The Avro 566 Avenger was a private venture attempt to produce a high-performance biplane fighter for service with the Royal Air Force - only a prototype was completed.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the Public Domain.
Developed along the lines of a private venture fighter for possible sale to the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Avro 566 "Avenger" promised excellent performance through a powerful engine and exceptional streamlining of its shape. The type existed in a biplane form and recorded a first-flight on June 26th, 1926. Its design was attributed to Roy Chadwick, an aeronautical engineer who lent his talents to the creation of the Avro Manchester and Avro Lancaster heavy bombers of World War 2 fame and the Avro Vulcan jet-powered bomber of Cold War fame.
The Avenger exhibited an overall length of 7.7 meters, a wingspan of 9.75 meters, and a height of 3 meters. It sat a single crewman in an open-air cockpit under and behind the upper wing assembly. The mainplanes were of unequal span - the upper section being wider than the lower - and used N-type struts creating a single-bay wing arrangement. The wheeled undercarriage was fixed during flight and the overall design approach of the aircraft was very consistent with the post-World War 1 period (known as the "Interwar period"). Construction was largely of wood with fabric skinning and power to the aircraft was through a Napier Lion VIII engine of 525 horsepower driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose. No armament was fitted to the prototype though it can be assumed that 2 x 0.303 machine guns would have been installed, synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
As completed, the Avenger held a maximum speed of 180 miles per hour and could cruise at 130 miles per hour.
Despite its promise, the Avenger failed to sell itself to RAF authorities (mainly due to the unpopular Lion engine in play) so it was decided to convert the high performance platform to an aerial racer. The wing mainplanes were revised to become equal-span assemblies and I-type struts were fitted for support. Ailerons were added to both upper and lower wing structures. The original engine installation was now superseded by the Napier Lion IX series engine of 553 horsepower and the changes were enough to warrant the new designation of Avro 567 "Avenger II".
Beyond this conversion, the aircraft was destined to never become anything greater - the single example was eventually broken up in 1931 and used as an engineering training tool.
[ 1 Units ] : A.V. Roe (Avro) - United Kingdom
United Kingdom (cancelled)
- X-Plane / Developmental
25.49 ft (7.77 m)
31.99 ft (9.75 m)
10.24 ft (3.12 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Avro 566 Avenger production model)
2,370 lb (1,075 kg)
3,219 lb (1,460 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Avro 566 Avenger production model)
Avenger I: 1 x Napier Lion VIII engine developing 525 horsepower and driving two-bladed propeller at the nose.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Avro 566 Avenger production model)
180 mph (290 kph; 157 kts)
21,982 feet (6,700 m; 4.16 miles)
2,100 ft/min (640 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Avro 566 Avenger production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
None Fitted. Assumed armament of 2 x 0.303 machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Avro 566 Avenger production model)
566 Avenger ("Avenger I") - Original prototype design; unequal-span wing mainplanes; N-type struts; Napier Lion VIII engine.
567 Avenger II - Revised prototype as aerial racer; equal-span wing mainplanes; I-type struts; Napier Lion IX engine.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes AnvilOfWar.com, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.