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 alisonkukla=btinternet.com
Alison Kukla, e-mail, 12.06.2013 17:51
Does anyone remember my uncle - Albert Whitehouse - who I believe started at Armstrong Whitworth as an apprentice aged 14 in around 1938 and stayed with the company throughout his working life up until it became British Aerospace. I believe that he was President of the Red Arrows Club for many years.
Ronald Ciura, e-mail, 06.04.2013 18:02
I worked on Argosies with ZAT-Detroit in 1965. Part of the initiation to he crew involve walking the boom! While in for inspections it was common to sleep in the aircraft while on overtime. They figured once you left you may not be back soon. There was always a Post Inspection Party. Keith Groesbeck was the Lead.
Roy Lawton, e-mail, 01.04.2013 21:52
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, e-mail, 21.03.2013 22:37
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, e-mail, 19.03.2013 01:10
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, e-mail, 10.03.2013 02:54
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, e-mail, 21.12.2012 21:24
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, e-mail, 01.01.2012 16:55
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, e-mail, 24.08.2011 17:26
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, e-mail, 08.07.2011 02:48
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, e-mail, 18.05.2011 19:11
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), e-mail, 03.02.2011 22:20
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, e-mail, 21.01.2011 13:52
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, e-mail, 13.01.2011 19:40
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, e-mail, 31.08.2010 21:38
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, e-mail, 29.05.2010 17:59
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, e-mail, 27.05.2010 18:30
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, e-mail, 24.03.2010 23:51
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, e-mail, 23.03.2010 00:41
In my earler comment I mis-typed the date. It should read 1967.
David Burns, e-mail, 23.03.2010 00:39
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, e-mail, 13.03.2010 19:00
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, e-mail, 11.03.2010 20:16
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
Roy Lawton, e-mail, 23.02.2010 22:22
Just wondered how long it takes before a comment appears on this site?? Roy Lawton
Roy Lawton, e-mail, 18.02.2010 23:46
I was involved on the final assembly of the first Argosy to fly at Bitteswell in January, 1959. My first job involved a major modification, right up in the upper reaches of the undercarriage bays. Not an easy place to work for long periods. John Jeavons and I fitted strenghening stifferners using Schobert rivets. After that we fitted modifications in the wing fuel tanks. Yes those Shackelton wings really were that big! We had to lay on our backs for hours at a time, very, very hot. We also worked on the pressurisation of the fuselage, locked in a pressurised fuselage and sealing any leaks with compound and communicating with the crew outside. The first Argosy was fitted with all sorts of instrumentation to measure the effects of flight on the aircaft. Some of these were positioned in the most difficult places, including the cock loft at the rear of the cockpit. I think John and I worked together on the first two aircraft from October 1958 until February 1959. Nothing was straight forward and there were always queries with every job.These were resolved by 'Shop Query Forms' or 'Sqiffs' where the problems were detailed on a sheet with the eventual fix (sometimes). It was I suppose a bit chaotic at the time and the pressure was always on us to complete the work. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the challenges and witnessed the first flight of the Argosy on a very cold January morning in 1959. Hope you find this interesting I recounted these experiences and many others more than fifty years later in my life story, 'Memories of a Coventrian.
Paul Herbert, e-mail, 02.02.2010 16:37
As a RAF engine fitter I was posted to Benson in Feb 1962 onto the Argosy,did the course etc, then went in April 62 out to Khormaksar with 105 Sqd, fortunate enough to be allocated XP439 as travelling groundcrew, went all over Africa, Persia, Iran, as far East as Pakistan on the route & trial proving flights, was a good way to spend the tour (came home in April 1964 just after XP413 "fell" into the water on approach into K/Sar, was waiting on the taxiway to get in it to go to Djibouti, didn't happen obviously but then spent my last month dismantling it at the Marine Craft section after it was hauled up the slipway). As there are some AW people on the site does anyone remember the nail from the old Coventry Catherdral that was "implanted" in the fuselage (port side at the C of G datum point) of XP409 ? I have hundreds of photos of my time with the Argosy, Aden & on tour but none of the nail , anybody out there help or even remember it ?. As an aside for Bernard Rumbold above the Argosy was never intended as a Beverley replacement but as a medium heavy freighter to supplement the Bev, & although it did have some trouble in service entry it did do the job it was intended for, we were height & payload limited initially but mid 1963 the aircraft was allowed to operate at 105,000lb MAUW from 85,000MAUW after Boscombe trials. would be pleased to share the experiences with other Argosy enthusiats, Rgds, Paul Herbert, Bicester, Oxon.
paul scott, e-mail, 14.08.2009 00:30
Another classic, unusual aircraft - I saw one (a civil one0 at the Aeropark at East Midlands aero museum. Glad I did.
