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    Airspeed Oxford Gunnery / Bomber / Navigation / Radio Crew Trainer

    The Airspeed Oxford was a priceless trainer in use by British and Commonwealth forces throughout the Second World War.

     Updated: 3/25/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Airspeed Oxford was a critical component of the British and Commonwealth forces aerial training program during World War 2. The type appeared in two notable forms as the "Oxford I" and the "Oxford II" with a few subvariants emerging between. The Oxford I series was charged with the training of bomber and gunnery personnel while the Oxford II was used to train navigators and radio personnel on the finer points of their respective crafts. As such, the Oxford series as a whole became a rather indispensable addition to the British Empire - serving to train numerous aircrews for their very specialized functions. First flight of the prototype occurred on June 19th, 1937.

    Design-wise, the Airspeed Oxford was of a conventional design and overall arrangement. The engines were mounted along the leading edges of their respective low monoplane wings which straddled the cockpit. The cockpit was, itself, heavily glazed to provide for maximum views at nearly all angles in flight (including a perfect view of each engine). A single vertical tail fin was affixed to the tail unit as were a pair of horizontal tailplanes. There were enough crew accommodations for up to three personnel. The undercarriage was of a tail-dragger configuration, made up of a pair of single-wheeled main landing gear legs and a small tail wheel at the rear. Only the main legs were retractable and these only partially so under each engine nacelle.

    Armament was optional and utilized in the training of bomber and gunnery personnel. A 7.7mm Vickers K machine gun could be mounted to a dorsal position while 16 x 11.5lb practice bombs could be stowed in the internal bomb bay.

    The Airspeed Oxford went on to see extensive service in the inventories of many countries before her tenure had ended. Some 8,586 examples were produced in all.

    Airspeed Oxford Mk I Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1937
    Type: Gunnery / Bomber / Navigation / Radio Crew Trainer
    National Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer(s): Airspeed Ltd - UK
    Production Total: 8,586

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 3
    Length: 34.48 feet (10.51 meters)
    Width: 53.31 feet (16.25 meters)
    Height: 11.09 feet (3.38 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 5,335 lb (2,420 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 7,518 lb (3,410 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah X radial engines generating 355hp each.

    Maximum Speed: 192 mph (309 kph; 167 knots)
    Maximum Range: 932 miles (1,500 km)
    Service Ceiling: 23,556 feet (7,180 meters; 4.46 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 1,340 feet-per-minute (408 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    1 x 7.7mm Vickers K machine gun in dorsal gun position.
    16 x 11.5lb practice bombs in internal bomb bay.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Australia; Belgium; Burma (Myanmar); Ceylon (Sri Lanka); Denmark; Canada; Czechoslovakia; Egypt; France (Free French Forces; Greece; India; Iran; Israel; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; Portugal; South Africa; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States; Yugoslavia

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    AS.10 Oxford Mk I - Bombing/Gunnery Trainer; increased wingspan from commercial model; fitted with Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX radial engines of 355 horsepower in engine cowls; redesigned nose assembly.

    AS.10 Oxford Mk II - Radio/Navigation Trainer; sans powered turret.

    AS.10 Oxford Mk III - Radio/Navigation Trainer; fitted with 2 x Cheetah XV engines of 425 horsepower.

    AS.10 Oxford Mk IV - Developmental Test Bed Aircraft for de Havilland Gipsy Queen IV powerplants.

    Oxford T.II - Improved Oxford; mostly converted from Oxford Mk.I models (8); 9 examples.

    AS.40 Oxford - Civilian conversion model; radio testbed; 2 examples converted.

    AS.41 Oxford - Developmental Test Bed Aircraft for Alvis Leonides powerplant; single example.

    AS.42 Oxford - New Zealand Air Force Variant

    AS.43 Oxford - Survey Platform based on AS.42 model.

    AS.46 Oxford Mk V - Fitted with Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial engines of 450 horsepower; final production variant; standardized model for Oxford Mk I and Oxford Mk II types.

    AS.65 Consul - Civilian Post-War Transport Models.

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