was also unsuccessful, although it did carry out useful development work for the Armstrong Whitworth A.W.16.

Armstrong Whitworth Ape

The Ape was a British biplane experimental aircraft built by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft in the early 1920s and first flown on 5 January 1926 to answer all the questions of aerodynamics.

The aircraft was designed to be “infinitely” adjustable.

The fuselage could be lengthened or shortened, different fins and tailplanes could be fitted, the incidence angle of both the tailplane and the wings could be altered and the wings could be additionally changed in stagger, rake and dihedral.

However, it could not be converted to a monoplane configuration, nor be fitted with a more powerful engine.

Additionally, the entire tail was a single unit and the incidence angle of the tailplane could not be changed without also changing that of the fin.

It was equipped with a comparatively small 180 hp (130 kW) Lynx engine that did not deliver nearly as much power as the relatively heavy plane needed, and certainly prohibited the Ape from experimenting to its full potential.

The second Ape had a bigger engine, the Bristol Jupiter, but additional gadgets added weight that mostly negated the extra power.

Armstrong Whitworth A.W.19

The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.19 was a two/three-seat single-engine biplane, built as a general-purpose military aircraft in the mid-1930s.

A newer, monoplane aircraft was preferred and only one A.W.19 was built.

Armstrong Whitworth A.W.23

The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.23 was a prototype bomber/transport aircraft produced to specification C.26/31 for the British Air Ministry by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft.

While it was not selected to meet this specification, it did form the basis of the later Armstrong Whitworth Whitley aircraft.

A prototype, K3585, was built first flying on 4 June 1935.

Owing to its unreliable Tiger engines, its delivery to the RAF for testing was delayed, with the Bombay being declared the winner of the specification.

The prototype was given the civil registration G-AFRX in May 1939 being used for inflight refuelling development by Flight Refuelling Ltd who used it with the Short Empire flying boat.

It was used in February 1940 for the world’s first night refuelling experiments.

It was destroyed in a German bombing raid on Ford airfield in June 1940.

Armstrong Whitworth A.W.29

The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.29 was a British bomber aircraft built by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft.

The A.W.29 was a two-crew aircraft.

The pilot was seated ahead of the wing leading edge and the gunner/observer in a distant cockpit aft of the spar enclosed in a hand-operated turret.

The aft cockpit could be fitted with a second set of controls for flight training.

Not long after the A.W.29’s first flight on 6 December 1936, it was damaged in a wheels up landing. Since the Fairey Battle had been awarded the P27/32 contract, the A.W.29 was not repaired to fly again.

Armstrong Whitworth AW.55 Apollo

The Armstrong Whitworth AW.55 Apollo was a 1940s British four-engine turboprop airliner built by Armstrong Whitworth at Baginton.

The aircraft was in competition with the Vickers Viscount but was beset with engine problems and only two were built.

Two prototypes, one to be completely fitted out and a static test fuselage were ordered by the Ministry of Supply and construction started in 1948.

The prototype (serial VX220) first flew from the grass field at Baginton, Coventry on 10 April 1949 for a thirty-minute test flight.

The aircraft was unstable and underpowered, and after just nine hours of test flying, it was grounded to try to solve some of the problems.

Test flying resumed in August 1949 but the aircraft had further engine problems.

Changes were made to the design of the tail unit including fitting a dorsal fin and increasing the fin area to improve the flying qualities.

In October 1950, a limited category Certificate of Airworthiness was granted to allow the aircraft to carry non-fare paying passengers.

One proving flight, between Baginton and Paris taking 1 hr 26 min, was carried out on 12 March 1951.

Further engine problems stopped the trial and test flights.






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