j mcnab, e-mail, 16.07.2009 15:10
Hi does any one know where I could buy a model/kit of an Argosy please ex-AWA APPRENTICE [DRAUGHTSMAN ]1957 -1962 BAGINTON
G.W. Gijsbertsen, e-mail, 12.05.2009 01:12
In September 1944 Ginkel Heath near Ede was known as DZ “Y”. It was used by the 4th Parachute Brigade on the 18th of September at the Battle of Arnhem. After the war the airborne commemorations started. At first they were only held at Oosterbeek and Arnhem, later also on Ginkel Heath. In 1960 a memorial was unveiled by General Urquhart. It was also the start of the annual memorial parachute drop. I am asked by the municipality of Ede to write a book on the airborne commemorations of the last 65 years. The book is especially meant for the youth, so they will know why these commemorations take place. There will most likely be an English edition as well. One of the things I want to add in the book are the types of airplanes used in the annual drops. Nowadays it’s the C-130 Hercules, but at the sixties and early seventies these planes were the Hastings, the Beverly and the Argosy. I would like to use some pictures of the Argosy in the book, preferably pictures taken in Holland (Deelen airfield and/or the parachute drop at Ginkel Heath) or pictures of an Argosy during a parachute drop. And, if there are some, I would like to add in some personal/remarkable stories or events during the drops. Can anyone help me on this?
Bernard Rumbold, e-mail, 28.03.2009 13:30
I was a young airman stationed at RAF Khormaksar in 1962 when 115 Sqn were posted in with their Argosies - they were a replacement for the venerable Beverlies. It appears that due to the extra weight involved by floor strengthening to carry AFVs, their range and performance were considerably compromised - in the event their service life was fairly short.
Bill Griffin, e-mail, 25.09.2008 21:06
I was also an Armstrong Whitworth apprentice,completing my time in the flight shed ;where I remained until joining British European Airways in 1967.When Baginton had its Argosy open day,(which I think was in 1959) I flew with the aircraft from Bitteswell in to Baginton,landing on the grass. The flight engineer I think was Roy Spencer and the two pilots I seem to recall were Eric Franklin and Jo Lancaster Helped to look after machine on the Sunday, flying back to Bitteswell in it on the Monday.My boss in the flight shed at the time was Mr.Reg Hall;known throughout AWA as Nobby.My forman was Fred Richardson; better known as Panic.I at the time being on Jim Colliers gang;a jovial north country man.Whom I nicknamed the Boltonnut
D. GRIFFITHS, e-mail, 02.07.2008 14:31
As an ex-AWA apprentice, I was at Bitteswell on the day of the AW650 prototype first flight in January 1959 - a cold day with snow covering the airfield. The aircraft did indeed 'borrow' the Shackleton wing design. It was main spar failure that curtailed the fatigue life of the AW 650/660 aircraft. I was at the Whitley Mechanical Test Laboratory when this was determined on the whole aircraft fatigue testing rig. Trust this is of interest.
Mick Ashcroft, e-mail, 03.05.2007 13:56
As an ex-apprentice I remember well helping to build the military version known as the AW 660. This was done at the great factories at Whitley, Baginton with final assembly and flight test at Bitteswell. These three facilities are long gone (shame). The 660 had the 'Shackleton Wing' and had 'clam-shell' doors at the rear of the fuselage to allow air-dropping of stores. Unlike the civil 650, the nose was fixed. The early versions of the civil AW 650 also had the 'safe life' Shackleton wing. However later versions known as AW 650 200 were manufactured with a 'fail safe' wing of much more modern structural philosophy. The series 200 can be recognised as it is fitted with large wing fences. Hope you find this interesting.
Mrs Sybil Farmer, e-mail, 07.02.2007 22:35
My husband now 80 years old remembers loading engines into the front of Argosy aircraft with a forlift when working in BA cargo.He would love a model of the Argosy AW650 or a model to make.If anyone knows how I could get one please e-mail me.Thank you.Sybil Farmer.
a . atherton, e-mail, 26.12.2006 20:18
Dispite Rolls Royce's and B.E.A.s best efforts it was too underpowered and slow making it difficault to gain height and fly over the mountains in Italy where most of it's work was required at the time and B.E.A. had a surplus of Vanguards which they converted to Merchantmen freighters which led to it's demise as a British freighter
Admin, 21.11.2006 23:51
Thank you for your attention. Yes, I know, this may be a problem for US or UK visitors.
I will try to add translation. I think it wouldn't be difficult as I use a database for generating all these specifications.
Howard Rose, e-mail, 21.11.2006 23:20
I find the site an interesting reference but would thought a few details of it's design development including such information that it has a Shackelton based wing would be worthwhile.
However, I do find giving it's specification in metric as totaly inappropriate. It was designed, built and flown using imperial measurement and translating these figures into metric is mis-leading and unnecessary. I fly modern wide-body aircraft where we fly in knots, at flight levels in feet and work out fuel requirements based on nautical miles. I do not believe the designers used metric measurements anywhere - they are not used in the Flight Manual so I see no need to re-write history with changing the specifications of defunct British Aircraft.
If you want to send an email just replace '(@)' in the address with '@' !