The Avro York, designated the Type 685, was a transport aircraft developed in England during World War II. Many elements are taken from the famous Avro Lancaster bomber, such as the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, the wings, tail and undercarriage.

First flying on 5 July 1942, the aircraft could carry 21 passengers or ten tons of cargo up to 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometres). As many as 50 people could be carried on board in a troop transport role, with a corresponding sacrifice in range. BOAC initiated services on 22 April 1944, flying from the UK to Morocco and Cairo.

Avro York Video

Following on from the last video about the Hawker Siddeley HS 748, we stay in Great Britain and check out the Avro York. Put together by Bomberguy on YouTube, this presentation lasts just under five minutes.

From 40 seconds in, the newsreel films begin, the most interesting of which starts at 2 minutes 41. You get to see some really good footage of the aircraft and the period narration tells you what it can do. Interesting stuff!

The BOAC Passenger Cabin

The Merlin engines, designed for fighters and bombers, made for a very noisy cabin indeed. That must have made long flights quite tedious to say the least. Even so, the BOAC cabin is well appointed and comfortable for the era, and the York was also used as the personal VIP transport for Winston Churchill.

On South African services, provision for 12 bunks were made in the cabin. Whether anyone got any sleep or not is another matter, but laying down would have at least been more comfortable than sitting.

Overall Thoughts

There were 258 Avro York’s produced between 1943 and 1948. Many were used in the Berlin Airlift in a freighter role. BOAC retired theirs from passenger service on 7 October 1952, but kept them for cargo through to November 1957.

UK independent airlines continued to operated the aircraft, with Dan-Air operating the last flight on 30 April 1964. Two Yorks remain preserved, one each at the aviation museums in Duxford and Cosford.

Have you ever flown aboard or seen an Avro York? What did you think of the video? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Jenny Coffey on