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Airspeed

Airspeed_logo.gif
   Airspeed Ltd.
   Airspeed (1934) Ltd.
   Airspeed Ltd.


History

Following the closure of Vickers subsidiary Airship Guarantee Company, Nevil Shute Norway and A. Hessell Tiltman, along with support from Alan Cobham and Lord Grimthorpe (b. 1891 - d. 1963), founded Airspeed Limited at York in 1931. Tiltman became Chief Designer, while Norway served as Chief Engineer. They had already done some preliminary design work for two/three seat private owner type, but this was too ambitious a project for the fledgling company. Cobham told the board he had a need for a small passenger plane for use by his National Aviation Day venture, but no order could currently be placed. This would eventually appear as the AS.4 Ferry, but meantime the company began work on a much more modest design, the AS.1 Tern glider.

In March 1933 the firm moved to Portsmouth and during this period produced the Courier (the first British type with a retractable undercarriage to go into production) and Envoy low wing cantilever monoplanes. Lord Grimthorpes nephew, Lawrence Aldred Mervyn Dundas (later 3rd Marquess of Zetland, b. November 12, 1908 - d.October 5,1989), became one of Aispeeds '£5 per week working shareholders' and set up a company, R K Dundas Limited, together with Ronald Douglas King (Airspeed's sales manager), to act as Airspeed sales agents in India and Burma, later taking over as UK sales agents from Aircraft Exchange & Mart. In the following year, Airspeed became associated with the Tyneside ship builder Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Limited and became Airspeed (1934) Limited in August 1934. This was followed by the production of their most prolific design, the A.S.10 Oxford, a trainer derivative of the Envoy.

Norway left the firm in 1938, partially over a disagreement with Tiltman, and partially because, with success and mass production, much of the excitement had gone out of the effort. In 1940, de Havilland bought the shares in Airspeed held by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Limited, but the company retained a separate identity, reverting to the name of Airspeed Limited on 25 January 1944. During this time, they produced the Horsa troop carrying glider which was to be Tiltmans last design for the company. Hessell Tiltman left Airspeed in 1942, and in 1945 formed a research partnership with Marcus Langley which, in 1948, became Tiltman Langley Laboratories.

Postwar were to produce the elegant Ambassador airliner, its final original design (the last Airspeed product, the Consul, being merely a civilainised Oxford). During this time, Airspeed also provided additional design and manufacturing support to de Havilland, but in 1951 completely merged with them and the Airspeed name disappeared..

Company References
  1. Airspeed Aircraft Since 1931, H.A. Taylor (Putnam, 1970)



Project Data top

Project No

Type No

Name

Alternative Name(s)

