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
Roy Lawton, 01.04.2013

Hi, I just wanted to point out to any readers who might wish to contact me, that my email address has changed from the original I posted on this site on 18-02-2010.
It was where I gave details my experiences of working on the very first Argosy with John Jeavons in 1959, and that it could all be found in my life story, 'Memories of a Coventrian'

Bryan Neish, 21.03.2013

Yes I remember Jack Ager very well. Jack was a foreman at the Bitteswell site of Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft during the flight trials of the prototype Argosies and kept a little 'black book' of the idiosyncrasies of those early aircraft. Jack then became a Tech Rep and went with the first Argosies to the US with Riddle Airlines in Miami, then to Capitol in Wilmington, Delaware and then to Zantop Air Transport up in Detroit.
I remember very well handling some spares orders when Jack would call me and say they wanted, for example, control cable 'part number X' but a couple of inches shorter because on the early production aircraft they had moved a pulley or fairlead and the standard part would not fit! all of that sort of information was stored in Jack's little black book - an absolute goldmine of information.

My wife and I spent many happy hours with Jack and his wife Bunny in Detroit - a top man and a real down-to-earth engineer.

Mark Goertzen, 19.03.2013

I flew FE on the last flying group of Argosies from 1980 to 1990 in Alaska. We operated one AW650, civil version and one AW 660, military variant out Anchorage and Fairbanks. Very reliable aircraft with the Darts but underpowered with temps over 70F. Paracargo for the Alaska Fire Service out s/n XP447 and point to point work with N896U (civil first built). Great aircraft for unapproved strips. I as recall we dropped 1.2 million lbs in 1988 in a three week time span, all under parachute. Heavy fire year. I have hrs of video. Lots of great memories but with hearing loss. Does anybody remember a Englishman named Jack Maurice Ager? He was my mentor and keep the program running till the end of the aircrafts life.

Ken Anderson, 10.03.2013

I was just wondering if there is a kitset model of the AW650 ARGOSY ever produced? As I have done a model of a mk32 bristol freighter and chopped it back to a mk31 model

phil williams, 21.12.2012

hi.i was one of the groundcrew waiting to see in xp413 at khormaksar in 1964.we waited at marshalling bay ,seeing it at its final approach,and then nothing*.a land rover then appeared from the bondu,the driver shouting to us,' its in the oggin'.sure enough,there it was,bobbing about in the harbour with life rafts deployed*.from next day ,and probbly to this,we were known as -take a dive with 105--and had a suitable picture above crewroom door of an argosy sinking below the waves lol.i was an inst tech on m r t wing --84 sqdn bevs ,and 105 argosies,served in aden ,63-65,hope this was of interest.

Andrew, 01.01.2012

I have a brand new aircraft seat, part number F1004-001, turquoise blue leather with full harness. Can anyone please confirm if this is from an Argosy (Nav seat) as I believe? Thanks.

Bryan Neish, 24.08.2011


Do you remember Jack Howard, the AWA Tech Rep in Oklahoma City during that period? He of the 'handlebar moustache' I seem to remember - until he married a Mexican girl who made him shave it off! :-)

Howard Allmon, 08.07.2011

Riddle(later AIRLIFT)bought 5 AW 650s for LogAir in July 1959. Operated them for 3 years all on LogAir. Sold them to CAPITOL out of Nashville ,TN for a 3 year LogAir operation Jul 1962-June 1965. I was F/E with Capitol based at Tinker AFB Oklahoma City. Had RR Dart engines, great out of Bangor and not a lot of power out of Kelly at 100+.

Bryan Neish, 18.05.2011

Glenn, your mention of the Argosies operating with Zantop (and anecdotes from other contributors) brought back some happy (although slightly hazy with age) memories! :-)

I was a tech spares rep seconded from Coventry to the US for various periods in 1962 /3 /4. Initially the Argosies were operated by Riddle Airlines out of Miami. Some were transferred to Capitol Airlines in Wilmington, Delaware and others to Zantop in Detroit, Michigan.
I moved to Detroit in February '63 and first met the Zantop brothers Howard and Duane and their 'third brother' Gene Zerkel (I believe their real third brother was a pilot who was killed in WWII). What a bunch of characters - they worked hard and played even harder! I believe their company started off as truckers but took a light aircraft as a bad debt so decided to use it and from that grew their airfreight organisation flying Logair and shipping car parts around the US for the Ford Motor Company.

The Argosy did particularly well on the Logair network as I recall, consistently the highest scoring aircraft for reliability and punctuality. I moved out of DTW in May '63 to open up an office in La Guardia, NYC but drove regularly up to Detroit (through Niagara Falls and Canada) to visit Zantop at DTW.

I too was an AWA apprentice ('53 to '58) at Baginton on aircraft and Whitley on missiles before National Service in the RAF and then rejoining AWA in the Product Support Dept in July '61.

Capt. Glenn Smith TWA (Ret), 03.02.2011

I flew the AW-650 out of Wright Patterson AFB in Fairborn, Ohio for Zantop Air Transport under a Logair contract with the USAF from June '65 utill Jan '66 when I was hired by TWA. Although it was not considered a very "attractive" aircraft it served its purpose well as a "Trash Hauler" Designed for a two-man crew operation for the RAF, we operated with an extra "Flt Engineer/Cargo Master" crewmember. An easy aircraft to fly compared to the Curtis C-46 which Zantop also operated on a Navy "Quicktrans" contract. Lots of fond memories way back when........

