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Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle

United Kingdom (1941)
Picture of Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Transport / Tug Aircraft
Picture of Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Transport / Tug Aircraft Picture of Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Transport / Tug Aircraft
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The Armstrong Albemarle failed to impress as a bomber and, as such, was relegated to glider tug and transport service during World War 2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Transport / Tug Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/17/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle became one of those aircraft designs that evolved into a role not initially envisioned. The system was born from an earlier Bristol-designed reconnaissance platform that went nowhere and was further evolved by Armstrong Whitworth as a bomber. When that classification failed for the Albemarle, the system was relegated to dedicated transport and glider tug, taking part in some of the major offensives and invasions of World War 2. Generally regarded as unpleasant-an-aircraft as there ever was, the Albemarle would nevertheless become an integral part of the British war effort.

The Albemarle appeared in prototype form as early as 1939 with production sending early examples to frontline forces by 1941. The system failed to shine as a dedicated bomber through the first 42 systems delivered and many were switched over to the transport role. Construction was of a mix-wood and metal, incorporating a basic fuselage with heavy glazing along the nose. The twin engines were mounted along a mid-wing monoplane arrangement. A lone, manually-operated turret was fitted in a dorsal/middle-fuselage position and could be fitted with 2 x or 4 x 7.7mm machine guns as required. Twin rudder fins were set in the tail section. Power came from 2 x Bristol Hercules XI series, 14-cylinder radial piston engines which could generate up to 1,590 horsepower apiece. One unique aspect of the Albermarle's design was in her use of a tricycle landing gear system, something no other British production aircraft had fielded up to this point.


Picture of the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Transport / Tug Aircraft
Picture of the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Transport / Tug Aircraft


The Albemarle took part in the invasion of Sicily to which they were used to tow support gliders into action. Additionally, the system took part in the upcoming D-Day invasion landings of June 1944 (again as glider tugs) and served with airborne elements during the airdrops over Arnhem - one of three major points controlling three major bridges in British General Bernard Law Montgomery's far-reaching "A Bridge Too Far" campaign to end the war before Christmas. In the end, the Albemarle served with some subtle distinction in her not-too-glorious - yet ultimately detrimental - transport/utility role, a role never intended for the old girl at the outset.






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.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (256mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Mk II'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
Pie graph section
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
600
600


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United Kingdom
Year: 1941
Type: Transport / Tug Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Armstrong Whitworth - UK
Production: 600
Global Operators:
United Kingdom; Soviet Union
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Mk II model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
4


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
59.91 ft


Meters
18.26 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
77.00 ft


Meters
23.47 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
15.58 ft


Meters
4.75 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
22,600 lb


Kilograms
10,251 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
36,500 lb


Kilograms
16,556 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Bristol Hercules XI 14-cylinder radial air-cooled piston engines developing 1,590 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
256 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
412 kph


Knots
222 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,350 mi


Kilometers
2,173 km


Nautical Miles
1,173 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
17,999 ft


Meters
5,486 m


Miles
3.41 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
2 OR 4 x 7.7mm Vickers machine guns in manually-operated dorsal turret

OPTIONAL:
Up to 4,500lb of ordnance held internally.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Mk I - Initial Production Models; 42 being completed as bomber types whilst remaining 558 built to transport specifications.
• Mk II - Transport Variant
• Mk V - Glider Tug
• Mk VI - Glider Tug