Year

Spec

Status

Qty

Description

References

  AS.1 Tern  1931  Pdn 2 High-performance sailplane 1,37,55,63,77
  AS.2   1931  Proj 0 Glider (1)
  AS.3   1932  Proj 0 1E, 2/3S biplane light aircraft (1),(6)
  AS.4 Ferry  1932  Pdn 410S, 3E biplane transport 1,5,7,27,38,64,79,80
  AS.5 Courier  1933  Pdn 16(3) 5/6S, 1E low-wing monoplane transport 1,5,6,7,29,39,65,66,92
  AS.6  Envoy  1934  Pdn 61(2) 6/8S, 2E low-wing monoplane transport 1,4,5,7,30,39,60,61,67,69,81,82
  AS.7 Military Envoy  1934  Proj 0 2E military transport 1
  AS.8 Viceroy  1934  Proto 1 6/8S, 2E low-wing monoplane transport 1,4,5,7,30,68
  AS.9   1935  Proj 0 1S, 1E interceptor fighter 1,34
  AS.10 Oxford Mks.I, II & III  1937 23/36 Pdn 8381 2E general purpose trainer 1,4,14-20,33,49,55,62,71,72,84
  AS.11 Courier    Proj 0 All metal version for Canada (1)
  AS.12     Proj 0 4E aircraft  project (1)
  AS.13 Not Used
  AS.14 Ambassador  1935  Proj 0 16S, 2E high wing transport 1,34
  AS.15   1935  Proj 0 Day /night bomber / troop transport 1,34
      -    1935  Proj 0 Civil AS.15 1
  AS.16   1935  Proj 0 Fokker F.XXII 1
  AS.17   1935  Proj 0 Fokker D.XXII 1
  AS.18   1935  Proj 0 Varient of AS.17 1
  AS.19   1935  Proj 0 Fokker D.XIX 1
  AS.20   1935  Proj 0 Fokker F.XXXVI 1
  AS.21   1935  Proj 0 Fokker D.XX 1
  AS.22   1935  Proj 0 Fokker C.X 1
  AS.23   1935  Proj 0 Douglas DC-2 to be built under licence 1
  AS.24   1935  Proj 0 Long range mail carrying version of AS.14 1,34,83
  AS.25 Not Used
  AS.26   1935  Proj 0 Vehicle carrying biplane (1)
  AS.27  (Irving) 1935 38/35 Proj 0 Special defence aircraft 1,34
  AS.28   1935  Proj 0 2E transport (1)
  AS.29   1935 B.1/35 Proj 0 4E bomber 1,8,34
  AS.30 Queen Wasp  1937 32/35 Pdn 7 1S, 1E Radio controlled target biplane 1,10,31,90
  AS.31    35/35 Proj 0 1S, 1E twin-boom fighter  Project 1,35
  AS.32     Proj 0 24S, 4E transport 1
  AS.33     Proj 0 24S, 4E transport 1
  AS.34     Proj 0 12/15S, 4E transport 1
  AS.35     Proj 0 12/15S, 4E transport 1
  AS.36    T.1/37 Proj 0 2S, 1E ab-initio trainer 1,35
  AS.37    Q.8/37 Proj 0 Radio-controlled flying boat target 1,35,47,90
  AS.38    T.7/37 Proj 0 4S, 1E communication vers. of AS.30 (1)
  AS.39 Fleet Shadower  1940 S.23/37 Proto 2 2S, 4E carrier borne observation aircraft (1),28,41,42,58
  AS.40 Oxford  1938  Pdn 1(85) Civilian Oxford 1,4
  AS.41 Oxford  1947  Pdn (1) 2E general purpose trainer 1,4
  AS.42 Oxford  1938 39/37 Pdn (4) 2E general purpose trainer 1,4
  AS.43 Oxford  1938 40/37 Pdn (1) Survey version of AS.42 4
  AS.44     Proj 0 2E general purpose trainer 35
  AS.45 Cambridge  1941 T.34/39 Proto 2 1S, 1E advanced trainer 1,40
  AS.46 Oxford Mk.V  1941  Pdn 199(23) 2E general purpose trainerSee AS.10 Oxford
  AS.47     Proj 0 2E twin boom bomber 1,35
  AS.48     Proj 0 1S, 1E night fighter 1,35
  AS.49    T.24/40 Proj 0 1S, 1E fighter trainer 1,12
  AS.50 Queen Wasp   T.24/40 Proj 0 1E trainer (1)
  AS.51 Horsa I  1941 X.26/40 Pdn 2237 Troop carrying glider 1,32,52,57,73,77,78,85
  AS.52 Horsa   X.3/41 Proj 0 Bomb carrying glider (1)
  AS.53 Horsa    Proj 0 Vehicle carrying glider (1)
      -  Horsa    Proj 0 Powered glider (1)
      -  See Note 1   F.6/42 Proj 0 1S, 1E fighter (3)(79)
  AS.54    TX.3/43 Proj 0 2S training glider 1,77
  AS.55     Proj 0 2E or 4E high wing transport / freighter 1
  AS.56    F.6/42 Proj 0 1S, 1E fighter 1,8
  AS.57 Ambassador  1947 C.25/43 Pdn 23 40/50S, 2E high wing transport 1,5,21-26,36,43,45,59,51,75,7686,87,88,89
  AS.58 Horsa II  1943  Pdn 1562 Troop & vehcle carrying glider See AS.51 Horsa I
  AS.59 Ambassador II  1945  Proj 0 4E version of AS.57 1,24
  AS.60 Ayreshire  1946 C.13/45 Proj 0 2E freighter version of the Ambassador 1, 2,24,48
  AS.61     Proj 0 Douglas DC-3 (Dakota I) conversion (1)
  AS.62     Proj 0 Douglas DC-3 (Dakota II) conversion (1)
  AS.63    26/43 Proj 0 Douglas DC-3 (Dakota III) conversion (1)
  AS.64    C.26/43 Proj 0 Ambassador project for the RAF (1)
  AS.65 Consul  1946  Pdn (155) Civil conversion of Oxford 1,4,5,14-20,44,46,74,93
  AS.66     Proj 0 Civil freighter version of the Ambassador (1)
  AS.67   1950  Proj 0 Civil freighter version of the Ambassador 1
  AS.68     Proj 0 Turboprop version of the Ambassador (1)
  AS.69     Proj 0 Maritime recce version of the AS.57 1

