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Author Topic: Armstrong Whitworth designations  (Read 22334 times)

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2014, 03:02:46 pm »
Concerning the F.K. designations, I found this great page in Dutch by Herman Dekker. I'm offering a loose translation of it (and hope that lark of other Flemish-speakers will correct any mistake I might have made):

Quote
As a designer and builder of aircraft, Frederick Koolhoven has almost always operated in the shadow of Fokker in the Netherlands. The reason for this is not clear. On his designs may have still not located, which were generally not inferior to those of its competitors. Of course sometimes there was a lower quality to his designs, but it also happened with his competitors. Perhaps Fokker had a better understanding of public relations. Or maybe the Netherlands felt more sympathy at that time for the "German" products of Fokker compared to those of the recent English expatriate Koolhoven. Whatever the reason, one fact remains: the most produced airplane ever designed by a Dutchman was Frits Koolhoven's F.K.8!

The following list is compiled on the basis of a relatively large number of sources. As a starting point, I (obviously) took the Koolhoven table from Dirk Top's wonderful book (highly recommended!). Also a comment needs to be made concerning the type references. The F.K.-type designations were assigned only retroactively in 1926, by Koolhoven himself and have proved rather inconsistent from a historical and chronological viewpoint, and I will show it hereafter (again under the authority of Dirk Top — that book is definitely must reading!). For example the case of the F.K.6 remains unsolved. It is extremely unclear why Koolhoven thus designated the Deperdussin Seagull when evidence later showed up for a possible allocation of that number to an Armstrong Whitworth aircraft (later labeled F.K.12 by Koolhoven).
For this reason, the first twenty-one F.K. type designations should be used with caution!

It appears therefore that F.K. designations existed under Armstrong Whitworth to designate Koolhoven's products (just like F.M. designations indicated Fred Murphy designs) but these were not equivalent to those that Frits Koolhoven applied in retrospect to his past designs. The confusion arises from the fact that many authors and researchers get the two mixed up, especially since a handful of designations seem to be the same.

So, bearing in mind Dekker's warning that these designations ought to be "used with caution", I've updated the list of Armstrong Whitworth F.K. types as follows (sub-contracts and special test aircraft are not detailed here):
  • F.K.1 Sissit  (1914) - small biplane scout and fighter prototype with 50 hp Gnôme engine (1 built)
  • F.K.2  (1915) - tandem-seat biplane fighter with 70 hp Renault engine (2 built)
  • F.K.3 "Little Ack"  (1915) - tandem-seat biplane fighter developed from F.K.2 with 90 hp RAF 1a (343 built)
  • F.K.4 (1915) - gondolas for SS.40-49 airships developed from F.K.3 fuselage, with 100 hp Green (probably 20 built as spares required)
    NOTE: these were preceded by a gondola for SS.27 (also from an F.K.3 fuselage) but with a Renault engine (was it also F.K.4?)
    and even before that a 1914 gondola for non-rigid naval airship HMA No.2 "Willows IV" (although Koolhoven involvement here is unsure)
  • F.K.5 Gunship (1915) - three seat, single-engined escort fighter triplane gunship prototype with 250 hp R-R (Eagle) (1 built)
  • F.K.6 (1916) - multi-seat escort fighter triplane and Zeppelin destroyer prototype with 250 hp R-R (Eagle) (1 built)
  • F.K.7 (1916) - developmental scout airplane with 160 hp Beardmore engine (production transferred to F.K.8) (1 built)
  • F.K.8 "Big Ack" (1917) - scout and bomber biplane to replace the B.E.2c, 160 hp Beardmore engine (1700 built)
  • F.K.9 (1916) - quadruplane fighter prototypes with 110 hp Clerget engine (2 built)
  • F.K.10 (1916) - improved version of F.K.9 with 130 hp Clerget engine (8 built)
  • F.K.11 (1916) - fifteen-wing design, planned engine unknown (not built)
  • F.K.12 (1917) - wrongly allocated to the F.K.6 (because of the 1926 list), this remains a mystery, but given the chronology it could have been allocated to an improved FK.8 with modified cooling system, undercarriage and exhaust manifolds with 160 hp Beardmore engine (1 built)
  • F.K.13 (1917) - known as the Fleet Fighter Reconnaissance Biplane, a version of F.K.8 completed March 1917 but not accepted, with a 200 hp Sunbeam engine (designation confusing because of the mix-up between the two systems — adding to the confusion was the reuse of the N513 serial number from an F.K.10 that was cancelled!)
There is no indication of further numbers in the inhouse A.W. system. However, the 1926 system contains designations of Koolhoven projects done under A.W. which conveniently carry on from there...
  • F.K.14 (nd) - described by Koolhoven as an A.W. fighter design (not built)
  • F.K.15 (nd) - described by Koolhoven as an airship gondola design for the Beta II (strange as this airship was built in 1912)
  • F.K.16 (nd) - described by Koolhoven as an airship gondola design for North Sea airships based on the F.K.3 fuselage
  • F.K.17 (nd) - described by Koolhoven as an airship gondola design for North Sea airships based on the F.K.3 fuselage
  • F.K.18 (nd) - described by Koolhoven as a twin-engined flying boat project and precursor of the F.K.22; described elsewhere as a fighter project
  • F.K.19 (nd) - described as an unbuilt aircraft; also found as a light air-cooled engine (unlikely if designed by Koolhoven)

