Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Oxford was based on Airspeed's commercial 8-seater Envoy III , seven of which had been modified for the South African Air Force as the "Convertible Envoy", equipped with a single machine-gun in a hand-operated Armstrong Whitworth dorsal turret for training air-gunners. In producing the Oxford Mk I for the Royal Air Force, Airspeed increased the wingspan, modified the nose and employed fully-cowled Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX radial engines. The first Mk I flew on June 19, 1937 and entered service with the Central Flying School in November of that year. By the start of the war, about 300 Mk I Oxfords were in service.
The prevalence of powered turrets by the start of the war meant the Oxford's role as a gunnery trainer lapsed. The Oxford Mk II, 70 of which were in service by the start of the war, dispensed with the turret and were used primarily as pilot trainers.
The Mk III and Mk IV Oxford were non-production models, the latter using the de Havilland Gipsy Queen engine. The final variant was the Mk V which was upgraded to the 450 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior radial engine. Many Mk I and II Oxfords were similarly upgraded to Mk V standard by fitting the Wasp Junior engines.
Demand for the Oxford resulted in 8,751 being built by Airspeed as well as de Havilland, Percival Aircraft Company and Standard Motors. In addition to training duties, Oxfords were used in communications and anti-submarine roles and as ambulances in the Middle East.
After the war, 152 surplus Oxfords were converted to become small 6-seat commercial airliners called the AS65 Consul .
Specifications (Mk I)
- Crew: Three
- Length: 34 ft 6 in (10.52 m)
- Wingspan: 53 ft 4 in (16.26 m)
- Height: 11 ft 1 in (3.38 m)
- Wing area: 348 ft² (32.3 m²)
- Empty: 5,380 lb (2,440 kg)
- Loaded: 7,500 lb (3,402 kg)
- Maximum takeoff: lb ( kg)
- Powerplant: 2x Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah X radial engines, 375 hp ( kW)
- Maximum speed: 185 mph at 7,500 ft (298 km/h at 2,286 m)
- Range: 960 miles (1,545 km)
- Service ceiling: 19,500 ft (5,944 m)
- Rate of climb: 960 ft/min (290 m/min)
- Wing loading: 21.5 lb/ft² (105 kg/m²)
- single machine gun in dorsal turret
- 250 lb (113 kg) bombs external
Related development: Airspeed Envoy - Airspeed Consul
Comparable aircraft: Avro Anson
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