Avro York from Below

Avro York from Below

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Avro York from Below

This view of the Avro York transport aircraft from below makes it clear how much of its layout it shared with the Lancaster bomber, in particular the shape of the wings and horizontal tail surfaces.

Avro York from Below - History

Avro's chief designer, Roy Chadwick, made a redesign of the Lancaster bomber first flown in January of 1941. The York first prototype (LV626) was flown from Ringway on July 5, 1942, only 5 months after Chadwick's drawing was given to the experimental department. Wing, tail, engines and landing gear were of the Lancaster, the fuselage was a completely new design.

Four prototypes were built. Number 3 (LV633 named Ascalon) became Winston Churchill's personal flying conference room, a central fin was added and it had fewer square windows compared to long row of circular windows on all other aircraft. The central fin became standard on all further Yorks. The first was converted late 1943 to the only C. Mk.II produced, with Bristol Hercules IV radials and a central fin.

The transport was fitted for passenger, freight, or combined duties. In 1943 the production started and the bulk (208) went to the RAF, although many of these ended in civil service. The last aircraft was completed in April 1948, totaling 258 aircraft, including the 4 prototypes.

685 York :
685 York C. Mk.I :
685 York C. Mk.II :

four prototypes
production version
first prototype re-engined with Bristol Hercules IV radials

Specifications (Avalon 680)

Wing area:
Empty weight:
Max T/O weight:
Cruise speed:

“History from Below” An Interview with Jen Hoyer, Interference Archive

Powerful graphic design and social mission intersect in “Finally Got The News,” an exhibition at Brooklyn’s Interference Archive funded through a Humanities New York Action Grant. The mission of Interference Archive is to explore the relationship between cultural production and social movements. This work manifests in an open stacks archival collection, publications, a study center, and public programs including exhibitions, workshops, talks, and screenings all of which encourage critical and creative engagement with the rich history of social movements. Last month we sat down with project director Jen Hoyer to discuss the Archive and this exhibition.

HNY: Tell us a little bit about how “Finally Got The News” came about and what it means to your organization.

JH: This project happened at Interference Archive, which is an archive that collects ephemera from around the world. Our mission is to explore the relationship between the production of that material and social movements. We have an archival collection, and we also have an open stacks space for people to use the collection. We also host public programs like workshops, talks, and film screenings. Since we have opened our space we’ve had a public exhibition series. In some sense the exhibition series comes out of the realization that people don’t necessarily, intuitively, think it’s fun to go to an archive and open boxes and pull things out and talk about them, but if you put it on the wall, that starts a lot of conversations. It’s a really great entry point for people to go look for more things in the archive. So we do these public exhibitions to create community engagement, as a tool to partner with the communities that the work came out of. Then we can put the material on the wall and we can tell stories about it and maybe tell stories that aren’t being told in other mainstream venues, either from a perceived lack of interest or a lack of support from traditional institutional decision-making bodies. We are really trying to activate what we call “history from below,” or grassroots history. Engaging people in alternative narratives about themselves and their communities.

HNY: Was there a specific impetus for “Finally Got the News”?

JH: For this exhibition, Brad Duncan, who is a private collector based in Philadelphia, reached out to us. He had heard of our work and he had amassed a really big collection of material from the 1970’s radical left. He wanted to put together an exhibition with that material so he reached out to us to collaborate. This exhibition included materials from his collection supplemented by the Interference Archive collection. It was a nice opportunity to collaborate with another archival collection.

HNY: How did that exhibit concept catch your interest, among all the other ideas people throw at you?

JH: It was really interesting to Brad that the 1960’s were seen as the decade of radicalism and there tends to be an assumption that things had started to decline in the 1970’s. And while to a certain extent that was true, Brad really wanted to showcase the 70’s. For us, having a collection of mostly print material from social movements, we recognized that the 70’s were a really key point for community organizing groups because it was a point in time where there were much simpler means for printing and sharing ideas. So, while groups were definitely able to print their own materials before that time, it became much cheaper and easier for a political organization to print out their own newsletter. Liberation News service was one of the more formal cases of distribution of stories and images to be used in all of these newspapers, and then community newspapers would take things out of other newspapers, cut them out and put them in theirs, all these different organizing groups. So suddenly the level of communication increased. It was important for us to draw the connection with this exhibit between the new technology emerged for printing newspapers and the explosion of intersectionality that laid the foundations for a lot of the intersectionality that happens today. Because a women’s organizing group saw connections between their work and police brutality, prisons, and anti-war organizing, they could just take that info from whatever groups were printing that and insert it in their own newsletter. They could share those ideas and causes more broadly. It’s really exciting to look at how communication exploded in the 70’s and how people who were working on different issues began to support each other’s work in new ways.

HNY: How did you approach displaying intersectionality in the exhibition?

JH: What really stood out on the walls in the exhibition, and this is an conversation we have with any public programming we do, was how many items could you argue to put in different sections. You know something that is on the wall in the labor organizing section could fit just as well in black nationalism, and some in the women’s liberation section would fit just as well in anti-colonialism. That was all really obvious looking on the walls, and it was great to see it all in one space and draw those connections out.

HNY: You also held also panel discussions, a podcast, a party, and a reading group, among other things. How did those work in connection with the exhibition?

