The Avro designation 618 Ten was adopted as the aircraft was capable of carrying two crew and eight passengers.
After a modification of the centre motor mounting to accommodate British airworthiness requirements, the aircraft was first displayed at the 1929 Olympia Aero Show.
Two of this fleet were lost in accidents: Southern Cloud in the Toolong range of the Australian Alps on 21 March 1931 (the wreckage was not found until 1958) and Southern Sun in Malaya in November 1931, while attempting the first airmail flight to the United Kingdom. The airline folded and the remaining aircraft were sold.
Southern Moon was rebuilt in 1933 for long-range flights, fitted with 330 hp (250 kW) Wright Whirlwind radial engines and restyled as VH-UXX Faith in Australia. The last surviving 618 Ten in Australia, it evacuated many people from New Guinea in 1941.
Another two 618 Ten aircraft were also sold to Australian companies.
Three of the 619 Five aircraft went to two Australian airlines, as did (after commercial service in Britain) the sole 642/2m.
Britain and elsewhere
Four 618 Tens were delivered directly to British customers. Two went to Imperial Airways (April and June 1931) and were chartered to the Iraq Petroleum Transport Company before returning to Britain in 1933. One went to Midland & Scottish Air Ferries (May 1933) and at the end of 1931 one went to Indian State Airways for the use of the Viceroy of India.
The last production Ten was delivered to the Royal Aircraft Establishment's Wireless and Equipment Flight in July 1936 with the RAF serial K2682.
One of the 624 Sixes was used by A.S.T Ltd; the other two were eventually sold to the Chinese government.
The sole 642/4m was used by the Indian state as Viceregal transport, and ended in RAF service as L9166.
Specifications (Avro 618)
Data from Avro Aircraft since 1908
Published in July 2009.
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