Armstrong Whitworth A.W.650 Argosy


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Armstrong Whitworth A.W.650 Argosy

Designed by Armstrong Whitworth later incorporated into Hawker Siddeley Group. The first prototype flew on January 8, 1959. More than 70 aircraft were built including 56 for British Air Forces.

Armstrong Whitworth A.W.650 ArgosyA three-view drawing (668 x 770)

 MODEL"Argosy" series 100
 ENGINE4 x Rolls-Royce Dart 526 turbo-prop, 1506kW
  Take-off weight39916 kg88000 lb
  Empty weight20865 kg46000 lb
  Wingspan35.05 m115 ft 0 in
  Length26.44 m87 ft 9 in
  Height8.23 m27 ft 0 in
  Wing area15.45 m2166.30 sq ft
  Cruise speed451 km/h280 mph
  Ceiling6100 m20000 ft
  Range3219 km2000 miles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60
Barney Sherwood, e-mail, 02.09.2021 23:13

I flew as Flt.Engr and First Officer an on the Argosy out of Wright Patt on Logair and out of Willow Run Mi. The Air Force loved it due to easy loading and quick turn arounds. Heavy loads and warm days affected the performance, but it was very reliable. Served Zantop and Universal very well.


John Kent, e-mail, 30.12.2017 18:54

I was looking at old photos of Tan Son Nhat (Saigon) taken in 1960 according to the caption and there was an Argosy in one of them. Does anybody have any info as I thought that this was too soon after initial squadron service ? Any help appreciated. Thank you


Don Houk, e-mail, 11.06.2016 20:40

First, I flew with Lee Svoboda on the Argosy. Primarily, it was used on the LogAir runs for the Air Force. It had three jet records, it was "the lowest, slowest, and the ugliest!" However, it was extremely reliable and always got me home.


Roger Stilipec, e-mail, 14.12.2015 10:41

I had the privilege of working with Jack Agar in the late 80s and early 90s at the BLM Alaska Fire Service at what is now known as Ladd Field on Ft. Wainwright Alaska. I was a logistics dispatcher at the time, and participated in the coordination and mission planning for both 96U and the paracargo ship, 30Z. Used to go down to the aircraft ramp and watch the loading, and occasionally departures. I spoke with Jack a number of times. He was a very interesting character. I well remember the last operational mission for 30Z in 1992, when it returned to Ft. Wainwright with engine issues. It sat at the end of the runway for an extended period of time (out of service) and never flew under contract for BLM after that. Jack once made a disparaging remark about "those damn skyboxes" we had hired for delivering cargo to remote strips. He was referring to Shorts Skyvans. I thought that was pretty funny.


Lee Svoboda, e-mail, 15.02.2015 04:08

Flew argosies for 25 Years(1965 thru 1990), The 1st 7 years were with Zantop /Univeral Airlines. In 1971 began flying for the Department of Interior in Alaska. Continued to fly the Aw-650 & Aw660 until 1990. Also did some flying from Melborne Australia to Tasmaina training IPEC flight Crews. Also did a period out of Singapore to Cambodia. I did fly with Mark Goertzen an spent all my years with the Argosy under Jack Ager's supervision. Some others you all may remember is Larry Broadhurst( Since Passed on)and Tom Alwood was with IPEC in Australia. Also a gentleman by the name of Les Marshall. The Smith system was one of the most advanced Intergarated nav systemsin the 60's and 70's I completed many marginal approaches with full confidence the runway would be there.


Bryan Neish, e-mail, 09.09.2014 18:59

Chuck, your comment "The most unique instrument I remember was the "sputnik" bubble as part of the Smith Flight System." brought back some memories - one in particular!
In 1963 /64 I alternated between Detroit and New York in support of the Zantop Argosy operation, usually driving between the two in a '57 Chevy BelAir. My preferred route was up to Niagara, then through Canada to Windsor Ontario and then back in to the US at Detroit.
On one occasion, John Chapple (the AWA electrics Tech Rep - remember him?) was struggling with a Smiths Flight System fault and when seeking advice from the Smiths Rep based in New York he requested that the entire flight system 'black boxes' be removed from the aircraft and returned to them for bench testing as a complete aircraft set. As I was returning to New York the next day I volunteered to carry those 'black boxes' (including the glass-domed 'sputnik') in the trunk of my car for speed and to avoid the need for packing and shipping.

