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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. Wallis later created the "Dam Buster" bouncing bomb. The Wellington was to meet an Air Ministry specification B.9/32.

Fuselage

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

Nickname

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

Minesweeper

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

Wellington Mk VIII

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

Prototype

On June 15, 1936, the Vickers Type 271 first flew.

Wellington Mk II

The prototype of the Wellington Mk II first flew on March 3, 1939.

Wellington Mk III

The Wellington Mk III first flew on May 16, 1939.

Production

Wellingtons were constructed in 16 variants.

These were constructed at Weybridge, Chester, and Blackpool.

Production ended in October 1945.

  • Prototype: 1
  • Wellington Mk I, Wellington Mk IA, Wellington Mk IC: 3,055
    • Wellington Mk IC: 2,685
  • Wellington Mk III: 1,519
  • Wellington Mk IV: 220
  • Wellington Mk VI: 64
  • Wellington Mk V: 3
  • Wellington GR.VIII: 397
  • Wellington Mk X: 3,803
  • Wellington GR.XI: 180
  • Wellington GR.XII: 48
  • Wellington GR.XIII: 844
  • Wellington GR.XIV: 841
  • Wellington T.XVIII: 80
  • Total: 11,391, 11,461, 11,462
    • Manufacturer: Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd.
    • Production: 1936 - ?, 1937 - 1945

Variants

  • Vickers Type 271: Prototype.
  • Wellington Mk I: Had Pegasus radial engines. Fuselage, tail, and tail wheel were redesigned.
  • Wellington Mk IA: Different nose and tail turrets. Had a Nash turret in the nose and a Thompson tail turret.
  • Wellington Mk IC: Mine layer. Had a Nash and Thompson nose and tail turrets installed. Beam guns replaced ventral guns. Had lateral machine guns for defensive armament. Main wheels were larger and stuck out slightly from the nacelles when retracted.
  • Wellington DW.Mk I: Had mine exploding loops. First used in 1940.
  • Wellington Mk II: Had Merlin engines.
  • Wellington Mk III: Had Hercules III or XI engines.
  • Wellington Mk IV: Had Twin Wasp engines. High altitude. The cabin was pressurised.
  • Wellington Mk V: High altitude. Could reach 38,000' / 11,600 m. The cabin was pressurised. Had Twin Wasp engines. No nose turret. Had cigar shaped forward fuselage. Experimental.
  • Wellington Mk VI: High altitude. Could reach 38,000' / 11,600 m. The cabin was pressurised. Had Twin Wasp engines. Longer wings. Never saw operational service.
  • Wellington GR.VIII: Coastal Command version. Had Pegasus engines. Had ASV radar.
  • Wellington Mk X: Had Hercules XVIII engines. Had Hercules XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP).
  • Wellington GR.XI: Coastal Command version. Had Hercules engines, a Leigh Light, and two torpedoes. Had Hercules XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP). Had radar for day operations.
  • Wellington GR.XII: Coastal Command version. Had Hercules engines, a Leigh Light, and two torpedoes. Had Hercules XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP). Was used for night time anti-submarine patrols.
  • Wellington GR.XIII: Coastal Command version. Had Hercules XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP).
  • Wellington GR.XIV: Had Hercules XVI engines (1,675 or 1,735 HP). No nose turret. Leigh Light in rear of bomb bay.
  • Wellington C.XV: Transport. Converted from the Mk IC. Unarmed.
  • Wellington C.XVI: Transport. Converted from the Mk IC. Unarmed.
  • Wellington T.XVII: Trainer. Night fighter trainer. Hercules VI or XVII engines.
  • Wellington T.XVIII: Trainer. Navigation trainer. Had nose radar. Hercules VI or XVII engines.

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.

Usage

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

Initially the Wellingtons were used in daylight raids, but when heavy losses were incurred they were switched to night bombing raids in 1940.

First Squadron

The No. 9 Squadron was the first to be equipped with the Wellington Mk I in October 1938.

Start of World War II

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

First Raid on Germany

The Wellingtons were the first bombers to attack Germany, at Brunsbüttelkoog, on September 4, 1939.

Heavy Bombs

A 4,000 lb / 1,814 kg bomb was first dropped by a Wellington on April 1, 1941.