JH: We do these exhibitions to increase access to the materials, but when you put things on the wall behind mylar you actually can’t read it. This was mostly material that was created to be read, so I said I feel will okay putting it on the wall behind mylar if we scan it and have a reading group where we read the material. I was really adamant about this! Our reading group met 12 times over the course of the exhibition, just about weekly, and we read the material in advance. That was a really fantastic way to get more in touch with the ideas in the exhibition. We also did an event where we invited people to come talk about all the different graphics and symbols they saw on the wall in the exhibition. We had a discussion about which symbols we saw a lot of, what issues or movements we didn’t see great symbols for, and what symbols we might create. Then we used foam that we carved to do lino printing, we made stickers and zines by sharing the different symbols that we copied off the wall or made. That was a really neat way to interact with it. We had several film screenings, we watched films that had been made at the time and then had discussions with the filmmakers or the activists shown in the films. We invited one group, who were working on their own archive of materials to do with the 1970’s Puerto Rican independence movement, to come and give a talk about that work. We tried to provide a lot of different ways to interact with the exhibition and also to interact with ideas that were maybe important, but not represented on the walls.

HNY: Is there anything you would have changed about the exhibition or other programs if you had done the reading group first?

JH: Great question. One of the ideas that we explored through the reading group and film was the austerity measures in NYC in the 1970’s and the activism against those austerity measures. Those were really meaningful conversations to have in terms of NYC, but because the scope of our exhibition was about the United States, it might not have made sense to have a NYC austerity section. However, having the reading group was really important to exploring that idea even without having it on the walls. Every item was printed in the United States, but a lot of it was from American groups that were promoting anti-colonialism or anti-war activism, so a lot of the material was about other countries. We were really strict about where it was printed because you have to draw a line somewhere. Even as we were hanging the exhibition there were one or two posters where we said “OMG this was printed in Australia, how did we not notice, we have to cut this.”

HNY: You’ve been pushing the limits of what an archive can be to the public, give an example of your more unconventional work.

JH: Absolutely, one of the types of events we do every few months is a propaganda party. We work with organizations that are focused on a specific issue in the city and we’ll print some posters and stickers related to the issue. We reach out to designers in our community to get designs with whatever funding we can find. We’ll also do live screen printing so people can make their own posters, T-shirts, jackets, and buttons. So we were doing that around May Day, we wanted to create a lot of material that people could take out to May Day actions. We try to draw connections between the materials we have in our collection and what’s going on in the community right now and show how an archive can support current work in a community. We didn’t have any good designs for May Day, so we took a design from out of the exhibit and we were screen printing that at the event. People were able to walk away with a reproduction that they had just created of something on the wall in the exhibition. That was a really neat way to connect the exhibit to what’s going on in the streets right now.

HNY: And what about the humanities, how do they inform your work, do they matter to what you do?

JH: The humanities matter because they’re a set of disciplines that invite us to ask questions about ourselves as a society and culture being in the world, and to explore what it means to be human both now and across history. Having space to ask those questions and share different viewpoints is critical for us all to appreciate and celebrate the various ways we all understand ourselves, our communities, and the narrative that brings us through history to the present.

HNY: What’s next?

JH: We moved, and we’ve now reopened at 314 7th Street in Brooklyn (just off 5th ave in Park Slope). Our current exhibition is Take Back the Fight: Resisting Sexual Violence from the Ground Up and it’s also been an exhibition that has created space for conversations that are really timely.

Interview of Jen Hoyer by Nicholas MacDonald, Humanities New York

From left to right: Jen Hoyer, Louise Barry, Lena Greenberg, and Amy Roberts from Interference Archive

Jen Hoyer volunteers her time to organize programming at Interference Archive in Gowanus. She is an Educator with the Brooklyn Connections program at Brooklyn Public Library.

History As Viewed From Below

NEW BERN, N.C. — There are many ways to make history, but there can be few places where you can watch it being remade with as much intelligence and contrast as here, a North Carolina village that was at one time the state’s capital.

The juxtapositions are startling. What would the upper-crust 20th-century creators of Tryon Palace here think if they could see it now? During a 1957 buying trip to England, for example, they acquired a set of George II walnut seating furniture with Fulham tapestry covers, once owned by the Earl of Shaftesbury. They imagined it would fit nicely inside their nearly completed, reconstructed governor’s dwelling — the Tryon Palace — where the aesthetics of the Old World and the fervor of the New would be in delicate balance.

And you can still see such items in this 20th-century re-creation of an 18th-century building, where guides and hosts wear 21st-century outfits that are also meant to evoke the fashions of the colonies just before the American Revolution.


But now these carefully acquired antiques and other historic homes that are part of the Tryon Palace complex are all but overshadowed by the $60 million, 60,000-square-foot North Carolina History Center, which is far less interested in porcelain figurines and mahogany bedposts than in matters once considered too vulgar or trivial to bother with: the way, for example, people of the colonial era grew accustomed to the “stenches” in their homes.

“Settlers in coastal Carolina were too busy surviving,” we read, “to pay much attention to grooming or hygiene.”

And instead of commemorating a magnificent residence, designed by John Hawks and completed in 1770 as the seat of power and regal home for North Carolina’s colonial governor, William Tryon, the exhibitions in the new center pay attention to other issues: the fate of blacks who fled to New Bern after it fell to the Union in the early part of the Civil War North Carolina’s great forests, which were felled to feed the maritime demand for turpentine the role women played in local American Indian tribes or the native species of grass once found along the wetland coast.