Of course, the fact that I was leaving the US, traveling through Canada and then re-entering the US with a trunk full very expensive electronic gear with no paperwork whatsoever (and I must admit that the 'sputnik' looked very suspicious!) never crossed my mind.
Naturally, I was pulled by the Canadian Customs in Windsor and grilled about the contents of the trunk who demanded a customs bond of many thousands of dollars to 'import' the goods and to ensure that I 'exported' the items from Canada and not sell them! After much pleading - and perhaps because I had an honest face - the guy let me continue the journey without paying that bond. My relief was tempered somewhat by the thought that I then had to get the goods back in to the US but that proved no problem because US customs didn't stop me and I delivered them safely to Smiths.

I'm not aware of any Argosy aircraft on static display in the US or of any models of the marque. The last time I saw one was here at the Midlands Aircraft Museum in Coventry, England.


Chuck Bradbury, e-mail, 06.09.2014 18:17

I worked on this aircraft as an employee of ZAT at DTW and YIP from 1965 to 1969. I was an Avionics Inst. Tech in the Electric Shop. My mentor, Don Nelson, taught me everything I needed to know about the instrumentation of the Argosy. The most unique instrument I remember was the "sputnik" bubble as part of the Smith Flight System. My most memorable experience is when I was changing out the flight recorder (rear cargo compartment overhead) it slipped out of my hand and came crashing down on my toes breaking two of them!
Does anyone know if any of these are still flying or on static display in the U. S.? There was one on static display at Yankee Air Museaum at YIP but was scrapped last year for lack of funds. I understand a former ZAT Denny Moore is in a model design phase. I'd be interested in one.


john nelson, e-mail, 17.04.2020 Chuck Bradbury

Chuck, I was in the Elect shop and worked with you and Don Nelson from 1964- 1970 , I have lived in Mpls area for 47 years and retired from General Mills Flight Dept, I now live in Bayfield WI., the only one I still keep in contact wit is Bob Matich, and he still lives in Garden City MI. I did keep in contact with Jakeway in Ironwood MI. till he passed away about 8 years ago.

John R Nelson
715-779-3225 hm.
952-913-2736 cell

32610 Old Co. K
Bayfield, Wi. 54814


Jerry Senfluk, e-mail, 10.07.2014 05:29

Well, I know I'm too early for this but by tomorrow, I may have forgotten this. So, I say now: Happy Birthday, Clifford, have a nice one and many happy returns.


Clifford Andrews, e-mail, 16.06.2014 18:48

Working at AWA in Coventry I was resposible for the Argosy,s floor and underfloor structure and later for the mods for the Zantop planes so I was sent out to Detroit to suprevise the installation This also flying with it to Wright Pattison to get it approved I had a lovely time in Detroit and a short visi to New York on the way home I will be 90 on 11 July 2014


Bryan Neish, e-mail, 02.04.2014 17:30


1960 up to 1962 the Argosies were operated by Riddle out of Miami. I flew out to Wilmington, Delaware in July 1962 when we took the aircraft back from Riddle and handed the first ones over to Capitol. I returned to the UK at the end of 1962 and was sent out to Detroit, Michigan in February 1963 when we transferred the rest over to Zantop.

