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Vickers Warwick

The Vickers Warwick was a multi-purpose twin-engine British aircraft developed and operated during the Second World War.

In line with the naming convention followed by other RAF heavy bombers of the era, it was named after a British city or town, in this case Warwick.

The Warwick was the largest British twin-engine aircraft to see use during the Second World War.

The Warwick was designed and manufactured by Vickers-Armstrongs during the late 1930s.

It was intended to serve as a larger counterpart to the Vickers Wellington bomber.

The two aircraft share similar construction and design principles but unlike the smaller Wellington bomber, development of the Warwick was delayed by a lack of suitable high-powered engines.

The maiden flight occurred on 13 August 1939 but delays to its intended powerplant, the Napier Sabre engine, led to alternatives being explored in the form of the Bristol Centaurus and Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engines.

By the time adequate engines were available, rapid advances in the field of aviation had undermined the potency of the design in the face of Luftwaffe fighters.

The Warwick entered quantity production during 1942 and squadron service with the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Shortly thereafter, it had been superseded as a bomber and barely a dozen aircraft were built as bombers. 

The type was used by the RAF in RAF Transport Command and by RAF Coastal Command as an air-sea rescue and maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

The Warwick was also adopted by the Polish Air Forces in exile in Great Britain and the South African Air Force.


Warwick Mark I

Warwick B Mk I

Original production bomber, of 150 ordered, only 16 aircraft were built.

They were used for a variety of tests.

Warwick C Mk I / Vickers Type 456

Transport version for BOAC, for use on its Mediterranean and North African routes, 14 built.

Warwick B/ASR Mk I

40 aircraft converted from the Warwick B Mk I bomber.

The Warwick ASRs were used as air-sea rescue aircraft.

They could carry two sets of Lindholme lifesaving equipment.

Warwick ASR (Stage A)

10 aircraft converted from the Warwick B Mk I bomber.

The Warwick ASR (Stage A) was used for air-sea rescue.

They could carry one airborne lifeboat and two sets of Lindholme lifesaving equipment.

Warwick ASR (Stage B)

20 aircraft converted from the Warwick B Mk I bomber.

Warwick ASR (Stage B) 

Air-sea rescue aircraft, carrying the same equipment as the Warwick ASRs and ASR (Stage As).

Warwick ASR Mk I / Vickers Type 462

Air-sea rescue version, it could carry an airborne lifeboat.

The aircraft was powered by two 1,850 hp (1380 kW) Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp R-2800-S1A4G radial piston engines, 205 built.

Warwick Mark II

Warwick B Mk II / Vickers Type 413

Bomber prototype, only one example was ever built, converted from a Warwick B Mk I.

Warwick GR Mk II / Vickers Type 469

Anti-submarine, general reconnaissance version.

It was equipped to carry torpedoes and bombs.

It was powered two 2,500 hp (1,864 kW) Bristol Centaurus VI radial piston engines; 118 built.

Warwick GR Mk II Met

Meteorological reconnaissance version of the Warwick GR Mk II; 14 built.

Warwick Mark III

Warwick C Mk III / Vickers Type 460

Transport version

It had a pannier-like extension below the central fuselage, the normal loaded weight being raised to 45,000 lb (20,400 kg).

It could carry 24 equipped troops or eight to 10 passengers in the VIP version.

No armament was carried, 100 built.

Warwick Mark V

Warwick GR Mk V or Vickers Type 474

Anti-submarine, general reconnaissance aircraft.

It was powered by two Bristol Centaurus VII radial piston engines, armed with 7 machine guns and could carry 6,000 pounds (2,700 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges.

A Leigh light was fitted ventrally.

The first operational sortie was carried out by 179 Squadron on 4 December 1944; 210 built.

Warwick Mark VI

Warwick ASR Mk VI / Vickers Type 485

Final air-sea rescue version.

The aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-2SBG Double Wasp radial piston engines; 94 built.





72 ft 3 in (22.02 m)


96 ft 8+1⁄2 in (29.477 m)


18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)

Wing area

1,006 sq ft (93.5 m2)

Empty weight

28,154 lb (12,770 kg)

Max take-off weight

45,000 lb (20,412 kg)


2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800/S.1A4-G “Double Wasp” radial engines,

1,850 hp (1,380 kW) each


Maximum speed

224 mph (360 km/h, 195 kn)


2,300 mi (3,700 km, 2,000 nmi)

Service ceiling

21,500 ft (6,600 m)

Rate of climb

660 ft/min (3.4 m/s)



8 x .303 (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in three turrets.



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