Aircraft Type Glossary

Vickers Type 417 Wellington B.III (Wimpy)
The Wellington III was a 6 crew medium bomber.  It was fitted with two 1,590 hp Bristol Hercules XI engines, with three blade wooden Rotol propellors. This new engine made this version slightly heavier than the earlier models at 15,650 kg. It entered service in June 1941 although it had first flown in 1939. They were built at Blackpool, Weybridge and Chester.  De-icing equipment was installed for the first time on this model to stop the wings from stalling in cold weather.This was also the first model to have four cannon in the  on a Fraser-Nash FN-20 rear turret. Total production was 1,590 aircraft and they were last used by bomber command in October 1943.  All the remaining aircraft were then transferred to OTU's.

Span: 86ft 2in (26.26m).
Length:64 ft 7in (19.69m)
Wing area, 830sq ft (77m2).

Max 261 mph (420 km/h) at 12,500ft (3,810 m)/Cruising 211 mph (340 km/h)

Service ceiling,
22,750 ft (6,934 m).

with max bomb load: 1,200 miles (1,931 km).

Empty: 25,100 Ib (11,385 kg). Gross: 34,500 lb (15,650 kg).

Vickers Type 448 Wellington X (Wimpy)
This was the last version of the Wellington to enter service and based on the Mark III. It was fitted with Bristol Hercules VI or XVI engine, developing 1,675hp with downdraught carburettor. The model had a longer range than the Mark III but also a smaller bomb load, inprovements also an aluminium deodetic build rather than steel giving this model greater strength than the earlier versions.  They also carried the 'Christmas Tree' flame-damping exhaust system fornight time operations. This mark was also fitted with the three blade wooden Rotol propellors. Built at Chester and Liverpool from late 1943, 3,804 were built with the last one rolling off the production line on 25 October 1945.

Span: 86ft 2in (26.26m).
Length: 64 ft 7in (19.69m)
Wing area:


Service ceiling: 22,000 ft

max bomb load: Empty: 2,085 miles.

Gross Weight: 36,000lbs (16,329 kg)

Hawker Hurricane
Awaiting model details

Avro Lancaster (Lanc)

Awaiting model details

Percival P.28 Proctor T.1 (Clockwork Mouse)
This small monowing trainer was designed by Edgar Percival in 1939. Powered by a de Havilland Gipsy Queen II in-line piston engine, giving 210 horsepower driving a two bladed propeller. Used by the RAF as a communications aircraft they served until the 1950's when most were sold to Aviation Traders at Southend for conversion to civil aircraft.  Most were not converted and scrapped. They are most famous as 'Stuka' aircraft in the film 'Battle of Britain'.

Span: 39 ft 6 in (12.04 m)
Length: 28 ft 2 in (8.59 m)
Wing area:202 ft² (18.77 m²)

Max: 160mph (257km/h)
Cruising: 140mph (225km/h)

Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4,265 m)
Range: 500 miles (805 km)

Gross Weight: 3,500 lb (1,588 kg)

Percival P.56 Provost T.1
First flown in 1953 as a basic 2-seater trainer and replacement for the Percival Pretice. This aircraft served with the RAF until the 1960's when it was replaced by it's successor the Jet Provost. Powered by a single 550HP Alvis Leonides 126 9-cylinder radial engine making this trainer a very capable machine.  Total production was 397 aircraft of various marks. Several are preserved and still flying at airfields up and down the country. 

Span: 35ft 0in (10.7m)
Length: 28ft 6in (8.73m)
Wing area: 214ft² ( 19.9m²)

Max: 200 mph (320km/h)
Cruising: mph (km/h)

Service ceiling: 25,000 ft ( 7620m)
Range: 650 miles ( 1020km)

Gross Weight: 4,399 lb (1995 kg)

Airspeed AS.10 III Oxford (Ox-box)
This version was first flown in March 1940 and designed as an advanced trainer. The frame was wooden with canvas cover.  Powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XV radial engines developing 425hp (315 kW) at 2,425 rpm with 2 bladed Rotol constant-speed propellors.

details to follow

Gloster Meteor T.7 (Phantom Dive)
First flown in 1948 the Gloster G.43 Meteor T.7 was designed as a two seat trainer for the RAF under Air Staff Operational Requirement OR/238 (1946). Easily identifiable due to its 30 inch elongated 'greenhouse' style cockpit for the pilot and trainer.  The design was fraught with problems: The nose made it directionally unstable during landing and pilots learnt how to avoid effects such as the ‘phantom dive’ caused by the inner wing stalling whilst using airbrakes if the wheels were coming down at circuit airspeeds - the aircraft could loose up to 40% lift on each wing and as each wheel came out at a separately and the aircraft would sideslip violently to the side of the out-coming wheel, the T-tail would also stall as airflow was blanked making it impossible to control. The only way to recover was to bring the airbrake and wheels back in if the pilot had enough time - if not the plane would crash and with no ejector seat available this would pretty much guarantee death.