Loss of hydraulics was a fairly common occurrence and when the 'power packs' failed to lower the gear, that hand pump handle came in very handy! We had a 'contractors working party' from the company in the US for some time to repair the damage caused by 'wheels-up' landings and they were kept pretty busy as I recall. Fortunately there was a lot of metal to grind away underfloor and repairs became fairly routine. I remember we pleaded with the pilots when so faced to try to do a wheels-up landing on a foamed concrete runway as opposed to grass because it did less damage to the frames underfloor! :-)


Dick French, e-mail, 31.03.2014 22:36

As a 1st Lt., Commercial Transportation Office, Minot AFB, ND, 1960-62, I was given additional duty as a Logair Route Supervisor, by the HQ folks at Wright-Patterson. I was to check out loading efficiency at client AFB's. Heading from Wright-Pat to Minot AFB in an AW650, One early January in 1961 I believe, we were going into Fargo AFB, ND and found that the hydrolic system had failed and the landing gear would not go down. The engineer, "wing checker, and I moved cargo and accessed the wheel well, pumped the gear down manually. and landed.

On another trip we lost hydrolics during our taxi out for takeoff at Abilene, TX and lost steering. We taxied off the runway and got stuck in the soft ground. It turned out that Abilene did not have a towbar for the AW650. We waited about 36 hours while a towbar was flown in.

Net: I was under the impression that the AW650 had distinct problems with the aluminum hydrolic lines failing.
As I recall the operator at that time was Riddle. It could have been Zantop, Slick, Flying Tiger, or Capitol, all of whom I rode with int that era.


Robert Trask, e-mail, 22.03.2014 22:10

I flew for Capitol as a flight engineer From the Spring of 1964 to the summer of 1965 when Capitol decided not to renew its LOGAIR contract. It was my first flying job and provided the experience to move on to better things at Boeing. I remember the airframe had many problems, but the RR engines were reliable. Did have one inflight shut down north of Brookly AFB late one night due to low oil pressure, saved the engine. Some fond memories of the people that flew in LOGAIR. I do remember Howard Allmon. I have of the log sheets of the flights I was on, but they have all faded to nothing.


Ron Hall, e-mail, 06.01.2014 14:42

I jumped out of Argosies with the British Army. Remember we had to punch right out as there was a partial vacuum down the fuselage at the end where the doors opened and if you didn't get a clear jump you had the chance of being rolled down the rear fuselage before getting clear. Affectionately known as whistling wheelbarrows. I have some photographs of RAF Aircraft on the ground in the snow in Norway and Denmark if anyone interested.


Bryan Neish, e-mail, 01.12.2013 21:24


Check your e-mail. I've sent you a PM.


Julie Vance, e-mail, 26.11.2013 20:53

My Grandfather was Jack Ager. He passed away in October 1991. My sister visited the Yankee Museum in Michigan where the was an Argsoy on display with my Grandfather's name along with Leamington Spa. We are saddened to hear that six months ago they scrapped this plane. We still have the original blue prints of the engines. Is there still an Argosy on display in AZ?


Bob Walton, e-mail, 26.11.2013 19:56

There was a derelict Argosy alongside the runway at Lubumbashi, in what was then Zaire, when I first visited there in late 1995. It took me 3 visits to dredge the details from my subconscious memories of the Observer's Book of Aircraft. It was gone by the end of 1997. By that time Zaire had reverted to The Congo (DRC).


Bryan Neish, e-mail, 27.07.2013 14:04


Yes, the Argosy didn't glide very well when it ran out of fuel! :-)


bill bracey, e-mail, 23.07.2013 16:24

I worked for zat and uva till the end. My friend Roy and I dissambled a AW-650 on I-75 that crash landed enroute to Wright Patterson. Traffic was backed up as far as the eye could see. No one was injured.
Also spent two months with Jack Agar in Marana Park AZ, where they mothballed the AW650's and spare parts.
Great memories at Zat and UVA


Bryan Neish, e-mail, 18.06.2013 14:29


Have you tried substituting an 'at' sign for the '=' in Alison's e-mail address? :-)


David J Reynolds, e-mail, 15.06.2013 17:03

Have some information for Alison Kukla
but cannot get her on


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