Known as Sir W.G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Company or Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft was a British aircraft manufacturer who produced a number of notable aircraft between 1912 and 1961.
Established as the Aerial Department of the Sir W.G. Armstrong Whitworth & Company the engineering group from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in 1912 and from 1914 to 1917 named its aircraft models F.K. after the Dutch aircraft designer Frederick Koolhoven.
Armstrong Whitworth acquired Siddeley-Deasy in 1920 and the engine, automobile & aircraft were spun off as Armstrong Siddeley. In 1927 Armstrong Siddeley and Vickers merged in 1927 to form Vickers Armstrong but the aircraft division remained Armstrong Whitworth. Vickers Armstrong having its own aircraft division.
In 1935 the company was purchased by Hawker Aircraft, the new company became Hawker Siddeley Aircraft, although the entities co-operated they operated as individual companies.
The company merged with Gloster Aircraft Company to form Whitworth Gloster Aircraft in 1961 and in 1963 the name was changed to Hawker Siddeley.
Notable aircraft were the Siskin Biplane fighter in 1919, the Whitley (1936) & Albemarle (1940) bombers and Argosy in 1959.
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The Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle was designed as a British medium bomber first flying on 20th March 1940 but was found to be inferior to other medium bombers in service and was only used on two occasions. The aircraft was refitted as a transport, glider tug and paratroop aircraft, although it was withdrawn as transport due to the cramped interior. The aircraft gave sterling service as a tug and paratroop aircraft including on many special operations.
The aircraft’s first operation in its new role was the invasion of Sicily and it went on to drop pathfinders on the night of 5/6 June 1944 during D-Day and dropping paratroops and towing gliders in the subsequent days. The aircraft also operated during Operation Market Garden where they towed Horsa and Waco gliders. In total 602 aircraft were delivered.
The Whitley was one of the three medium bombers that served in the RAF at the start of the Second World War, it carried out many raids in the early part of the war. By 1942 it was superseded by the new four engine heavies.
It remained active in roles such as maritime reconnaissance, glider tug, trainer and transport aircraft.
The type also served with the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as a civilian freighter aircraft.
The aircraft was named after a suburb of Coventry the home of one of Armstrong Whitworth's plants.
The Argosy was the last aircraft produced by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft and was a British post-war transport/cargo aircraft in both civil and military guise.
The aircraft’s first flight was on 25th September 1989 and delivered to Finair one month later.
The aircraft was powered by four Rolls-Royce Dart turboprops and entered service with Riddle Airlines of the USA in 1960. The military entered service with Royal Air Force in 1962.
A total of 74 aircraft were built.
The Siskin was a biplane single seat fighter produced for the RAF and was the first new fighter to enter service after the First World War.
The aircraft was known for its aerobatic qualities.
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