PH, 21.01.2011

I received my AW660 course at Bitteswell and Baginton in early 1960 before the first aircraft joined the RAF, and was subsequently involved with servicing the aircraft in Cyprus and Changi.
In June 1967 I travelled round the Pacific with XP448 to at least 15 landings ranging from the major airfields of Darwin and Nandi to the golf course in the Solomons. Only problem was a brief hold up while we fixed a leaking fuel vent surge tank in Noumea. Later - much later- my company was involved with the preparation of 9Q-COE (A 660) before deliver to the DRC.

Ian Paterson, 13.01.2011

Flew in one of these on detachment to Creil, in France. We lost an engine on way and loadmasters got ready to push a diesel houchin off the ramp. Underpowered would be an understatement.

john sheppard, 31.08.2010

Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Baginton - where to start.. My first visit in short pants with my father who had worked there throughout the war.It was just after ww2, to see the model flying wing. I believe it was towed behind a Lancaster.I worked on the last civil Argosies in the early sixties and it was a sad day when over 4,000 highly skilled workers lost their jobs. I was fortunate to be working on R&D on missiles in the old and partly rebuilt Whitley factories.(Originally built with some help from German POW's of WW1 !) I first worked at Baginton and Whitley as an apprentice coppersmith. The Sea -slug was in development then. One version had Nitric Acid as the oxidant- did not last long! I remember bits of German V2's about as well. After my stint in the RAF I went back to the old firm as an Electrical Inspector and did some work on the Argosy, both military and civil versions. We were doing six ten hour night-shifts at one stage! The missiles at Whitley were my forte, that's where I spent my last aircraft years with the group, then Hawker Siddeley Dynamics and the wonderful Sea Dart. Red Top & equipment, (up from De Havilland)Blue Steel & the Stand off Bomb, ESRO (Euro Space Research Org)satellite prototype all crossed my path whilst I was there until 1968 and then closure. Whitley had the largest wind tunnel in western Europe, the Braithwaite (water)tanks could take the fuselage of the Argosy when simulating flying stresses on the mainplain etc., the heavy vibration plants and the climatic chamber were all the envy of the Western World and beyond. I'm seventy two now and left Coventry to its decline and lived in Wales ever since. Tears are streaming as i write this. I must have 'R&D' in my blood still from those days, as I still experiment, now with solar panels to light my bungalow and recently produced 'Brown's Gas' from my home built stainless generator.(Delightfully Deadly- but fun!!!!!!!!!!)

michael quinlan, 29.05.2010

Hi, i was stationed at Khormaksar in 1967 when the Arabian Army mutined , i was in the Supply Sqn, we did the runs to the Ma ala docks sending personal effects baCK TO THE u.K.
I will allways remember my mate Allan Bulley he drove and i stood on the engine cowling with my head stuck through the roof of the 3 tonner as iwas the guard.
Iremember very well doing the guards on the Red sea hotel, and the Marine craft unit, also the power house.
Anyway i left Khormaksar in October 1967 on this aircraft called an Argosy, not a bad looking aircarft realy, only one thing i recall about it was the high pitch whistling sound it produced in flt, so to me it gained the nickname the whistling tit, as the navigational aides were in the front and it looked just like a nipple.quite amusing really.
im 64 now but i will never forget Aden.

graham jackson, 27.05.2010

remember in 1963 at r.a.f. riyan nr aden argosy being flown by a.v.m. johnny johnson clipping slight rise onto one of our two sand runways caused a few heart stopping moments

Paul Herbert, 24.03.2010

David are you sure you are not confusing this with the Beverley ?. The Argosy didn't have an "upper deck" with rearward facing seats, upstairs was where the crew sat at the front , four seats, Pilot/Co/Engineer/Navigator, although the Beverley did operate with rear facing seats in the upper deck - the boom, would think that more likely, not in an Argosy. Regards, Paul H, Bicester.

David Burns, 23.03.2010

In my earler comment I mis-typed the date. It should read 1967.

David Burns, 23.03.2010

I flew in one of these from up in the Radfan Mountains in Aden in 1957 - don't remember exactly which airfield we flew from. I was in the upper deck seated backwords. Shortly after we took of we were over the edge of a mountain and the pilot dropped the nose, I guess to gain speed/lift. It was quite and experience.

Paul Herbert, 13.03.2010

More memories of Argosy XP409 with 105 Sqd In Aden, anybody out there involved in the "custom" rewire & electrical refit after the fire ?, remember it had very non standard front fuselage wiring looms & battery installation, also the inverters (under the front fuselage floorboards were in a different frame position !), caused a few headaches when diagnosing faults , very much a trial & error job, but hats off to whoever at Bagington did the job as it was mostly trouble free during it's service in the hot, 409 ended it's days as a ground instructional airframe at Halton, sad ! Paul Herbert

Gordon Baird, 11.03.2010

I was the medical officer in attendance at the crash of an Argosy at West Freugh in 1984. I still see her remains when I pass the now disused airfield

1-20 21-40 41-60

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