Cologne

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

Last Raid

The last raid conducted by the Wellingtons was on the night of October 8 - 9, 1943.

Coastal Command

When the Wellingtons were no longer being used by Bomber Command they were transferred to Coastal Command in 1943.

Wellingtons Vs. U-boats

The Wellingtons sank 26 / 51 U-boats during World War II.

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. He climbed out onto the wing of his aircraft to put out an engine fire.

Last Use

The Wellingtons were withdrawn from service in 1953.

Wellington Mk I

The Wellington Mk I first entered service in October 1938.

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

Kiel and Wilhelmshaven

Wellingtons were used on raids on Kiel and Wilhelmshaven.

Wellington Mk II

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

Wellington Mk III

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

Wellington Mk VIII

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

First U-boat Kill

The first U-boat killed at night by a Wellington GR.VIII occurred in July 1942.

Specifications

  Wellington Minesweeper
Type Minesweeper
Crew 6
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"
26.27 m
Length 64' 7"
19.68 m
Height 17' 5"
5.3 m
Wing area 840 sq ft
78.14 sq m
  Wellington Mk I
Type Bomber, Medium bomber
Crew 5 - 6, 6
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 1,000 each, 1,050 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"
Length 64' 7"
Height 17' 5"
Weight  
Loaded 28,500 lb
Performance  
Speed @ 15,500' /
4,724 m
235 mph
Service ceiling 18,000'
Range 1,200 miles
Armament 6: MG
6 - 8: 0.303" MG
Bombs 4,500 lb
2,040 kg
  Wellington Mk IA
Type Heavy bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII
HP 1,000 each
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"
Length 64' 7"
Height 17' 5"
Weight  
Loaded 29,500 lb
Performance  
Speed 250 mph
Range 2,500 miles
Armament 5: MG
Turret - Nose 2: MGs in Fraser-Nash
Turret - Tail 2: MGs in Fraser-Nash
  Wellington Mk IC
Type Medium Bomber
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"
26.26 m
Length 64' 7"
19.68 m
Height 17' 5"
5.31 m
Weight  
Empty 18,556 lb
8,417 kg
Loaded 25,800 lb
11,703 kg
Performance  
Speed 235 mph
Speed @ 15,500' /
4,724 m
235 mph
378 kph
Climb 1,120'/minute
341 m/minute
Service ceiling 18,000', 19,000'
5,485 m
Range with max load 1,200 miles
1,930 km
Range 2,550 miles
4,104 km
Range - Normal 1,805 miles
Range - Max 2,550 miles
Armament  
Turret - Nose 2: MGs in Fraser-Nash
Turret - Tail 2: MGs in Fraser-Nash
Bombs 4,500 lb
  Wellington Mk II
Type Medium bomber
Crew 5 - 6
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin X
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Water
HP 1,145 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Weight  
Loaded 27,600 lb
Performance  
Speed 247 mph
Ceiling 23,500'
Range - Normal 1,570 miles
Range - Max 2,220 miles
Armament  
Bombs 4,000 lb
  Wellington Mk III
Type Bomber, Medium bomber
Crew 6
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules piston
2: Bristol Hercules III
2: Bristol Hercules XI piston
2: Rolls-Royce Merlin X
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air, Liquid
HP 1,370 each, 1,395 each, 1,500 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"
26.26 m
Length 60' 10", 64' 7"
18.54 m, 19.68 m
Height 17' 5"
5 m, 5.31 m
Wing area 840 ft2
78.04 m2
Weight  
Empty 18,517 lb, 18,970 lb
8,417 kg, 8,605 kg
Loaded 29,438 lb, 29,500 lb, 32,000 lb, 34,000 lb
13,381 kg, 15,422 kg
Performance  
Speed 255 mph, 285 mph
Speed @ 12,500' /
3,810 m
254 mph, 255 mph
410 kph, 411 kph
Climb 930'/minute
283 m/minute
Service ceiling 19,000', 22,000'
5,790 m