Photograph in Flight Magazine from 1949 showing the huge canopy of the T.7

The T.7 was later rebuilt with a hybrid F.8 tail in order to remove the tail stall and known as the T.7½.  The last of the type to crash due
to the phantom dive was in 1988 in which the pilot was unfortunately killed. 682 T.7s were built in total. Martin-Baker still operate two
T.7½ machines for ejector seat testing and these are currently being used on the Lockheed F-35 project.

The aircraft also had a problem of out-of-date dials. The magnesyn compass was slow at reacting to the Meteors high rate of climb and descent meaning the aircraft would be at a different altitude to what was showing on instruments.  Rapid dives also brought a problem of the cockpit misting up and the pilot had to be wipe it clear with a glycol soaked cloth (this lack of visibility may explain the amount of deaths during diving). The compasses were eventually replaced with much faster reacting G4F Gyrosyn compass.

There were no ejector seats so evacuation was by bailing out - a physical impossibility at low altitude.  Originally the aircraft was designed to have ejector seats but the Air Ministry deemed them unnecessary. Bailing out was not much fun either, first the T.7 had to be inverted, trimmed forward, then the canopy jettisoned - this would be violent and several pilots in the back seat were killed as the canopy could swing round on release.  Then the crew had to bail out whilst trying to avoid the engine intakes and tail before opening their parachute..

Wing area:

Max 941 Km/h
Cruising 860Km/h

Service ceiling: 40,000ft (10,667 m)
Range: 820nautical miles
Gross Weight: 14,000lb (6,350 Kg)

Gloster G-41K Meteor F.8 (Meat Box/Meaty Hoare)
The F.8 was Glosters replacement for the F.4 and was a much better aircraft. It featured a stretched front section and a new tail designed originally for the prototype E1/44 aircraft with the top of the tail being used to accommodate a suppressed radio aerial.

Power was suplied by two Rolls-Royce Derwent 8s each providing 1,590kg of thrust.  The maximum speed was mach 0.78 at sea level and mach 0.81 at 9,000m. They also had Martin Baker ejector seats. The fusagale was extended to allow a better centre of gravityStandard armament was 4x 20 mm British Hispano cannons with three points to accomodate fuel tanks, up to eight rockets or two 1000ib bombs. The cockpit also boasted a bubble canopy of which later models had improved rear vision via an extension of the clear perspex.

The most amazing feat of the Meteor G-7-1 was the ┼╗urabatic Cartwheel developed by invented by Glosters test pilot Janusz ┼╗urakowski. Basically the aircraft was throttled back during in a steep climb whilst the outer wing had extra weight of fuel tanks and dummy rockets.  ┼╗urakowski would then push the starboard engine to full power making the Meteor pitch over and then use the extra momentum of the wing to spin the aircraft in a full 360 degree rotation before descending. This is extremely well demonstrated about a minute into this 1951 Farnborough clip. This aircraft still survives, albeit rebuilt as the T.7 demonstrator at Svedino Automobile and Aviation Museum, Ugglarp, Sweden

Span: 37 ft 2 in (11.32 m)
Length: 44 ft 7 in (13.59 m)
Wing area:350 ft² (32.52 m²)

Max 600 mph (965 km/h, Mach 0.82) at 10,000 ft (3,050 m) Cruising 860Km/h
Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,100 m)
Range: 600 mi (965 km)
Empty: 10,684 lb (4,846 kg)
Gross Weight: 15,700 lb (7,121 kg)

De Havilland Vampire FB.5

This fighter bomber is one of the most recognisable aircraft of the RAF during the 1950's due to it's twin boom tail and tapered wings. Fitted with a single Goblin 2 turbojet with added armour protection around the engine and slightly clipped wings from the earlier variants. The RAF received 930 of this type.

De Havilland Vampire FB.9
details to follow

De Havilland DH.115 Vampire T.11
The T.11 trainer first flew in 1950, the design came from the DH.113 Night Fighter design with removal of the radar and fitting of dual-controls. This side-by-side trainer was fitted with a Goblin 35 turbojet.  Production totalled 731 aircraft built by both De Havilland and Fairey.