Could there be a more startling contrast? The new history and the old confront each other not in the form of academic debate or historiographical argument, but in the form of experience: one history is here, another there. And visitors — whose number has doubled to about 200,000 a year since the new center opened last fall — can’t miss the juxtaposition. On the one hand, there is a 20-acre complex of historical buildings and gardens, which opened in 1959 as Tryon Palace: an ambitious development project inspired by John D. Rockefeller’s re-creation of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. A highway had to be rerouted, a bridge rebuilt, property acquired and buildings moved so that these places could re-establish New Bern’s claim to historical importance.

No matter that in 1771, the year after the palace’s completion, Tryon left to become governor of New York. Or that this home was only in use by one other governor before the Revolution sent him, too, packing. No matter that in 1791, after George Washington slept nearby, he described this “Pallace” as “a good brick building but now hastening to Ruins.” Or that by 1794, the capital of North Carolina was moved to Raleigh. Or that in 1798 a fire caused the building to collapse. Or that by the time the palace was adopted as a cause for restoration by local patrons in the 1930s, it existed only in the outline of its foundations and in surviving architectural plans.

The palace, though, is not really a restoration. It is history imagined, history reconstructed, history recreated, celebrating a world of apparent aristocratic glory and colonial simplicity. A historical home, its furnishings and fanciful gardens were conjured out of historical documents to shed some glamour and prosperity on a town that mainly offers modest amusements and waterfront relaxations.

But as the director of Tryon Palace, Kay Phillips Williams, explained in an interview, by the 1990s, historical homes everywhere were drawing fewer and fewer visitors, who did not react to them with the reverence that was once taken for granted. And so a major reinvention of the American historical house museum began.

Visitor centers were built, becoming not just the gateways to major historical homes, but, at times, their rivals, offering new expositions and elaborate genuflections to contemporary tastes. Visitors to George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, both in Virginia, now see the homes only after their recently built visitor centers have instilled contemporary lessons.

Here, with a historical home that is far less significant, the daring step was to pull out the stops, to create an ambitious, expensive, state-of-the-art survey of local history, in which the story is told not primarily from above — outlining the perspective and preferences of its most elevated figures (like Tryon) — but from below, emphasizing the lives of ordinary citizens, including many once slighted by historical texts. And instead of focusing on formal gardens or cultivated crops — staples of many historical homes — the exhibits center on untamed nature, its threats and its resources. The historical home is turned on its head.

This could have become a paean to contemporary tastes but the result is something quite different. Under the guidance of Edwin Schlossberg and his firm, ESI Design, we find ourselves immersed in the details of an alternate history, discovering much as we proceed. The care even extends to reflections about the historian’s knowledge. How do we know, we are asked, about “prehistoric peoples” like the region’s Indians? When do we trust first-person travel accounts?

History expands downward and outward. A survey of the nature of community in 19th-century North Carolina leads to a description of James City, which began in 1863 as a camp for escaped, destitute slaves near Union-occupied New Bern. There are discussions of clothing styles (and a touch screen that allows children to explore tastefully the multiple layers of early-19th-century clothing) public health (including evidence of early recognition of the transmission of disease through the proliferation of flies) religious festivals (like Jonkonnu, the Christmastime celebration of local blacks).

There are descriptions of schools and fire companies of the local invention of Pepsi (and the bankruptcy of its creator, Caleb Bradham) of the lives of artisans, indentured servants, sharecroppers, shipbuilders and watermen. And in a section devoted to turpentine, we learn first of its importance to the shipbuilding industry, then about its slow decline as the North Carolina forests were relentlessly harvested for this byproduct of tree resin.

There is also a children’s area that engages adult companions as well. In one gallery a cook on a video screen challenges visitors to gather various ingredients she needs for a particular recipe — ersatz materials stored in various parts of the kitchenlike set — and then to watch as she makes turtle soup. In another gallery a shopkeeper has visitors jumping from cupboard to drawer, looking for indigo or a cone of salt. Another group participates in the gathering of turpentine in an elaborate setting or in steering a virtual ship through the channels of the local river. In almost all cases something is learned. (I’m still working on the sailing knots.)

The exhibitions are so well done that it may not be immediately apparent that they, too, offer an incomplete historical vision. Seeing history from below may be necessary but it isn’t sufficient. We need a fuller understanding of matters that now get less attention: ideas, personalities, power, warfare, governance. Instead, the new style of history occasionally exudes a kind of honorific populism.

This approach does not easily extend to the palace, the gardens and other historical homes here. The center offers a “History Navigator” as a guide, a touch-screen device whose programming can also be sampled in audio and video tours for smartphones. One-minute clips are offered about, say, the slaves of Tryon Palace, the women of colonial times or children’s games, expanding the traditional range of historical references. But it is easier to sample clips and images away from the site. The tour can seem overlaid, intrusive.

Ms. Williams notes that other changes are yet to come. Another kind of reinterpretation may take place in the coming years, as the now antique ambitions of the founders are subjected to scholarly scrutiny, and the palace and its grounds are reinvented. In the meantime the new center, despite some flaws, offers a compelling model of what is possible in regional museums as history is being remade.

Avro Aircraft Factory, Leeds – The Story of Yeadon’s Hidden War Effort

Today it is an anonymous looking industrial estate alongside Leeds-Bradford Airport. Between 1939 and 1946 it was an industrial production centre contributing to the war effort on a gargantuan scale.