Project References                    To show project references in a floating window



Project References

1        Airspeed Aircraft Since 1931, H.A. Taylor (Putnam, 1970)

2        From Spitfire to Eurofighter, Roy Boot (Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1990)

3        British Aircraft Specifications File, K.J. Meekcoms and E.B. Morgan (Air-Britain Publications, 1994)

4        Oxford, Consul and Envoy File, John F. Hamlin (Air-Britain Publications, 2001)

5        British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, Vol 1, A.J. Jackson (Putnam, 1973)

6        British Light Aeroplanes, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2000)

7        British Commercial Aircraft, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2003)

8        British Secret Projects - Fighters & Bombers 1935-1950, Tony Buttler (Midland Publishing, 2004)

9        Stuck On The Drawing Board, Richard Payne (Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2004)

10      Aeromilitaria, 1988/3 (Air-Britain Publications)

11      Aeromilitaria, 2002/4 (Air-Britain Publications)

12      Aeromilitaria, 2005/2 (Air-Britain Publications)

13      Aeromilitaria, 2006/1 (Air-Britain Publications)

14      Air Britain Archive, 1987/2 (Air-Britain Publications)

15      Air Britain Archive, 1987/3 (Air-Britain Publications)

16      Air Britain Archive, 1987/4 (Air-Britain Publications)

17      Air Britain Archive, 1988/1 (Air-Britain Publications)

18      Air Britain Archive, 1988/2 (Air-Britain Publications)

19      Air Britain Archive, 1989/3 (Air-Britain Publications)

20      Air Britain Archive, 1990/2 (Air-Britain Publications)

21      Air Britain Archive, 2002/4 (Air-Britain Publications)

22      Air Britain Archive, 2003/1 (Air-Britain Publications)

23      Air Britain Archive, 2003/2 (Air-Britain Publications)

24      Air Britain Archive, 2003/3 (Air-Britain Publications)

25      Air Britain Archive, 2004/1 (Air-Britain Publications)

26      Air Britain Archive, 2004/2 (Air-Britain Publications)

27      Aeroplane Monthly, Feb, 1976

28      Aeroplane Monthly, Mar, 1977

29      Aeroplane Monthly, Mar-Apr, 1978

30      Aeroplane Monthly, Sept-Nov, 1978

31      Aeroplane Monthly, Apr, 1979

32      Aeroplane Monthly, Oct-Dec, 1979

33      Aeroplane Monthly, May-Jun, 1980

34      Aeroplane Monthly, Dec, 1981

35      Aeroplane Monthly, Jan, 1982

36      Aeroplane Monthly, Feb-Apr, 1982

37      Aeroplane Monthly, Jan, 1984

38      Aeroplane Monthly, Aug, 1987

39      Aeroplane Monthly, Mar, 1988

40      Aeroplane Monthly, Apr, 1991

41      Aeroplane Monthly, Apr, 1992

42      Aeroplane Monthly, Jun, 1992

43      Aeroplane Monthly, Dec, 1992

44      Aeroplane Monthly, Jul, 1995

45      Air Enthusiast Quarterly 23

46      Air Enthusiast Quarterly 65

47      Air Pictorial, Feb, 1955

48      Air Pictorial, Feb, 1984

49      Air Pictorial, Jul, 1990

50      Aircraft Illustrated Magazine Feb, 1969

51      Aircraft Illustrated Magazine May, 1976

52      Aircraft Illustrated Magazine Sep, 1976

53      Airspeed Oxford, J.D.R. Rawlings - Aircraft Profile No.227 (Profile Publications, 1971)

54      Aviation News Magazine Vol 3/14

55      Planes Magazine #4

56      Sailplane & Glider Magazine Vol 2/5

57      Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) Magazine #39

58      Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) Magazine #42

59      Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) Magazine #50

60      Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) Magazine #60

61      Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) Magazine #61

62      Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) Magazine #66

63      Flight, Sep 11, 1931

64      Flight, Apr 15, 1932

65      Flight, Oct 20, 1932

66      Flight, Mar 23, 1933

67      Flight, Jul 12, 1934

68      Flight, Oct 18, 1934

69      Flight, Jan 10, 1935

