Airspeed Oxford I Military Transport Aircraft
Produced to meet Air Ministry Specification T.23/36 for a more challenging twin engine trainer for complete RAF bomber crews, the Airspeed AS.10 Oxford I, and later variants, was based on the Airspeed Envoy transport aircraft which had been designed by A. H. Tiltman in the early 1930's. The main advantage of the Airspeed Oxford from the RAF's perspective was the ability to train a complete integrated bomber crew from a very early stage as a single operational unit rather than as individuals with unrelated and separate skill sets.
The Airspeed AS.10 Oxford I first flew in June 1937 and was commonly referred to as the "Ox-box" in the RAF, a total of 8,586 aircraft were produced including the later variants. Although the primary Airspeed Oxford user during WW2 was the RAF, numerous British Commonwealth aircrews were trained in navigation, radio-operating, bombing and gunnery in this aircraft. The re-configurable nature of the Airspeed Oxford allowed it to be also be readily used as a light transport or medical evacuation air ambulance.
British Commonwealth aircrews in navigation, radio-operating, bombing, gunnery and camera operating for photo reconnaissance during the Second World War. The Airspeed Oxford was cleverly designed so it could be re-configured to meet different operational missions such as bombing or photo recognisance, the bomb aimer's position being changed for a photo recognisance one. The RAF kept some of it's until 1956 although most were disposed of soon after the end of WW2.
|Airspeed Oxford AS 10 Mk I Specifications:|
- Crew: 3 (one of these was an air-gunner in the Mk 1 but not in the Mk 2)
- Length: 34 ft 6 in (10.52 m)
- Wingspan: 53 ft 4 in (16.26 m)
- Height: 11 ft 1 in (3.38 m)
- Empty weight: 5,322 lb (2,419 kg)
- Loaded weight: 7,500 lb (3,409 kg)
- Engines: Twin 350 hp (261 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah X radial engines
- Maximum speed: 192 mph (309 km/h) at 8,000 ft (2,440 m)
- Endurance: 5.5 hr
- Service ceiling: 23,550 ft (7,180 m)
|Airspeed Oxford AS 10 Mk I Armament:|
- Single 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun in dorsal turret.
- Sixteen 11.5 lb (5 kg) practice bombs carried externally.
It is of note that Airspeed Ltd was formed by A. H. Tiltman and the well known Author Nevil Shute in 1931, and that Amy Johnson died after being shot down by "Friendly Fire" whilst ferrying an Airspeed Oxford over the Thames Estuary, this was somewhat ironic as she was a founder share holder in Airspeed Ltd and was delivering the aircraft to the RAF who shot her down, she and another bailed out an initially survived but was then "sucked under" the stern of the HMS Haslemere a barrage balloon ship on convoy escort duty who attempted a rescue (this was partially covered up until 1999 when ex RAF fighter pilot, Tom Mitchell, ignored his 1941 orders and came clean about his role in the incident).
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