Leeds and Bradford Municipal Aerodrome had opened in October 1931. Regular flights linked it with London and Newcastle. When war broke out in 1939, Avro built a ‘shadow factory’ alongside the aerodrome to contribute to the aircraft production needed for the war effort.

The factory covered a million and a half square feet in area. It was the largest single factory unit in Europe. It was one of a number of shadow factories built around the country for wartime aircraft production. Its size and significance meant that it was at high risk of being a target for enemy bombers.

“Large workforce”

An elaborate camouflaging operation took place, masterminded by people who had previously worked in the film industry. The camouflage consisted of grass covering the roof of the factory, replicating the original field pattern. There were imitation farm buildings, stone walls and a duck pond in the area around the factory. Hedges and bushes made out of fabric were changed to match the changing colours of the seasons. Personnel moved dummy animals around daily to increase the camouflage. It worked because enemy bombers never detected the factory. It remained untouched throughout the war.

At the height of its operation, more than 17,500 people, mostly conscripts, worked there. The factory was an assembly plant that was in production 24 hours a day. Workers bussed in from all over West Yorkshire and worked 69-hours a week on a three days, followed by three nights basis. Extra homes built in the surrounding towns accommodated the large workforce. Gracie Fields visited the factory to entertain the workers. More than 5,000 at a time crammed into the works canteen for concerts.


Throughout the course of the war, Avro Yeadon produced almost 700 Lancaster bombers, 4,500 Ansons and several other types of aircraft. Service men built a taxiway from the factory to the aerodrome. The taxiway extended so that it could become a test centre for military flights.

The airfield resumed civilian flights in 1947 and subsequently developed into Leeds-Bradford International Airport. The Avro factory closed in 1946 but the site is now the Leeds-Bradford Airport Industrial Estate. The estate’s main building is the same one, albeit modified and without the camouflage, that housed the aircraft factory during the war. The remains of the taxiway from the factory to the main airfield are still visible.

“War effort”

There was also a Royal Ordnance Corps site opposite the Avro factory. Some remains of that can be seen in what is now a secure parking area and caravan park. A plaque commemorating the role of Avro Yeadon is displayed inside the airport’s terminal building. It is still remarkable to imagine, as you drive along the A658 past the industrial estate, that this was once a secret factory that contributed so much to Britain’s war effort.

A Place in History: Britain’s headline news stories remembered by Colin Philpott.

History, April 18, 1950 The “jet age” began in Canada

The Americans for all their wealth and technological power, had never seen anything like it.

From a documentary “too good to be true” the Jetliner peels off like a fighter jet, in fact the later Cf-100 fighter jet bore some striking similarities in design. © youtube

It was a Canadian first, and very close to a world first, but its name has settled into the English language lexicon. It was called the “Jetliner”

A delay caused merely by some runway construction allowed Britain’s Comet to be the first flying passenger jet in the world, just 13 days before the Jetliner which flew on April 10, 1949. It was a mere three years from drawing board, to the sky, something completely unheard of today.

Model of the C-102 Avro jetliner © wiki

The Jetliner preceded the French Caravelle by five years (test flight 1955- certified 1959) and the much-lauded Boeing 707 by a full seven years!

The Canadian-designed Avro C-102 Jetliner soon broke all records for a passenger aircraft, while also exceeding all the design performance requirements, reaching 39,800 feet and exceeding 500 mph in level flight.

Newsreel shot showing the four jet engines. The sole example of the Jteliner greatly impressed Howard Hughes and flew reliably and safely for a few years before its sad end.

In March 1950 it flew from Ottawa to Toronto, smashing all records by arriving just over a half hour after take-off (39 minutes)

It was on April 18 1950 that it carried the world’s first jet mail, from Toronto to New York, some 574 km by air (310 nm) in a record 58 minutes. The estimated time now, 65 years later, is 70 minutes.

colour image of Avro Jetliner in flight. The bright yellow stripe does not show well in this early colour footage

The Americans who had flocked to the New York airport were amazed that “little” Canada had accomplished something they themselves had not imagined…and when the Jetliner landed, the crew were given a ticker-tape parade as they and this new technological marvel heralded the future of air travel.

Pilots said the plane was a joy to fly, and newsreels of test flights seem to bear this out as they flew the plane almost as if it was a fighter jet.

American news media on hand at New York’s Idlewild airport (now JFK airport) for the arrival of an amazing new aircraft from Canada.

But Trans-Canada Airways, TCA (now Air Canada) which had initially contracted for the project, had also placed some punitive clauses in the deal such as a demand that the plane not be sold to competitors for three years.

However, then on top of that, TCA management changes and short-sightedness resulted in the order being cancelled. (They would later buy noisier, slower, prop-engined Viscounts)

Avro then staged a publicity flight to New York to drum up business there which succeeded in exciting interest from American airlines. Billionaire Howard Hughes was interested and later leased the plane for several months, and flew it himself on several occasions.

He was so impressed he wanted to buy 30 of the planes for commercial routes along the US east coast while the USAF was interested in another 20 militarized versions, But Avro said they couldn’t meet such production demands due to a Canadian government requirement to develop the military jet, the CF-100.

