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Vickers Wellington

Medium Bomber Aircraft

Vickers Wellington

Medium Bomber Aircraft


The Vickers Wellington was the primary medium bomber of the Royal Air Force at the start of World War 2.
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ORIGIN: United Kingdom
YEAR: 1938
OPERATORS: Australia; Canada; Czechoslovakia; France (Free French); Nazi Germany; Greece; New Zealand; Poland; Portugal; South Africa; United Kingdom

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Vickers Wellington model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 5 or 6
LENGTH: 64.57 feet (19.68 meters)
WIDTH: 86.15 feet (26.26 meters)
HEIGHT: 16.40 feet (5 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 18,971 pounds (8,605 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 34,000 pounds (15,422 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Bristol Hercules XI radial piston engines developing 1,500 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 255 miles-per-hour (411 kilometers-per-hour; 222 knots)
RANGE: 1,540 miles (2,478 kilometers; 1,338 nautical miles)
CEILING: 18,996 feet (5,790 meters; 3.60 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 930 feet-per-minute (283 meters-per-minute)


2 x 7.7mm machine guns in nose turret
4 x 7.7mm machine guns in tail turret
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in beam positions

Up to 4,500 lb of internally-held conventional drop bombs.

Series Model Variants
• Mk I - Initial Production Model Series; fitted with Pegasus radial engines.
• Mk IA - Fitted with Nash & Thompson type nose and tail turrets.
• Mk IC - Ventral turret replaced by lateral position guns.
• Mk II - Fitted with Merlin powerplants.
• Mk III - Fitted with either Hercules III or Hercules XI type powerplants.
• Mk IV - Fitted with Twin Wasp powerplants.
• Mk V - Pressurized cabins for high-altitude operation; fitted with Hercules powerplant; did not see combat service.
• Mk VI - Pressurized cabins for high-altitude operation; fitted with Merlin powerplant; did not see combat service.
• Mk X - Fitted with Hercules XVIII; final production version of bomber type; last flown in 1943.
• DW.Mk I - Maritime Variant; anti-mine equipment
• DW.Mk IC - Dedicated Mine Layer
• GR.Mk VIII - Fitted with ASV radar system and Pegasus powerplant.
• GR.Mk XI - Torpedo Bomber; fitted with Hercules engines.
• GR.Mk XII - Torpedo Bomber; fitted with Hercules engines.
• GR.Mk XIV - Torpedo Bomber; fitted with Hercules engines.
• T.Mk XVII - Trainer Variant
• T.Mk XVIII - Trainer Variant
• C.Mk XV - Transport Conversion Models of the Mk IC model.
• C.Mk XVI - Transport Conversion Models of the Mk IC model.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Vickers Wellington Medium Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/15/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The Vickers Wellington was the primary bomber of the Royal Air Force at the start of World War 2, serving up until late 1943 when it was relegated to second line roles. The Wellington saw production numbers exceed 11,400 and found its mark as a night bomber. Outlasting many of its 1930s-designed contemporaries, the Wellington proved a vital and successful additional to the Royal Air Force's offensive reach early in the war.

The Wellington was designed as early as 1932 to meet a RAF requirement for a medium-class, two-engined bomber. The resulting prototype first flew in 1936 and joined Bomber Command in production form for 1938 - in time for the opening phases of World War 2. Still utilizing construction and design technology that would prove obsolescent by the middle years of the war, the Wellington nonetheless soldiered on. The series would go on to be powered by a mix of Hercules, Pegasus and Merlin engines throughout her career, these powerplants mounted on the monoplane wings which straddled the streamlined fuselage. The whole crew complement reached up to six personnel. An internal bomb load capacity was limited to 4,500 lb of conventional drop ordnance while defensive armament became a mix of 7.7mm machine guns - two fitted to a forward turret, four at a rear turret, and an additional two machine guns mounted at beam (waist) positions. Despite the defensive-minded network of machine guns, this array was soon found to be inadequate as Wellingtons suffered from large defenseless angles about her design. As such, early daylight bombing raids proved disastrous for the type.

It would not be until the Wellington was featured as a night time bomber that the aircraft shined. Wellingtons would go on to form a powerful addition to Bomber Command plans going forward, the primary mission being to derail German war capabilities during hard-to-defend, low-light hours. As much as the Wellington progressed throughout its time in the war, it was nonetheless becoming outclassed by the addition of new bombers to the Allied cause along with new Axis fighters used in interception sorties. The Wellington would fly its last offensive mission in October of 1943. Even so the type would go on to serve in other forms such as that of maritime patrol - this version armed with two torpedoes and specialized equipment. Other Wellingtons served in the dedicated transport role, as crew trainers, and even as research platforms concerning development of turbojets.


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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (255mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Vickers Wellington Mk III's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
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

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue