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Great Britain's flag Great Britain's RAF aircraft marking

Great Britain's Vickers Wellington bomber, "Wimpey"

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  • Vickers Wellington bomber
  • Vickers Wellington bomber
  • Vickers Wellington bomber
  • Vickers Wellington bomber
  • Vickers Wellington bomber
  • Vickers Wellington C Mk I transport
  • Vickers Wellington Mk I bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk I bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk IA bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk IA bomber
  • Vickers Wellington C Mk IA bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk IC bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk IC bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk IC bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk IC bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk IC bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk IC bomber
  • Vickers Wellington DWI Mk II mine exploder
  • Vickers Wellington minesweeper
  • Vickers Wellington minesweeper
  • Vickers Wellington Mk II bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk II bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk II bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk II bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk III bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk III bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk III bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk III bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk III bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk IV bomber
  • Vickers Wellington GR Mk VIII general reconnaissance
  • Vickers Wellington GR Mk VIII general reconnaissance
  • Vickers Wellington Mk X bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk X bomber
  • Vickers Wellington Mk X bomber
  • Vickers Wellington GR Mk XI general reconnaissance
  • Vickers Wellington GR Mk XI general reconnaissance
  • Vickers Wellington GR Mk XI general reconnaissance
  • Vickers Wellington Mk XII bomber
  • Vickers Wellington GR Mk XIV general reconnaissance
  • Vickers Wellington C Mk XVI transport
  • Vickers Wellington T Mk XVII training
  • Vickers Wellington bomber
  • Vickers Wellington bomber
  • Vickers Wellington bomber

Design

Dr. Barnes Wallis designed the Vickers Wellington.1 Wallis later created the "Dam Buster" bouncing bomb.1 The Wellington was to meet an Air Ministry specification B.9/32.2,5,7

Fuselage

The fuselage was a unique structure that was made from a geodetic structure.1

Nickname

The Wellington was nicknamed the "Wimpey" after the cartoon character J. Wellington Wimpey.3

Minesweeper

The minesweeper would fly 60' above the water and would use it's deGaussing loops to explode mines.6

Wellington Mk VIII

The Wellington GR.VIII had ASV (anti surface vessel) radar installed.3 There was also a Leigh Light to light up submarines on the surface at night.3

Prototype

On June 15, 1936, the Vickers Type 271 first flew.1,2,3,4,5,7

Wellington Mk II

The prototype of the Wellington Mk II first flew on March 3, 1939.3,4

Wellington Mk III

The Wellington Mk III first flew on May 16, 1939.3,4

Production

Wellingtons were constructed in 16 variants.1

These were constructed at Weybridge, Chester, and Blackpool.1

Production ended in October 1945.3

  • Prototype: 13
  • Wellington Mk I, Wellington Mk IA, Wellington Mk IC: 3,0553
    • Wellington Mk IC: 2,6853
  • Wellington Mk III: 1,5193
  • Wellington Mk IV: 2203
  • Wellington Mk VI: 643
  • Wellington Mk V: 37
  • Wellington GR.VIII: 3973
  • Wellington Mk X: 3,8033
  • Wellington GR.XI: 1803
  • Wellington GR.XII: 483
  • Wellington GR.XIII: 8443
  • Wellington GR.XIV: 8413
  • Wellington T.XVIII: 803
  • Total: 11,3917, 11,4611,2,4,5, 11,4623
    • Manufacturer: Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd.4
    • Production: 1936 - ?7, 1937 - 19454