Avro CF-100 “Canuck” fighters on patrol. The Canadian government ordered Avro to stop production on the Jetliner in spite of international interest, to concentrate on Canuck production. On can see the similarities in the two planes © CFJIC photo PL-55486

Then, in yet another case of amazing short-sightedness, and in spite of the serious American interest in 50 planes, the Canadian government ordered Avro to cease production of the Jetliner, and concentrate on the fighter.

All that remains of what could have meant a giant leap into the aerospace industry, as the doomed Arrow later, the cockpit of the Jetliner in the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum.

In the end, only one Jetliner was ever made, and both it and a second one nearing completion were cut up for scrap. The second one soon after the order, and the Jetliner which had so impressed so many in the aviation world was cut up in 1956.

This was the first major setback for Avro, and for Canadian aerospace which would have placed it in a world-leading position had production been allowed to continue.

The second, equally short-sighted and ultimately fatal blow to Avro came less than a decade later with the abrupt and brutal demise of the CF-105 Arrow interceptor.with the completed sleek planes being ordered chopped up. It would prove to be another fatal blow as wel to Canada’s chance to be an aeronautics world leader, with most of the highly innovative engineers being snapped up by American plane manufacturers and NASA, where they contributed to the space programme and the lunar lander.

All that remains of both ground-breaking designs are the cockpits, an ignominious reminder of what might have been, when Canada briefly lead the world in aviation technology


Avro York from Below - History

Avro 691 &ldquoLancastrian&rdquo
British four-engine transport/airliner

Archive Photos [1,2] ¹

[Airplane Card: &ldquoAvro 691 Lancastrian&rdquo, Barbers Teas, UK, 1956, Card 10 of 25. (The Skytamer Archive copyright © 2013 Skytamer Images) [2] ]

Overview [3]

  • Role: Passenger and mail transport
  • Manufacturer: Avro
  • Designer: Roy Chadwick
  • First flight: 1943
  • Introduction: 1945 (BOAC)
  • Retired: 1960
  • Primary users: BOAC Trans Canada Airlines Alitalia Royal Air Force Rolls-Royce (engine test-beds)
  • Produced: 1943-1945
  • Number built: 91 (including conversions)
  • Developed from: Avro Lancaster

The Avro 691 Lancastrian was a Canadian and British passenger and mail transport aircraft of the 1940s and 1950s developed from the Avro Lancaster heavy bomber. The Lancaster was named after Lancaster, Lancashire a Lancastrian is an inhabitant of Lancashire.

The Lancastrian was basically a modified Lancaster bomber without armor or armament and with the gun turrets replaced by streamlined metal fairings, including a new nose section. The initial batch was converted directly from Lancasters later batches were new builds.

Design and Development [3]

In 1943, Canada's Victory Aircraft converted a Lancaster × bomber for civil transport duties with Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA). (After the war Victory Aircraft was purchased by what became Avro Canada). This conversion was a success resulting in eight additional Lancaster Xs being converted. The "specials" were powered by Packard-built Merlin 38 engines and featured a lengthened, streamlined nose and tail cone. Range was increased by two 400 gal (1,818 L) Lancaster long-range fuel tanks fitted as standard in the bomb bay. These Lancastrians were used by TCA on its Montreal-Prestwick route.

The modification of abundant military aircraft into desperately needed civil transports was common in the United Kingdom in the immediate post-war period: the Handley Page Halton was a similar conversion of the Halifax heavy bomber.

Operational History [3]

In 1945, deliveries commenced of 30 British-built Lancastrians for BOAC. On a demonstration flight on 23 April 1945 (G-AGLF) flew 13,500 mi (21,700 km) from England to Auckland, New Zealand in three days, 14 hours at an average speed of 220 mph (354 km/h).

The Lancastrian was fast, had a long range, and was capable of carrying a heavy load, but space inside was very limited as the Lancaster had been designed with space for its 7 crew dispersed through the fuselage, and the 33 ft (10.05 m) long bomb bay. Consequently it was not suited to carry large numbers of passengers, but for mail and a small number of VIP passengers. BOAC used it for flights between England and Australia from 31 May 1945. It also served with the RAF RAF Lancaster I (PD328) was converted to a Lancastrian and renamed Aries, as well as serving with QANTAS and Flota Aérea Mercante Argentina.

Lancastrians were used during the Berlin Airlift to transport petrol 15 aircraft made over 5,000 trips. In 1946 a Lancastrian operated by BSAA was the first aircraft to make a scheduled flight from the then-newly opened London Heathrow Airport.

Lancastrian Engine Test-beds [3]

With the advent of gas turbine engines there emerged a need to test the new engines in a controlled flight environment in well instrumented installations. An ideal candidate emerged as the Avro Lancastrian which could easily accommodate the test instrumentation as well as fly on the power of two piston engines if required. Several Lancastrians were allocated for engine test-bed work with turbojet engines replacing the outer Merlin engines or test piston engines in the inner nacelles. Fuel arrangements varied but could include Kerosene jet fuel in outer wing tanks or fuselage tanks, with AVGAS carried in remaining fuel tanks.