70      Flight, Jul 2, 1936

71      Flight, Jul 1, 1937

72      Flight, Jun 30, 1938

73      Flight, Jul 15, 1943

74      Flight, Apr 11, 1946

75      Flight, Apr 10, 1947

76      Flight, Jul 24, 1947

77      British Gliders and Sailplanes 1922-1970, Norman Ellison (Adam and Charles Black, 1970)

78      Aircraft Of The Fighting Powers, Vol IV , (Harborough Publishing, 1943)

79      Aviation World 2009/2 , (Air-Britain Publications)

80      The Aeroplane, Apr 13, 1932

81      The Aeroplane, Jun 9, 1935

82      The Aeroplane, Mar 18, 1936

83      The Aeroplane, May 6, 1936

84      The Aeroplane, Jul 28, 1937

85      The Aeroplane, May 26, 1944

86      The Aeroplane, Oct 26, 1945

87      The Aeroplane, Jul 25, 1947

88      Aeroplane Monthly, Apr, 2003

89      Aeroplane Monthly, Dec, 2005

90      Sitting Ducks and Peeping Toms, Michael I. Draper (Air-Britain Publications, 2011)

91      British Experimental Combat Aircraft of World War II, Tony Buttler, (Hikoki Publications, 2012)

92      Aeroplane Monthly, Dec, 2013

93      British Private Aircraft, 1946-1970, Volume 2, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume



1.    Airspeed Aircraft Since 1931, H.A. Taylor (Putnam, 1970)76.    Flight, Jul 24, 1947
2.    From Spitfire to Eurofighter, Roy Boot (Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1990)77.    British Gliders and Sailplanes 1922-1970, Norman Ellison, (Adam and Charles Black, 1970)
3.    British Aircraft Specifications File, K.J. Meekcoms and E.B. Morgan78.    Aircraft Of The Fighting Powers, Vol IV (Harborough Publishing, 1943)   
    (Air-Britain Publications, 1994)79.    Aviation World 2009/2 (Air-Britain Publications)
4.    Oxford, Consul and Envoy File, John F. Hamlin (Air-Britain Publications, 2001)80.    The Aeroplane, Apr 13, 1932
5.    British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, Vol 1, A.J. Jackson (Putnam, 1973)81.    The Aeroplane, Jun 9, 1935
6.    British Light Aeroplanes, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2000)82.    The Aeroplane, Mar 18, 1936
7.    British Commercial Aircraft, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2003)83.    The Aeroplane, May 6, 1936
8.    British Secret Projects - Fighters & Bombers 1935-1950, Tony Buttler84.    The Aeroplane, Jul 28, 1937
    (Midland Publishing, 2004)85.    The Aeroplane, May 26, 1944
9.    Stuck On The Drawing Board, Richard Payne (Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2004)86.    The Aeroplane, Oct 26, 1945
10.    Aeromilitaria, 1988/3 (Air-Britain Publications)87.    The Aeroplane, Jul 25, 1947
11.    Aeromilitaria, 2002/4 (Air-Britain Publications)88.    Aeroplane Monthly, Apr, 2003
12.    Aeromilitaria, 2005/2 (Air-Britain Publications)89.    Aeroplane Monthly, Dec, 2005
13.    Aeromilitaria, 2006/1 (Air-Britain Publications)90.    Sitting Ducks and Peeping Toms, Michael I. Draper (Air Britain Publications, 2011)
14.    Air Britain Archive, 1987/2 (Air-Britain Publications)91.    British Experimental Combat Aircraft of WWII, Tony Buttler, (Hikoki Publications, 2012)
15.    Air Britain Archive, 1987/3 (Air-Britain Publications)92.    Aeroplane Monthly, Dec, 2013
16.    Air Britain Archive, 1987/4 (Air-Britain Publications)93.    British Private Aircraft, 1946-1970, Volume 2, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume
17.    Air Britain Archive, 1988/1 (Air-Britain Publications)       (Mushroom Model Publications, 2013)
18.    Air Britain Archive, 1988/2 (Air-Britain Publications)  
19.    Air Britain Archive, 1989/3 (Air-Britain Publications)  
20.    Air Britain Archive, 1990/2 (Air-Britain Publications)  
21.    Air Britain Archive, 2002/4 (Air-Britain Publications)  
22.    Air Britain Archive, 2003/1 (Air-Britain Publications)  
23.    Air Britain Archive, 2003/2 (Air-Britain Publications)  
24.    Air Britain Archive, 2003/3 (Air-Britain Publications)  
25.    Air Britain Archive, 2004/1 (Air-Britain Publications)  