Variants

  • Vickers Type 271: Prototype.1,2
  • Wellington Mk I: Had Pegasus radial engines.2,5 Fuselage, tail, and tail wheel were redesigned.3
  • Wellington Mk IA: Different nose and tail turrets.3 Had a Nash turret in the nose and a Thompson tail turret.5
  • Wellington Mk IC: Mine layer.2,5 Had a Nash and Thompson nose and tail turrets installed.2 Beam guns replaced ventral guns.3 Had lateral machine guns for defensive armament.5 Main wheels were larger and stuck out slightly from the nacelles when retracted.3
  • Wellington DW.Mk I: Had mine exploding loops.2,5 First used in 1940.2
  • Wellington Mk II: Had Merlin engines.2,5
  • Wellington Mk III: Had Hercules III or XI engines.2
  • Wellington Mk IV: Had Twin Wasp engines.2,5 High altitude.5 The cabin was pressurised.5
  • Wellington Mk V: High altitude.1,3,5,7 Could reach 38,000' / 11,600 m.1 The cabin was pressurised.1,3,5,7 Had Twin Wasp engines.2 No nose turret.7 Had cigar shaped forward fuselage.3 Experimental.3
  • Wellington Mk VI: High altitude.1,3,5 Could reach 38,000' / 11,600 m.1 The cabin was pressurised.1,5 Had Twin Wasp engines.2 Longer wings.3 Never saw operational service.3
  • Wellington GR.VIII: Coastal Command version.2,5,7 Had Pegasus engines.2,5 Had ASV radar.2,5
  • Wellington Mk X: Had Hercules XVIII engines.2,5 Had Hercules XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP).3
  • Wellington GR.XI: Coastal Command version.2,5 Had Hercules5 engines, a Leigh Light, and two torpedoes.2,7 Had Hercules XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP).3 Had radar for day operations.3
  • Wellington GR.XII: Coastal Command version.2,5,7 Had Hercules5 engines, a Leigh Light3, and two torpedoes.2,7 Had Hercules XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP).3 Was used for night time anti-submarine patrols.3
  • Wellington GR.XIII: Coastal Command version.5 Had Hercules5 XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP).3
  • Wellington GR.XIV: Had Hercules XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP).3 No nose turret.7 Leigh Light in rear of bomb bay.7
  • Wellington C.XV: Transport.2,5,7 Converted from the Mk IC.2,5 Unarmed.3,7
  • Wellington C.XVI: Transport.2,5,7 Converted from the Mk IC.2,5 Unarmed.3,7
  • Wellington T.XVII: Trainer.2,5,7 Night fighter trainer.3 Hercules VI or XVII engines.7
  • Wellington T.XVIII: Trainer.2,5,7 Navigation trainer.3 Had nose radar.3 Hercules VI or XVII engines.7

GR: General Reconnaissance, T: Trainer

Anti-Mine

In 1940 some Wellington Mk.ICs had a 48' / 14.6 m diameter dural hoops installed for exploding mines.3

Usage

The Wellingtons were the mainstay of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the early years of World War II.1,3 A total of 57 RAF squadrons were equipped with Wellingtons.1,2

Initially the Wellingtons were used in daylight raids, but when heavy losses were incurred they were switched to night bombing raids in 1940.2

First Squadron

The No. 9 Squadron was the first to be equipped with the Wellington Mk I in October 1938.2,5

Start of World War II

Bomber Command had six squadrons equipped with the Wellington at the start of World War II.5

First Raid on Germany

The Wellingtons were the first bombers to attack Germany, at Brunsbüttelkoog, on September 4, 1939.3,4,7

Heavy Bombs

A 4,000 lb / 1,814 kg bomb was first dropped by a Wellington on April 1, 1941.2,5

Cologne

In the 1,000 bomber raid of Cologne in May 1942, Wellingtons made up 1/2 of the bombers.3

Last Raid

The last raid conducted by the Wellingtons was on the night of October 8 - 9, 1943.2,5

Coastal Command

When the Wellingtons were no longer being used by Bomber Command they were transferred to Coastal Command in 1943.1,4

Wellingtons Vs. U-boats

The Wellingtons sank 263 / 51 U-boats during World War II.1

Victoria Cross Awarded

The only Wellington crew member to receive a Victoria Cross was New Zealander Sergeant J. A. Ward who was a second pilot in the No. 75 Squadron.1 He climbed out onto the wing of his aircraft to put out an engine fire.1

Last Use

The Wellingtons were withdrawn from service in 1953.1

Wellington Mk I

The Wellington Mk I first entered service in October 1938.3

Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand used the Wellington Mk I.3

Kiel and Wilhelmshaven

Wellingtons were used on raids on Kiel and Wilhelmshaven.6

Wellington Mk II

The Wellington Mk II was used by Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.3

Wellington Mk III

The Wellington Mk III was used by Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.3