Range with 1,500 lb bombs /
680 kg bombs
2,195 miles
3,540 km
Range with 4,500 lb bombs /
2,041 kg bombs
1,450 miles, 1,535 miles, 1,540 miles
2,478 km
Range with maximum load of bombs 1,540 miles
2,478 km
Range 2,200 miles
3,540 km
Range - Normal 1,470 miles
Range - Max 2,085 miles
Armament  
Nose turret 2: .303" MG
2: 7.7 mm MG
2: 7.7 mm Browning MG
Tail turret 4: .303" MG
4: 7.7 mm MG
4; 7.7 mm Browning MG
4: MG Fraser-Nash
Beam positions in rear fuselage 2: .303" MG
2: 7.7 mm MG
2: 7.7 mm Browning MG
Bombs 4,500 lb
2,041 kg
  Wellington Mk IV
Type Medium Bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3C4G Twin-Wasp
Propeller Curtiss electric
Weight  
Loaded 31,600 lb
Performance  
Speed 229 mph
Service ceiling 21,250'
Range - Normal 1,510 miles
Range - Max 2,180 miles
Armament  
Turret - Tail 2: MG
Bomb Load 4,500 lb
  Wellington Mk V
Type High Altitude Bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules VIII
Weight  
Loaded 32,000 lb
Performance  
Speed 292 mph
Service ceiling 36,800'
Range - Normal 1,560 miles
Range - Max 2,250 miles
Armament  
Bomb Load 4,500 lb
  Wellington Mk VI
Type High Altitude Bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 60
OR 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 62
Cooling Water
Weight  
Loaded 31,600 lb
Performance  
Speed 300 mph
Service ceiling 38,500'
Range - Normal 1,510 miles
Range - Max 2,180 miles
Armament  
Bomb Load 4,500 lb
  Wellington GR Mk VIII
Type General Reconnaissance Bomber, Reconnaissance Bomber
Crew 6 - 7
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII
Cylinders Radial 9
HP 1,050 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 86' 2"
26.26 m
Length 64' 7"
19.68 m
Height 17' 8"
5.38 m
Weight  
Empty 21,118 lb
9,579 kg
Loaded 25,800 lb, 30,000 lb
13,608 kg
Performance  
Speed 235 mph
Speed @ 15,500' /
4,725 m
235 mph
378 kph
Service ceiling 18,000', 19,000'
5,485 m
Range 2,500 miles
4,104 km
Range - Normal 1,805 miles
Range - Max 2,550 miles
Armament  
Nose turret 2: 0.303" MG
Tail turret 2: 0.303" MG
Beam positions 2: 0.303" MG
Bombs 4,500 lb
Depth charges 2: 420 lb
2: 190 kg
OR  
Torpedoes 2, 2: 18"
  Wellington Mk X
Type Medium Bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules VI
OR 2: Bristol Hercules XVI
Weight  
Loaded 29,500 lb
Performance  
Speed 255 mph
Service ceiling 22,000'
Range - Normal 1,470 miles
Range - Max 2,085 miles
Armament  
Bomb Load 4,000 lb
  Wellington Mk XI
Type General Reconnaissance, Torpedo-Bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules VI
OR 2: Bristol Hercules XVI
Weight  
Loaded 29,500 lb
Performance  
Speed 255 mph
Service ceiling 19,000'
Range - Max 2,020 miles
Armament  
Bomb Load 4,500 lb
OR  
Torpedoes 2: 18"
  Wellington Mk XII
Type Coastal Reconnaissance, Bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules VI
OR 2: Bristol Hercules XVI
Weight  
Loaded 36,500 lb
Performance  
Speed 256 mph
Service ceiling 18,500'
Range - Normal 1,435 miles
Range - Max 1,810 miles
Armament 6: 0.303" MG
Bomb Load 5,100 lb
  Wellington Mk XIII
Type General Reconnaissance Bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules XVII
Weight  
Loaded 31,000 lb
Performance  
Speed 250 mph
Service ceiling 16,000'
Range - Normal 1,390 miles
Range - Max 1,760 miles
Armament  
Bomb Load 5,000 lb
  Wellington Mk XIV
Type General Reconnaissance Bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Hercules XVII
Weight  
Loaded 31,000 lb
Performance  
Speed 250 mph
Service ceiling 16,000'
Range - Normal 1,390 miles
Range - Max 1,760 miles
Armament  
Turret - Tail 4: 0.303"
Beam 2: 0.303"
Bomb Load 5,000 lb

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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