INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT
|Airspeed AS 6 Envoy|
The Envoy saw service in Great Britain, Spain, Japan, China, Finland
and South Africa.
The RAF used a small number of the military configuration of the Airspeed Envoy. The Envoys supplied to South Africa were of a convertible type, in which four men were reputed to be able to transform in four hours an Envoy from a six-passenger liner format to a light bomber or reconnaissance machine, complete with gun-turret and bomb-racks. The war-time crew would consist of pilot, navigator, wireless operator and rear gunner. In Japan, Mitsubishi built 10 licensed AS 6s between 1936 and 1937.
The Envoy had tragic memories for Australians, for it was whilst flying an Envoy that Charles Ulm (an honorary RAAF Flight Lieutenant) disappeared between Oakland and Honolulu during his 1934 Pacific flight attempt.
A special version of this aircraft type had the honour of being selected for His Majesty's private plane in 1937, since Envoys had a noteworthy stability, and their flapped wings enabled them to land at about 60 mph, thus not requiring a large aerodrome. Royal flying was formalised on 21 July 1936 with the creation of The King's Flight at Hendon. Airspeed Envoy III, G-AEXX, joined the Kings Flight in May 1937 as the first aircraft purchased specifically for the Flight. The Second World War saw the King's Flight temporarily disbanded.
The Airspeed Envoy' s military variant was the Airspeed Oxford. Designed for all aspects of aircrew training, the prototype Oxford first flew in 1937. On the outbreak of World War II, Oxfords were selected as trainers for the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS), and a total of 8,751 Oxfords served in Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Rhodesia, and the Middle East.
Only one Envoy entered service with the Fleet Air Arm, being transferred from the RAF during 1941 to 781 Communications squadron at Lee on Solent for communications duties.
Fleet Air Arm history
Total FAA 1939-1945: 1
First delivered to RN: 1941
First squadron 1939-1945: 781 sqdn 1941
Operational squadron: None
Last served with RN 781 squadron 1941
Battle Honours and Operational History
None with the Fleet Air Arm
AS Envoy in Spanish employ during the Civil war
The fate of the single FAA Envoy is not known. The type is believed extinct.