Offline AM

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2014, 06:39:35 pm »
Hi all !!!
 
A.W.27 = Ensign Mk.I & Mk.II
A.W.27A = Rail Launch Scheme
 
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Offline Skyblazer

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 02:41:51 am »
A.W.27 = Ensign Mk.I & Mk.II
A.W.27A = Rail Launch Scheme

This was posted here before already, AM.
I discarded this one long ago as pertaining to a completely different system.

1°) Why have a system in a list normally entirely devoted to aircraft designs? Wouldn't make sense, especially when some real aircraft designs that didn't proceed did not even receive a number.
2°) Why reuse the "27" slot of the Ensign? And even duplicate the "27A" off the "Ensign II"? The list shows that Arsmtrong Whitworth usually kept a certain number for a certain type and most of its variants. Why change this in only this case? Doesn't make sense.
3°) AW X, AW 12 and AW 13 have been found as an axial-flow engine and two turret for the Whitley, respectively; I'm willing to believe that these did not fit in the regular list and duplicate existing numbers but were part of a separate numbering system used for various systems.


Offline AM

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2014, 06:18:22 pm »
Hi Stargazer2006!
 
You are possibly right
 
Regards

Offline Cy-27

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2014, 03:12:50 am »
Re: Frederick Koolhoven Designs:

WWI Aero magazine No.123 (Feb 1989)  has an illustrated chronological list of A.W. Koolhoven designs which starts at the Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.1 design and ends with the F.K.28 (B.A.T. design).

Some earlier British Deperdussin Syndicate FK designations are also covered in the 6 page item.  The Deperdussin designations  first used F.K.1 to F.K.7 before being the designations were reused in A.W. designs.





Offline Skyblazer

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2014, 06:37:45 am »
WWI Aero magazine No.123 (Feb 1989)  has an illustrated chronological list of A.W. Koolhoven designs which starts at the Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.1 design and ends with the F.K.28 (B.A.T. design).
Some earlier British Deperdussin Syndicate FK designations are also covered in the 6 page item.  The Deperdussin designations  first used F.K.1 to F.K.7 before being the designations were reused in A.W. designs.

I would be curious to see this article. I didn't quote here the pre-Armstrong Whitworth F.K." designations assigned to Deperdussin types because this was kind of off-topic here.

Offline ursrius

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2014, 01:48:42 pm »
Thanks AM and hesham for your contributions.

So now, apart from the mystery of the early F.M. and A.W. designations up to A.W.13, the list is almost complete... Only A.W.57 and A.W.60 to A.W.64 are still missing... Perhaps inhouse designations for Meteors, Hunters or Sea Hawks?

AW.57 was a  4 engined 32 passenger airliner to meet Specification C.2/47, per Air Enthusiast Quarterly 43 article by Ray Williams. From the same source, AW.60 through 64 were unbuilt Meteor projects, not the original Gloster designs as built by AW.

Offline ursrius

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2014, 03:04:45 pm »
A.W.27 = Ensign Mk.I & Mk.II
A.W.27A = Rail Launch Scheme

This was posted here before already, AM.
I discarded this one long ago as pertaining to a completely different system.

1°) Why have a system in a list normally entirely devoted to aircraft designs? Wouldn't make sense, especially when some real aircraft designs that didn't proceed did not even receive a number.
2°) Why reuse the "27" slot of the Ensign? And even duplicate the "27A" off the "Ensign II"? The list shows that Arsmtrong Whitworth usually kept a certain number for a certain type and most of its variants. Why change this in only this case? Doesn't make sense.
3°) AW X, AW 12 and AW 13 have been found as an axial-flow engine and two turret for the Whitley, respectively; I'm willing to believe that these did not fit in the regular list and duplicate existing numbers but were part of a separate numbering system used for various systems.