Wellington Mk VIII

The Wellington GR.VIIIs were used by Australia, Britain, and Canada.3

First U-boat Kill

The first U-boat killed at night by a Wellington GR.VIII occurred in July 1942.3

Specifications

  Wellington Minesweeper
Type Minesweeper6
Crew 67
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"6,7
26.27 m7
Length 64' 7"4,7
19.68 m7
Height 17' 5"6,7
5.3 m7
Wing area 840 sq ft7
78.14 sq m7
  Wellington Mk I
Type Bomber4, Medium bomber3
Crew 5 - 63, 64
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII3,4,5,7
Cylinders Radial 93,4
Cooling Air4
HP 1,000 each4, 1,050 each3,7
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"4
Length 64' 7"4
Height 17' 5"4
Weight  
Loaded 28,500 lb4
Performance  
Speed @ 15,500' /
4,724 m
235 mph4
Service ceiling 18,000'4
Range 1,200 miles4
Armament 6: MG4
6 - 8: 0.303" MG3
Bombs 4,500 lb3,4
2,040 kg3
  Wellington Mk IA
Type Heavy bomber6
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII6
HP 1,000 each6
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"6
Length 64' 7"6
Height 17' 5"6
Weight  
Loaded 29,500 lb6
Performance  
Speed 250 mph6
Range 2,500 miles6
Armament 5: MG6
Turret - Nose 2: MGs in Fraser-Nash7
Turret - Tail 2: MGs in Fraser-Nash7
  Wellington Mk IC
Type Medium Bomber7
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII7
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"3
26.26 m3
Length 64' 7"3
19.68 m3
Height 17' 5"3
5.31 m3
Weight  
Empty 18,556 lb3
8,417 kg3
Loaded 25,800 lb3,7
11,703 kg3
Performance  
Speed 235 mph7
Speed @ 15,500' /
4,724 m
235 mph3
378 kph3
Climb 1,120'/minute3
341 m/minute3
Service ceiling 18,000'3, 19,000'7
5,485 m3
Range with max load 1,200 miles3
1,930 km3
Range 2,550 miles3
4,104 km3
Range - Normal 1,805 miles7
Range - Max 2,550 miles7
Armament  
Turret - Nose 2: MGs in Fraser-Nash7
Turret - Tail 2: MGs in Fraser-Nash7
Bombs 4,500 lb7
  Wellington Mk II
Type Medium bomber3,7
Crew 5 - 63
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin X3,4,5,7
Cylinders V 123
Cooling Water7
HP 1,145 each3,4,7
Propeller blades 3 each3
Weight  
Loaded 27,600 lb7
Performance  
Speed 247 mph7
Ceiling 23,500'7
Range - Normal 1,570 miles7
Range - Max 2,220 miles7
Armament  
Bombs 4,000 lb7
  Wellington Mk III
Type Bomber1,2, Medium bomber3,5,7
Crew 61,2,5
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules piston1
2: Bristol Hercules III4,7
2: Bristol Hercules XI piston2,3,5,7
2: Rolls-Royce Merlin X6
Cylinders Radial1,2,5,7, Radial 143
Cooling Air7, Liquid6
HP 1,370 each7, 1,395 each4, 1,500 each1,2,3,5
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"1,2,5,6
26.26 m1,2,5
Length 60' 10"1,3, 64' 7"2,5,6
18.54 m1,3, 19.68 m2,5
Height 17' 5"1,2,5,6
5 m2,5, 5.31 m1
Wing area 840 ft2 1,2,5
78.04 m2 1,2,5
Weight  
Empty 18,517 lb1, 18,970 lb2,5
8,417 kg1, 8,605 kg2,5
Loaded 29,438 lb1, 29,500 lb3,7, 32,000 lb6, 34,000 lb2,5
13,381 kg1,3, 15,422 kg2,5
Performance  
Speed 255 mph6,7, 285 mph6
Speed @ 12,500' /
3,810 m
254 mph1, 255 mph2,3,5
410 kph1,3, 411 kph2,5
Climb 930'/minute2,3,5
283 m/minute2,3,5
Service ceiling 19,000'1,2,3,5, 22,000'7
5,790 m1,2,3,5
Range with 1,500 lb bombs /
680 kg bombs
2,195 miles1
3,540 km1
Range with 4,500 lb bombs /
2,041 kg bombs
1,450 miles2, 1,535 miles1, 1,540 miles5
2,478 km1,2,5
Range with maximum load of bombs 1,540 miles3
2,478 km3
Range 2,200 miles3
3,540 km3
Range - Normal 1,470 miles7
Range - Max 2,085 miles7
Armament  
Nose turret 2: .303" MG5
2: 7.7 mm MG2,5
2: 7.7 mm Browning MG1
Tail turret 4: .303" MG5
