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Armstrong Whitworth 

Whitley

 
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History

 
The Whitworth Whitley was a twin-engined monoplane bomber. It first flew on 17 March 1936 and entered into service with the RAF in March 1937. The Whitley was one of the first heavy night bombers of the RAF, and the first RAF aircraft with a stressed-skin fuselage. It had a characteristic nose-down flying attitude, because of the high incidence of the wing. Performance was mediocre, and from 1942 onwards it was used as trainer and glider tug. Number built totalled 1,737 of all versions.
 
The Whitworth Whitley  saw service with the Fleet Air Arm from 17 August 1942 when 16 aircraft were trannsferred from the RAF (although Z9142 was delivered on 28 July 1942 to the FAA at Gosport) and served with the RN until 1945.

The first unit to receive the Whitley was 734 Engine Handling squadron at Worthy Down on 12 May 1944, the remainder were also delivered to this squadron over the suceeding months. The Whitley GR VIIa were specially fitted with fuel flowmewters and other instrruments, and used as flying classtrooms in which pilots could be instructed in Merlin engine handling techniques. The type was used until the squadron disbanded in February 1946.


          Fleet Air Arm history

Whitworth Whitley
Total FAA 1939-1945:             16
First delivered to RN:               1942
First squadron 1939 -1945:        734 sqdn 1944
Last served with RN                 1947
Aircraft Type:
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley 
Mark:
VII
Primary Role:
FAA Engine handling training aircraft, previous heavy bomber with the RAF
First Flight: 
17.3.1936
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
1942-1946
Manufacturer:
Armstrong Whitworth 
Engine:
Two 1,145 hp 12cylinder Rolls-Royce Merlin X engines
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Wingspan 84 ft (25.6 m)
Length 70.5 ft (21.5 m)
Height 15 ft  (4.57 m)
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
Weight
empty 19,330 lb (8,768 kg)
max. 33,500 lb (15,196 kg)
Speed: 

Ceiling: 

Range:

Speed
max. 222 mph   (357 km/h
cruising about 185 mph  (297 km/h) 
Initial climb rate 800 ft/min  (244 m/min)
Ceiling 20,000 ft  (6,100 m) 
Range 1,647 mi  (2,650 km)
Armament: 
Five 7.7 mm machine gun; 3,175 kg bombs
Crew:
5
Squadrons:
734
Battle honours:
None with FAA
Additional references and notes:
-

Battle Honours and Operational History
None with FAA


Surviving aircraft and relics
No complete Whitley aircraft remain however two fuselage sections are preserved at the  Midland Air Museum (UK).

Associations and reunions
No information
 
FURTHER INFORMATION
 
Olivier warbirds, Le site sur l'aviation de la Seconde guerre mondiale Details of the Whitley [in French]
Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 0 85130 232 7 
Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000

 

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