The A.W.27A designation comes from British Aircraft Specifications File, K.J. Meekcoms and E.B. Morgan (Air-Britain Publications, 1994). One may speculate that it was a launch system study to enable the Ensign to take off at above MTOW. I have never seen evidence to link the A.W.27A designation to the Ensign II.

With regard to the AW X designation, are you possibly mixing this up with the Armstrong Siddeley ASX axial-flow turbojet?

I have never seen designations for Armstrong Whitworth designed turrets, but they most certainly must have had some form of numbering. What is your source for the AW12 and AW13 turret designations?

On the subject of AW numbering systems, however, they did seem to have a completely different Type Number series running parallel to the AW series. In his article on the Whitley in Aeroplane Monthly May 1912, Martyn Chorlton gives the following:
Type 188 - Whitley Prototypes (& Mk.I?)
Type 197 - Whitley Mk.II
Type 201 - one-off higher AUW Whitley Mk.I
Type 205 - Whitley Mk.III
Type 206 - Whitley MkIV
Type 210 - Whitley Mk.IVA
Type 207 - Whitley Mk.V
Type 217 - Whitley Mk.VII


In the short lived 21st Profile No.1 magazine, an article on the Albemarle gives the following:
Type 208 - Albemarle 1st prototype
Type 211 - Albemarle 2nd prototype
Type 212 - Albemarle Mk.I Srs.1
Type 213 - Albemarle - experimental machine with two Wright Cyclones
Type 217 - Albemarle Mk.I Srs.1
Type 218 - Albemarle Mk.I Srs.3, experimental long travel undercarriage.
Type 219 - Albemarle Mk.I Srs.1 converted to glider tug; also aircraft supplied to Russia
Type 221 - Albemarle ST.II
Type 222 - Albemarle Mk.IV
Type 223 - Albemarle ST.V
Type 225 - Albemarle ST.IV Srs.1
Type 226 - Albemarle ST.IV Srs.2

(Note the duplication of Type 217)

Where does this system come from? It would be really good to find more of this.

Offline hesham

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2014, 03:30:46 pm »
Yes Ursrius,


and I have some of old type numbers,allocated to early AW designs.

Offline ursrius

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2014, 05:16:31 pm »
Hesham, please post what you may have (preferably quoting a source reference)

BTW, the date for the article in Aeroplane Monthly I gave should obviously have been May 2012!

Offline hesham

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2014, 03:13:53 am »
Hi Ursrius,


I have some of them not all,and they are in a seperated magazines,it'll take some time
to collect them.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 05:09:37 am by hesham »

Offline Jos Heyman

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2014, 08:18:18 pm »
I found the attached picture in J.F. Coplin's VTOL Aircraft, a 1967 publication.
It s stated on page 21/22 that: 'One of the first jet lift VTOL transport aircraft that could easily have been built was the Hawker Siddeley VTOL conversion. It was suggested that the four Rolls Royce Dart engines could be replaced by two Rolls Royce Tyne engines of twice the power. This would have left room on the wings for two pods of lift jets or lift fans. One version had 40 lift jets and another version had 22 lift fans."

My question: was this a real project and, if so, what was the AW number. Or was it just some fantasising by the author or somebody else.

Offline CJGibson

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2014, 10:55:21 pm »
Looks like a Avro 764, a VTOL version of the AW.650. The maritime version of the AW.650 is examined in Nimrod's Genesis.

Chris

Offline Hood

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2015, 01:48:18 am »
I've found an interesting list of names proposed for the AW.660 Argosy in a document written by DCAS in May 1960.
The policy was to name transports for a city or town in the Commonwealth and that it should be alliterative with the manufacturer's name.

The suggestions were; Abingdon, Achates, Achilles, Aeolus, Aldershot, Andover, Apollo, Arethusa, Argo, Arnhem, Arundel, Atlanta, Atlas, Automedon, Aylesbury, Ayrshire, Coventrian and Coventry.

Many of these obviously had previous AW connections but the majority were classical in origin.
DCAS felt the best choices were Abingdon (an RAF Transport Command airfield), Aldershot (a garrison town), Arnhem (outside the Commonwealth but commemorating the battle and the role airborne transport played) and Coventry (city with close connections with AW).
Coventry was Armstrong Whitworth's favoured name and the MoA were willing to accept it, therefore DCAS backed the suggestion. Evidently someone must have insisted on an alliterative name even though the town/city convention was abandoned!

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: Armstrong Whitworth designations
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2015, 04:35:34 am »
Thanks for the info.

"Aldershot" was the (apparently) unofficial name of the AW.681 (later Hawker Siddeley's Whitworth Gloster 681 / HS. 681).