Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52
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Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52

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Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52

 ENGINE2 x 2270kg Rolls-Royce Nene
    Take-off weight15490 kg34150 lb
    Empty weight8917 kg19659 lb
    Wingspan27.43 m90 ft 0 in
    Length11.38 m37 ft 4 in
    Height4.39 m14 ft 5 in
    Wing area122.07 m21313.95 sq ft
    Max. speed805 km/h500 mph
    Range2414 km1500 miles

Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52A three-view drawing (900 x 670)

Barry, 13.05.2013

There is no doubt that in the thirties and forties a number of designers/manufacturers investigated and built flying wings. Equally, there is no doubt that the Horten brothers went a long way in the investigation and manufacture of these machines just as Jack Northrop did and for that matter Westland and Armstrong Whitworth. Yes the yanks did overun the Gotha factory and take a Go229 back to the states, but this does not mean for one moment it was copied. The investigation of what had been achieved obviously helped in their own developments, but as mentioned elsewhere on this site the XB49 came to nothing because of all the appalling graft that went with the B36!

I was going to add something similar on the "Horten" site but it is just full of a load of garbage about Anna Kriesling.

Klaatu83, 09.11.2012

A-W was developing a large jet bomber in this configuration to compete for the contract for the RAF's "V-Bomber". In the end, however, the Air Ministry preferred designs from Avro (Vulcan), Handley-Page (Victor) and Vickers (Valiant) instead.

John Stewart-Smith, 03.08.2012

While talking to Martin-Baker today I learned that Joe Lancaster, who ejected from the AW52 prototype, is still alive and a fellow member of the Martin-Baker Club. He is No.1 and I am No.3160. There are now over 5500 members.

Him, 12.07.2011

This aircraft was the first which a pilot used an ejector seat

nana, 20.06.2011

Ken Norris served an apprenticeship at AW and earned the Freedom of the City of Coventry for his work on the AW52

, 20.06.2011

Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52

Brian Howett, 31.05.2011

I worked at AWA, and remember the glider wing being burned. With flying wings dating back to WWI - the Dunne biplane, and Westland Hill Pterodactyl, there were several flying wing concept aircraft - Miles Manx, and Libellula, all for good aeronautical reasons - reducing drag. There is nothing new!

Tony, 18.05.2011

Unless there is direct evidence to the contrary I think it very unlikely indeed the AW52 owes anything at all to the Horten brother's design. As flying wings the two aircraft were about as different as it was possible to be. I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed the AW52 in flight in the late 1940s.

Charles P (Pat) Kelley, 14.10.2010

The Northrop flying wing was not a copy of the Whitworth or the Horten. Jack Northrop flew the N9-M flying wing in 1942, and built the radial engine XB-35 flying wing bomber in 1945, which was later upgraded with jet engines to the YB-49. Jack was an American genius who was honored just prior to his death by being shown the still top secret B-2 so that he would know his flying wing vision would be remembered and honored.

Nick, 13.10.2010

As the glider, it looks MUCH like a Horten design. Seems the engeneers of AW had a deep look into what the army has found in germany on Horten planes.

Mike, 29.01.2010

The Armstrong Whitworth AW52(G) first flew in 1945 as a glider. The company then built two prototype jet powered aircraft, the first with two Rolls Royce Nene engines and the second with two Rolls Royce Derwent engines. The flying wing concept was later copied by Northrop of the USA.

Leo Rudnicki, 09.06.2009

Northrop YB-49 flew in October, AW52 in November. What flying wing in Canada, Ray?

Ray Griffin, 09.06.2009

Did this precede the Northrup Flying Wing at Edwards AFB?
There was also a small flying wing tested in Canada

Donald Stevens, 30.01.2009

I worked for a company, Norris Brothers Ltd. designers of Donald Campbell's Bluebirds. Ken Norris served an apprenticeship at AW and earned the Freedom of the City of Coventry for his work on the AW52

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