Name Serial Test Engine First Flight Notes
VH742 2 × Rolls-Royce Nene + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin 8/14/1946 Flew the first international all-jet passenger flight from London to Paris on 23 November 1946.
Nene-Lancastrian VH737 2 × Rolls-Royce Nene + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin
Avon-Lancastrian VM732 2 × Rolls-Royce Avon + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin
Avon-Lancastrian VL970 2 × Rolls-Royce Avon + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin Latterly used to test the Rolls-Royce Avon 502 civil turbojet for the de Havilland Comet 2 airliner.
Ghost-Lancastrian VM703 2 × de Havilland Ghost 50 + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin + 2 × Walter HWK 109-500 RATOG packs 7/24/1947 Testing the Engines and take-off boost system proposed for the de Havilland Comet 1 airliner
Ghost-Lancastrian VM729 2 × de Havilland Ghost 50 + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin Used for afterburner research and later development and certification of the Ghost 50 for the Comet 1a.
Sapphire-Lancastrian VM733 2 × Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin 1/18/1950
Griffon-Lancastrian VM704 2 × Rolls-Royce Griffon 57 inboard + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin T.24/4 outboard Used for testing the Griffon installation for the Avro Shackleton
Griffon-Lancastrian VM728 2 × Rolls-Royce Griffon 57 inboard + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin T.24/4 outboard Used for testing the Griffon installation for the Avro Shackleton
VM704 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin 600 + 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin

The B.S.A.A Lancastrian 3, &ldquoStar Dust&rdquo [3]

On 2 August 1947 Lancastrian &ldquoStar Dust&rdquo (G-AGWH) of British South American Airways was lost in the Argentine Andes, whilst en route from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Santiago, Chile. The probable cause of the crash was a navigation error due to the then-unknown effect of the fast-moving jetstream.

Variants [3]

  • Lancaster XPP: Nine built by converting Lancasters at Victory Aircraft Ltd. Canada.
  • Lancastrian C.1: Nine-seat transport aircraft for BOAC and Qantas. Royal Air Force designation Lancastrian C.1 to Specification 16/44. A total of 23 built by Avro.
  • Lancastrian C.2: Nine-seat military transport aircraft for the RAF. A total of 33 built by Avro.
  • Lancastrian 3: 13-seat transport aircraft for British South American Airways. A total of 18 built by Avro.
  • Lancastrian C.4: Ten to 13-seat military transport aircraft for the RAF. Eight built by Avro.

Operators [3]

Civil Operators

  • Argentina: Flota Aérea Mercante Argentina
  • Australia: Qantas
  • Canada: Trans Canada Airlines
  • Italy: Alitalia - six Lancastrians operated circa 1948
  • United Kingdom: British European Airways British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) British South American Airways Flight Refuelling Ltd. Silver City Skyways Limited

Military Operators

Avro 691 &ldquo Lancastrian &rdquo Specifications [4]


  • Mid-wing cantilever monoplane.
  • Wing in five main sections, comprising a center-section of parallel chord and thickness which is integral with the fuselage center-section, two tapering outer sections and two semi-circular wing-tips.
  • Subsidiary wing units consist of detachable leading and trailing-edge sections of outer wings and center-section, flaps and ailerons.
  • All units are built up individually with all fittings and equipment before assembly.
  • Two-spar wing structure, each spar consisting of a top and bottom extruded boom bolted on to a single thick gauge web-plate.
  • Ribs are aluminum-alloy pressings suitably flanged and swaged for stiffness.
  • The entire wing is covered with a smooth aluminum-alloy skin.
  • Ailerons on outer wing sections have metal noses and are fabric-covered aft of the hinges.
  • Trimming-tabs in ailerons. Split trailing-edge flaps between ailerons and fuselage.
  • Oval all-metal structure in five separately-assembled main sections.
  • The fuselage backbone is formed by pairs of extruded longerons located halfway down the cross-section of the three middle sections.
  • Cross beams between these longerons support the floor and form the roof of the bomb compartment.
  • "U"-frames and formers bolted to the longerons carry the smooth skin plating.
  • The remaining sections are built up of oval frames and formers and longitudinal stringers, covered with flush-riveted metal skin.
  • All equipment and fittings are installed before final assembly of the separate units.
  • Same as Lancaster but with new nose and tail fairings
  • Cantilever monoplane type with twin oval fins and rudders.
  • Tail-plane in two sections built up in similar manner to the wings, the tail-plane spars being joined together within the fuselage on the center-line.
  • Tailplane, fins and rudder, are metal-covered, elevators covered with fabric.
  • Trimming-tabs in elevators and rudders.

Landing Gear

  • Retractable main wheels and fixed tail-wheel.
  • Main wheels are hydraulically retracted into the inboard engine nacelles and hinged doors connected to the retracting gear close the apertures when the wheels are raised.
  • Track: 23 ft 9 in (7.24 m).


  • Four 1,280-hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 24 twelve-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled engines with two-speed superchargers.
  • Three-blade de Havilland constant-speed full-feathering airscrews.
  • Fuel tanks in wings (2,154 Imp. gallons) and in fuselage beneath cabin floor (1,020 Imp. gallons).


