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Armstrong Whitworth Argosy

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

Argosy Mk I of Imperial Airways (1926)
Role Airliner
Manufacturer Armstrong Whitworth
First flight March 1926
Primary user Imperial Airways
Number built 7
For the 1950s transport, see Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy

The Armstrong Whitworth Argosy was a British three-engine biplane airliner built by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft and operated by Imperial Airways from 1926 to 1935.


The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.15 Argosy stemmed from a declaration by Imperial Airways that all its aircraft would be multi-engine designs on the grounds of safety . They were intended to replace the older single-engine de Havilland aircraft that Imperial Airways had inherited from its constituent companies, mainly Daimler Airway. The first example (G-EBLF) flew in March 1926following an initial order for three Argosies from Imperial Airways. An improved Mk. II version was introduced in 1929.

Armstrong Whitworth A.W. 154 Argosy
Armstrong Whitworth A.W. 154 Argosy

Operational History

The Argosy was initially used on European routes (later operating on services to South Africa), with the fleet named after cities. Argosies implemented the world's first "named" air service, the luxury 'Silver Wing' service from London to Paris, in Argosy City of Birmingham (G-EBLO). Two seats were removed and replaced with a bar and a steward was in attendance.

Three Argosies were lost during service with Imperial Airways, with one being written off in a forced landing near Aswan and one during a training accident, both in 1931, with no injuries in either accident. On 28 March 1933, however, an Argosy caught fire over Belgium , causing a crash in which all three crew and 12 passengers were killed .

Argosies continued in service with Imperial Airways until 1935, with the last example G-AACJ "City of Manchester" being used for joy-riding by United Airways Ltd of Stanley Park Aerodrome (Blackpool), which then became British Airways Ltd. It continued in use with British Airways until December 1936.


  • Argosy Mk I : Three engined airliner. Powered by three 385 hp (287 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar IIIA radial piston engines. Later fitted with Jaguar IVA engines. Three constructed.
  • Argosy Mk II : Three engined airliner. Powered by three 420 hp (310 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar IVA radial piston engines. Four constructed.


 United Kingdom

Imperial Airways Argosy fleet 1926-1935

Type Registration Name
Mk. I G-EBLF City of Glasgow
Mk. I G-EBLO City of Birmingham
Mk. I G-EBOZ City of Wellington
Mk. II G-AACH City of Edinburgh
Mk. II G-AACI City of Liverpool
Mk. II G-AACJ City of Manchester
Mk. II G-AAEJ City of Coventry

Specifications (Argosy II)

Data from {British Civil Aircraft since 1919}

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 20
  • Length: 64 ft 6 in (19.66 m)
  • Wingspan: 90 ft (27.44 m)
  • Height: 19 ft (5.79 m)
  • Wing area: 1,890 ft² (176 m²)
  • Empty weight: 12,090 lb (5,495 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 19,200 lb (8,727 kg)
  • Powerplant:Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar IVA Radial, 420 hp (313 kW) each


  1. ^ Jackson, A.J (1973). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 1. (2nd Edition ed.). Putnam & Co. ISBN 0-370-10006-9. 
  2. ^ David Donald, ed (1997). The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-85605-375-X. 
  3. ^ M J H Taylor, ed (1980). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aircraft. Jane's Publishing Company. 
  • M J H Taylor, ed (1980). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aircraft. Jane's Publishing Company. 

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Published in July 2009.

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