MANUFACTURER(S): Vickers-Armstrong - United Kingdom
OPERATORS: Poland; South Africa; United Kingdom
LENGTH: 72.18 feet (22 meters)
WIDTH: 96.78 feet (29.5 meters)
HEIGHT: 18.37 feet (5.6 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 28,219 pounds (12,800 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 45,096 pounds (20,455 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800 / S.1A4-G "Double Wasp" radial piston engines developing 1,850 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 224 miles-per-hour (360 kilometers-per-hour; 194 knots)
RANGE: 2,299 miles (3,700 kilometers; 1,998 nautical miles)
CEILING: 21,490 feet (6,550 meters; 4.07 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 660 feet-per-minute (201 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Vickers Warwick Multirole Heavy Bomber Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 6/17/2016.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Vickers Warwick became a further evolution of the Type 271 design which was intended to fulfill the earlier Specification B.9/32. The new aircraft was arranged around Specification B.1/35 of 1935 to serve as a heavy bomber despite its reliance on a twin-engine configuration (heavies of the period generally carried four or more engines). For the requirement Vickers formulated the Type 284 and outfitted the design with Bristol Hercules radial piston engines, one nacelle fitted to either wing mainplane. The mainplanes were mid-mounted along the deep fuselage which sported a stepped cockpit arrangement, the nose glazed some for vision by the bombardier. The fuselage tapered at the rear to which a single vertical fin was featured with low-set horizontal planes. A tail-dragger undercarriage would be used for ground running and be made retractable in to the aircraft.
The Type 284 was one of eight aircraft designs submitted for review to the Air Ministry and became the first to be ordered in prototype form - two were ultimately completed. 1936 and 1937 saw formal revisions to the requirement as well as mounting delays with the intended engines (now Rolls-Royce "Vulture" inlines) and other issues including a commitment to other wartime programs on the part of Vickers. First flight was finally had on August 13th, 1939 and the second prototype followed with Bristol Centaurus engines - later changed to the Pratt & Whitney R2800 "Double Wasp" series due to limited Centaurus supplies. As with other large Vickers aircraft of the day, a geodesic "basket-weave" understructure was employed in the construction of the Warwick - adding a certain layer of manufacturing complexity while benefitting the design through strength and weight savings.
A first-order by the Royal Air Force (RAF) was for 150 of the Pratt & Whitney-engined bombers and a follow-on batch of 100 Centaurus-engined forms. This therefore produced the Warwick Mk I and Warwick Mk II production forms with the first delivered to the RAF inventory in July of 1942.
However, as much work as had been put into the Warwick to date, the air war had already saw such advances in bomber technology and performance that the Warwick was simply surpassed in its given role. As such, true bomber forms were actually available in limited numbers - just sixteen of the stock. The rest were pressed into service in a variety of critical roles such as Search and Rescue (SAR) platforms, maritime patrol aircraft (Anti-Submarine Warfare - ASW), and general transports. A total of 842 aircraft were produced.
In all there were five major marks - Mk I, II, III, V and VI - with several subvariants following. Mk I marked 150 bomber models ordered and this stock saw subvariants take on bomber, transport, SAR and passenger air service roles. Mk II was used in the ASW role as well as reconnaissance. Mk III followed as a transport version and Mk V became another ASW entry (Bristol Centaurus engines). Mk VI relied on PW Double Wasp engines and served as the final Warwick form for the SAR role - these entered service in the last few months of the war (1945).
Bomber models (Mk I) were outfitted with up to 8 x 7.7mm Browning machine guns set within three turrets (two guns in the nose, two in a dorsal position, and four at the tail). Performance included a maximum speed of 225 miles per hour, a range out to 2,300 miles and a service ceiling of 21,500 feet. Power was from 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" radials outputting 1,850 horsepower each. The operating crew numbered six.
Beyond service with over twenty RAF squadrons, the type soldiered on for the Polish government-in-exile and for squadrons No. 17 and 27 of the South African Air Force (SAAF).
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Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (224mph).
Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Vickers Warwick ASR.Mk I's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units