  • Crew of five and nine passengers.
  • Two pilots side-by-side with dual controls.
  • Navigator and radio-operator behind pilots.
  • Passenger cabin with seats for nine on port side facing inwards.
  • These seats may be converted into three sleeping bunks by lowering seat backs.
  • Three further bunks pull down from the roof above the seats.
  • Sound proofing, ventilation and oxygen equipment.
  • Toilets and gallery.
  • Mail and freight carried in nose compartment and beneath floor of cabin.
  • Storage aft of passenger accommodation for life-saving dinghies.
  • Span: 102 ft 0 in
  • Length: 76 ft 10 in
  • Height: 19 ft 6 in
  • Net wing area: 1,205 ft²
  • Gross wing area: 1,297 ft²

Weights and Loadings:

  • Tare weight: 3,426 lbs
  • Fixed and removable equipment (including electrical, instruments, auto-controls, radio, de-icing, dinghies, heating and ventilation, and oxygen): 4,160 lbs
  • Furnishings (including bunks, mattresses, settees, toilets, upholstery, carpets, sound-proofing, galley, food and water): 1,564 lbs
  • Weight fully equipped and furnished: 36,150 lbs
  • Fuel (3,174 Imp. gallons): 22,853 lbs
  • Oil (150 Imp. gallons): 1,350 lbs
  • Crew (5 at 170 lbs): 850 lbs
  • Crew baggage: 200 lbs
  • Passengers (9 at 170 lbs each): 1,530 lbs
  • Passenger's baggage: 495 lbs
  • Mail or freight: 1,572 lbs
  • Payload (passengers, baggage and cargo): 3,597 lbs
  • Maximum payload (with corresponding reduction in fuel): 4,845 lbs
  • Weight loaded: 65,000 lbs.
  • Wing loading: 50.10 lbs/ft²
  • Power loading: 12.7 lbs/hp


  • Maximum speed at 3,500 ft with a mean weight of 53,000 lbs: 295 mph at 12,000 ft: 310 mph
  • Maximum weak mixture cruising speed at 11,000 feet: 275 mph at 17,500 ft: 285 mph
  • Rate of climb at 9,500 ft with a weight of 65,000 lbs: 750 ft/min at 16,000 feet: 550 ft/min
  • Service ceiling: 23,000 feet

Under still air conditions with no allowance for take-off and climb and using 3,174 Imp. gallons of fuel and caring 3,597 lbs payload at 15,000 ft).

  • At maximum weak mixture cruising speed of 265 mph: 3,570 miles
  • At speed between most economical and maximum weak mixture cruising speed of 232 mph: 3,950 miles
  • At most economical speed of 200 mph: 4,501 miles
  1. Shupek, John. Avro 691 Lancastrian 3-view drawing via The Skytamer Archive (3-view drawing by John Shupek copyright © 2013 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved)
  2. Barbers Teas, &ldquoAirplanes&rdquo, Airplane Trade Cards, 1956, UK
  3. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Avro Lancastrian
  4. Bridgman, Leonard, &ldquoAvro: The Avro 688 Tudor I (Avro XX).&rdquo Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1945/1946. Sampson Low, Marston & Company Limited, London, 1946. pp. 13c-14c

Copyright © 1998-2020 (Our 22 nd Year) Skytamer Images, Whittier, California
All rights reserved

Avro York from Below - History

NYSTH /Acronym for New York State Troopers History, is a volunteer project undertaken to preserve and organize historic material relative to the New York State Police for the benefit and enjoyment of past and present members and the internet public. It started several years ago when I went to the SP Academy hoping to obtain pictures of the training classes, known as sessions. Long story short, I left with a bigger job as a volunteer, which entailed going to the Academy several times over the next few years. I agreed to share and not use the material in a commercial way. It has become an intense, but fun hobby. Many hours, travel, and material investment have been involved. .

This is an individual effort, privately funded, not an official NY State Police function. A scanner and/or a camera is used to preserve a digital image. Although a large portion of the images are from the Academy, several scrap books, photographs and items of historic value have been contributed by others. This is very evident in the "Collections" section , where the name of the source is used. Material is scanned or photographed and returned. I believe about 17,000 historic images have resulted, many new friends developed and even more old friends contacted.

There are over 100 pages on this site, new being developed. Some pages have 20 images, others 200. It is LARGE , but designed with a layered flow , Blue Buttons are the guide. The main Site Map links to sub- categories, aka, an Index . Every page has a return button to the Site Map, Home Page or the category index. You should not feel lost. Additional materials always welcome. Contact buttons are on many pages and and at the bottom of this page. Hope you enjoy state police history Ted Palmer

Grace's Guide

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,194 pages of information and 233,425 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

From Graces Guide

A. V. Roe and Co of Avro Works, Newton Heath, Manchester, and later Woodford, Cheshire, was a British aircraft manufacturer.

1910 One of the world's first aircraft builders, A. V. Roe and Co was established at Brownsfield Mill, Ancoats, Manchester, by Alliott Verdon-Roe and his brother H. V. Roe on 1 January. Alliott had already made a name for himself as a pilot at Brooklands near Weybridge in Surrey and Farnborough in Hampshire.

1912 The company built the world's first totally enclosed monoplane, but it was the well-proportioned, wooden biplane known as the Avro 504 that kept the firm busy throughout the First World War and beyond. Production totalled 8,340 at several factories: Hamble, Failsworth, Miles Platting and Newton Heath and continued for almost 20 years. This was a substantial achievement considering the novelty of powered aircraft in this period.

1914 Specialities: Aeroplanes, Seaplanes, Tuition in Flying, Propellors and Accessories. Ώ]

1919 October new factory at Newton Heath almost completed. Designed for building aircraft it will be actually used for automobiles. The main aircraft work will be at the Southampton works.

