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Armstrong Whitworth Ensign


Mail Service / Passenger Transport Aircraft (1936)


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The impressive Armstrong Whitworth Ensign saw only limited production numbers but managed to serve both sides of World War 2.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/12/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The impressive Armstrong Whitworth Ensign AW.27 series was made originally designed to a 1934 British government requirement for an air mail service transport to spearhead an improved method of correspondence to all points of the British Empire. The Armstrong Whitworth design was accepted and development proceeded, albeit at a interrupted pace thanks to the ever-changing requirements as put forth by Imperial Airways. Couple that with early engine reliability issues and the Ensign seems to have been doomed to failure. On the contrary, the system was recognized as a successful design and would see many years of usefulness in commercial and military ventures thanks to its stellar design.

Design of the Ensign was characterized by its smooth lines and high-wing mounting. The cockpit was situated at extreme forward offering up good views past the wings which were seated to the middle of the fuselage, far back from the cockpit. Oval-shaped windows dotted the fuselage sides while the fuselage bottom sagged from nose to tail tip. The main landing gear were housed in the wing roots and consisted of large donut type wheels consistent with large aircraft design of the times. Four engines were placed two to a wing in the leading wing edges and contoured nicely into the wing elements. The empennage was of a traditional layout complete with rounded fin edges. Crew accommodations amounted to five personnel that included the pilot, co-pilot, radio operator and - if needed - two cabin stewards for passenger flight. Depending on the required range, passenger seating numbers fell between 27 and 40 total personnel.
The AW.27 came in two dominant variants, categorized by the brand of engine fitted to each. The AW.27 Mk I was seen fitted with four Armstrong Siddeley Tiger IXC radial piston engines whilst the AW.27 Mk II model came with four Wright Cyclone GR-1820-G102A radial piston engines. Beyond that, both models were basically similar in design, layout and operation.

The AW.27 series served with the RAF in military service during the Second World War and also appeared in a single captured form with the Vichy French and later the Luftwaffe. With the RAF, the Ensign served with the No. 24 Squadron.

Specifications



Service Year
1936

Origin
United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Status
RETIRED
Not in Service.
Crew
5

Production
14
UNITS


Armstrong Whitworth - UK
National flag of France National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of the United Kingdom France (Vichy French); Nazi Germany; United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Commercial Aviation
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.


Length
114.2 ft
(34.80 m)
Width/Span
123.0 ft
(37.50 m)
Height
23.0 ft
(7.02 m)
Empty Wgt
35,053 lb
(15,900 kg)
MTOW
55,556 lb
(25,200 kg)
Wgt Diff
+20,503 lb
(+9,300 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Armstrong Whitworth AW.27 Ensign Mk I production variant)
Installed: 4 x Wright GR-1820-G102A geared radial piston engines developing 1,100 horsepower each.
Max Speed
205 mph
(330 kph | 178 kts)
Ceiling
23,950 ft
(7,300 m | 5 mi)
Range
1,367 mi
(2,200 km | 4,074 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
900 ft/min
(274 m/min)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Armstrong Whitworth AW.27 Ensign Mk I production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
None.


AW.27 Mk I - Fitted with 4 x Armstrong Siddeley Tiger IXC radial piston engines.
AW.27 Mk II - Fitted with 4 x Wright GR-1820-G102A Cyclone radial piston engines.


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