4: 7.7 mm MG2,5
4; 7.7 mm Browning MG1
4: MG Fraser-Nash7
Beam positions in rear fuselage 2: .303" MG5
2: 7.7 mm MG2,5
2: 7.7 mm Browning MG1
Bombs 4,500 lb1,2,5,7
2,041 kg1,2,5
  Wellington Mk IV
Type Medium Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3C4G Twin-Wasp7
Propeller Curtiss electric7
Weight  
Loaded 31,600 lb7
Performance  
Speed 229 mph7
Service ceiling 21,250'7
Range - Normal 1,510 miles7
Range - Max 2,180 miles7
Armament  
Turret - Tail 2: MG7
Bomb Load 4,500 lb7
  Wellington Mk V
Type High Altitude Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules VIII7
Weight  
Loaded 32,000 lb7
Performance  
Speed 292 mph7
Service ceiling 36,800'7
Range - Normal 1,560 miles7
Range - Max 2,250 miles7
Armament  
Bomb Load 4,500 lb7
  Wellington Mk VI
Type High Altitude Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 607
OR 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 627
Cooling Water7
Weight  
Loaded 31,600 lb7
Performance  
Speed 300 mph7
Service ceiling 38,500'7
Range - Normal 1,510 miles7
Range - Max 2,180 miles7
Armament  
Bomb Load 4,500 lb7
  Wellington GR Mk VIII
Type General Reconnaissance Bomber7, Reconnaissance Bomber3
Crew 6 - 73
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII3,7
Cylinders Radial 93
HP 1,050 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"3
26.26 m3
Length 64' 7"3
19.68 m3
Height 17' 8"3
5.38 m3
Weight  
Empty 21,118 lb3
9,579 kg3
Loaded 25,800 lb7, 30,000 lb3
13,608 kg3
Performance  
Speed 235 mph7
Speed @ 15,500' /
4,725 m
235 mph3
378 kph3
Service ceiling 18,000'3, 19,000'7
5,485 m3
Range 2,500 miles3
4,104 km3
Range - Normal 1,805 miles7
Range - Max 2,550 miles7
Armament  
Nose turret 2: 0.303" MG3
Tail turret 2: 0.303" MG3
Beam positions 2: 0.303" MG3
Bombs 4,500 lb7
Depth charges 2: 420 lb3
2: 190 kg3
OR  
Torpedoes 23, 2: 18"7
  Wellington Mk X
Type Medium Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules VI7
OR 2: Bristol Hercules XVI7
Weight  
Loaded 29,500 lb7
Performance  
Speed 255 mph7
Service ceiling 22,000'7
Range - Normal 1,470 miles7
Range - Max 2,085 miles7
Armament  
Bomb Load 4,000 lb7
  Wellington Mk XI
Type General Reconnaissance7, Torpedo-Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules VI7
OR 2: Bristol Hercules XVI7
Weight  
Loaded 29,500 lb7
Performance  
Speed 255 mph7
Service ceiling 19,000'7
Range - Max 2,020 miles7
Armament  
Bomb Load 4,500 lb7
OR  
Torpedoes 2: 18"7
  Wellington Mk XII
Type Coastal Reconnaissance7, Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules VI7
OR 2: Bristol Hercules XVI7
Weight  
Loaded 36,500 lb7
Performance  
Speed 256 mph7
Service ceiling 18,500'7
Range - Normal 1,435 miles7
Range - Max 1,810 miles7
Armament 6: 0.303" MG7
Bomb Load 5,100 lb7
  Wellington Mk XIII
Type General Reconnaissance Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules XVII7
Weight  
Loaded 31,000 lb7
Performance  
Speed 250 mph7
Service ceiling 16,000'7
Range - Normal 1,390 miles7
Range - Max 1,760 miles7
Armament  
Bomb Load 5,000 lb7
  Wellington Mk XIV
Type General Reconnaissance Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules XVII7
Weight  
Loaded 31,000 lb7
Performance  
Speed 250 mph7
Service ceiling 16,000'7
Range - Normal 1,390 miles7
Range - Max 1,760 miles7
Armament  
Turret - Tail 4: 0.303"7
Beam 2: 0.303"7
Bomb Load 5,000 lb7

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  7. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
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