26.    Air Britain Archive, 2004/2 (Air-Britain Publications)  
27.    Aeroplane Monthly, Feb, 1976  
28.    Aeroplane Monthly, Mar, 1977  
29.    Aeroplane Monthly, Mar-Apr, 1978  
30.    Aeroplane Monthly, Sept-Nov, 1978  
31.    Aeroplane Monthly, Apr, 1979  
32.    Aeroplane Monthly, Oct-Dec, 1979  
33.    Aeroplane Monthly, May-Jun, 1980  
34.    Aeroplane Monthly, Dec, 1981  
35.    Aeroplane Monthly, Jan, 1982  
36.    Aeroplane Monthly, Feb-Apr, 1982  
37.    Aeroplane Monthly, Jan, 1984  
38.    Aeroplane Monthly, Aug, 1987  
39.    Aeroplane Monthly, Mar, 1988  
40.    Aeroplane Monthly, Apr, 1991  
41.    Aeroplane Monthly, Apr, 1992  
42.    Aeroplane Monthly, Jun, 1992  
43.    Aeroplane Monthly, Dec, 1992  
44.    Aeroplane Monthly, Jul, 1995  
45.    Air Enthusiast Quarterly 23  
46.    Air Enthusiast Quarterly 65  
47.    Air Pictorial, Feb, 1955  
48.    Air Pictorial, Feb, 1984  
49.    Air Pictorial, Jul, 1990  
50.    Aircraft Illustrated, Feb, 1969  
51.    Aircraft Illustrated, May, 1976  
52.    Aircraft Illustrated, Sep, 1976  
53.    Airspeed Oxford, J.D.R. Rawlings - Aircraft Profile No.227 (Profile Publications, 1971)  
54.    Aviation News Vol 3/14  
55.    Planes #4  
56.    Sailplane & Glider Vol 2/5  
57.    Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) #39  
58.    Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) #42  
59.    Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) #50  
60.    Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) #60  
61.    Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) #61  
62.    Wingspan (Incorporating Planes) #66  
63.    Flight, Sep 11, 1931  
64.    Flight, Apr 15, 1932  
65.    Flight, Oct 20, 1932  
66.    Flight, Mar 23, 1933  
67.    Flight, Jul 12, 1934  
68.    Flight, Oct 18, 1934  
69.    Flight, Jan 10, 1935  
70.    Flight, Jul 2, 1936  
71.    Flight, Jul 1, 1937  
72.    Flight, Jun 30, 1938  
73.    Flight, Jul 15, 1943  
74.    Flight, Apr 11, 1946  
75.    Flight, Apr 10, 1947 

 

Notes
  1. Possibly the 'Sabre Fighter' shown in Buttler [91]



Production Summary top

Note: In the Production Summary, conversions are only listed where they result in a change from one Type to another. Changes to sub-type or Mark Number are not shown in the summary. For details of these, see the individual listings.

Type No

Name

Qty (New)

Qty (Conv.)

Canc'd

 

 AS.1 Tern

2

1

Prdn_List
 AS.4 Ferry

4

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.5 Courier

16

 

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.6 Envoy

61

 

2

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.8 Viceroy

1

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.10 Oxford

8381

2190

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.27 

2

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.30 Queen Wasp

7

393

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.39 Fleet Shadower

2

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.40 Oxford

1

 

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.41 Oxford

(1)

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.42 Oxford

(4)

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.43 Oxford

(1)

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.45 Cambridge

2

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.46 Oxford V

199

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.49 

51

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.51 Horsa I

2237

1302

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.57 Ambassador

23

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.58 Horsa II

1562

745

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.60 Ayreshire C.1

40

Prdn_List_5.jpg
 AS.65 Consul

(148)

Prdn_List_5.jpg

Total Airspeed Production

12498 

Total Airspeed Cancelled Orders

4724 

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V1.3.0 Created by Roger Moss. Last updated February 2017