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A.W.38 file photo [3205]

A.W.38 Whitley

CountryUnited Kingdom
ManufacturerArmstrong Whitworth Aircraft
Primary RoleMedium Bomber
Maiden Flight17 March 1936


ww2dbaseThe A.W.38 Whitley medium bombers were designed by John Lloyd of Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft in response of Air Ministry Specification B.3/34 for a heavy night bomber. 207 of these mid-wing, twin-engined bombers entered service with seven squadrons between 1937 and the start of the European War and saw action (dropped leaflets over Germany) on the very first night that Britain declared war on Germany. They also participated on the very first bombing missions on Germany on the night of 19 Mar 1940 and on Italy in Jun 1940. Unlike their contemporaries that were used heavily in daylight raids, A.W.38 bombers were used mostly at night, therefore the casualty rate was relatively low for these bombers. After flying 8,996 missions and dropping 9,845 tons of bombs, they were made obsolete in late 1942, though they remained in service as transports until the end of the war. 269 aircraft were lost in action. During the model's lifetime, 1,737 were built.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2007

A.W.38 Whitley Timeline

17 Mar 1936 The Armstrong Whitworth Whitley all-metal twin-engine monoplane bomber made its maiden flight.
9 Mar 1937 The Armstrong Whitwotrth Whitley Mk I heavy bomber joined No. 10 Squadron RAF and went on to equip no fewer than 20 RAF Squadrons.


Mk. V
MachineryTwo Rolls-Royce Merlin X liquid-cooled V12 engines rated at 1,145hp each
Armament1x7.7mm forward Vickers machine gun, 4x7.7mm rear Browning machine guns, up to 3,200kg of bombs
Span25.60 m
Length21.49 m
Height4.57 m
Wing Area106.00 m
Weight, Empty8,768 kg
Weight, Maximum15,196 kg
Speed, Maximum370 km/h
Rate of Climb4.10 m/s
Service Ceiling7,900 m
Range, Normal2,650 km
Range, Maximum3,900 km


A.W.38 aircraft in flight, date unknownA.W.38 aircraft landing, date unknown

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A.W.38 aircraft in flight, date unknownA.W.38 aircraft landing, date unknown

Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937