The Armstrong Whitworth Argosy was the very first passenger airliner produced by the company, first flying on 16 March 1926. This aircraft offered seating for 20 passengers with a range of 531 kilometres (330 miles).
Operational services with Imperial Airways commenced on 19 July 1926, with flights between London and Paris. These were called the ‘Silver Wing’ service, the first named flights in history. Due to the spacious cabin featuring opening windows and even a toilet, passenger numbers increased markedly when the Argosy started flying the route.
Armstrong Whitworth Argosy Videos
Following on from the last video about Midway Airlines, this time we have a look at the Armstrong Whitworth Argosy. There are three short videos this time, with the first running for just about 30 seconds.
Three Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar engines were used to power the aircraft and it used fabric liberally in its construction. Not only was it used in the control surfaces, but also for the walls and ceiling of the passenger compartment. The two pilots sat in an open cockpit though, so perhaps not quite as much comfort for them!
After the initial order for three aircraft, Imperial Airways ordered four more of an improved version with more powerful engines, which could fly up to 836km or 520 miles. The first Empire air mail route to Karachi included operations with the Armstrong Whitworth Argosy. Finally, here’s the last video, lasting just over a minute.
During service three of the seven aircraft were lost in accidents, though only one was fatal, in 1933. Eventually the plane was withdrawn from airline operations in 1935, and the last one finished up flying joyrides in December 1936.
The Armstrong Whitworth Argosy was in service for about 10 years, which is a very good run for an airliner designed in the 1920s. It operated largely safe and reliable service throughout its career, primarily on European services.
Alas, none of these pioneering aircraft survive any longer, so it’s not possible to experience the boxy cabined biplane any longer. What a shame!
Did you know about the Armstrong Whitworth Argosy? What do you think of the videos? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image via skylarkair on Flickr.