1920s The company left Alexandra Park aerodrome in south Manchester where test flying had taken place during its early years. A rural site to the south of the growing city was found at New Hall Farm, Woodford in Cheshire, which continues to serve aviation builders BAE Systems to this day.

1920 Crossley Motors bought A. V. Roe and Co (Avro) to make use of their nearby Manchester factory for body building ΐ] .

Post-WWI: Awarded £40,000 by the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors for the "Avro" aeroplane Α] and £1000 in respect of the communication to the US government.

1926 June 19th. The first Cierva autogiro windmill flying machine built in Britain, to the order of the Air Ministry, was successfully tested in flight by Captain F. T. Courtney at the aerodrome of the builders, Avro, Hamble, near Southampton. Other countries, notably France, the United States and Japan are interested in the invention, and experimental machines for their use were built in Britain by the Cierva Autogiro Co. Β]

1928 Crossley Motors had to sell Avro to Armstrong Siddeley Development Co to pay for the losses incurred in Willys Overland Crossley Γ] .

1928 Alliott Verdon-Roe sold his shares in the company and formed the Saunders-Roe company.

1933 Designers and constructors of aircraft. London Office: 166 Piccadilly, London W.1. Works: Newton Heath, Manchester. Δ]

1935 Avro became a subsidiary of Hawker Siddeley.

1937 Aeronautical engineers. "Avro" Aircraft. Ε]

1930s Maintaining their skills in designing trainer aircraft, the company built a more robust biplane called the Avro Tutor in the 1930s that the RAF also bought in quantity. A twin piston-engined airliner called the Anson followed but as tensions rose again in Europe the firm's emphasis returned to combat aircraft.

WWII The Avro Manchester, Lancaster, and Lincoln were particularly famous Avro designs. Over 7,000 Lancasters were built and their bombing capabilities led to their use in the famous Dam Busters raid, many of them built at the Avro factory next to Leeds Bradford Airport (formerly Yeadon Aerodrome), north-west Leeds. The old taxiway from the factory to the runway can still be seen.

Post WWII. The civilian Lancastrian and maritime reconnaissance Shackleton were derived from the successful Lancaster design. The Tudor was a pressurised but problematic post-war Avro airliner that faced strong competition from designs by Bristol, Canadair, Douglas, Handley Page and Lockheed. With the same wings and engines as the Lincoln, it achieved only a short (34 completed) production run following a first flight in June 1945 and the cancellation of an order from BOAC. The older Avro York was somewhat more successful in both the RAF and in commercial service, being distinguished by a fuselage square in cross-section. Both Tudors and Yorks played an important humanitarian part in the Berlin Airlift.

Post WWII. The postwar Vulcan bombers, originally designed as a nuclear strike aircraft, was used to maintain the British nuclear deterrent armed with the Avro Blue Steel stand-off nuclear bomb. The Vulcan saw service as a conventional bomber during the British campaign to recapture the Falkland Islands in 1982. Although none has flown since 1992, several are prized as museum exhibits.

1945 Hawker Siddeley purchased Victory Aircraft of Malton, Ontario, Canada from the Canadian government, renaming the company, A.V. Roe Canada, commonly known as Avro Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hawker Siddeley.

1950s A twin turboprop airliner, the Avro 748, was developed during the 1950s and sold widely across the globe, powered by two Rolls-Royce Dart engines. The Royal Flight bought a few and a variant with a rear-loading ramp and a "kneeling" main undercarriage was sold to the RAF and several members of the Commonwealth as the Andover.

1956 the Weapons Research Division of A. V. Roe & Co Ltd was entrusted with the entire development of a major weapon system under the code name of Blue Steel Ζ] .

1963 When the company was absorbed into Hawker Siddeley Aviation in July, the Avro name ceased to be used. But the brand had a strong heritage appeal, and the marketing name "Avro RJ" (regional jet) was used by British Aerospace (BAe) to the BAe 146 from 1994 to 2001. This plane is sometimes also called "Avro 146".

The BAe ATP (Advanced Turbo Prop) design evolved from the Avro 748 and examples continue in use on shorter, mainly domestic, scheduled air services. A few Avro 504s, Tutors, Ansons and Lancasters are lovingly maintained in flying condition as reminders of the heritage of this influential English company. At 39 years, the noisy but impressive Shackleton held the distinction of being the aircraft with the longest period of active RAF service, until overtaken by the English Electric Co: Canberra in 1998.

Avro York from Below - History





The Museum is reopening on


Please note that the cockpits are currently closed due to Covid restrictions.


The Avro Heritage Museum preserves the legacy of Alliott Verdon-Roe and his company A.V. Roe & Co (Avro). Located on the former Woodford Aerodrome near Stockport in Cheshire, the site saw the production of famous aircraft including the Lancaster, Vulcan, Nimrod and BAe 146.

The Avro Heritage Museum is packed with fascinating exhibits and is home to the only example of an all-white Vulcan bomber. There is a whole host of activities on offer at the Museum including cockpit tours and the chance to hunt submarines on a genuine Nimrod tactical station. Visitors can even have a go at flying a Vulcan on our flight simulator, or embarking on a WWII bombing raid with our state of the art virtual reality suite.

The Museum also has a café on site which offers light refreshments and fantastic views of the mighty Vulcan bomber as it stands proudly outside.

The Museum is entirely self-funded, relying on admission fees as its main source of income and staffed by passionate volunteers, many of whom worked at Chadderton and Woodford.


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