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Great Britain's Avro York transport


  • Avro York
  • Avro York C Mk I
  • Avro York
  • Avro York
    The York prototype in 1943 that was later used as Churchill's private aircraft.
    RAF photo.
  • Avro York C Mk I
    A member of No 511 Squadron at Lyneham, Wiltshire.
    ©IWM CH-16488.
  • Avro York
    The passenger compartment with Transport Command out of Lyneham, Wiltshire.
    ©IWM CH-16259.


The Avro York was developed in 1942 and took only six months.1,2

The design of the wings and tail unit were taken from the Lancaster.1,2 The tail unit did add an additional fin.1

The wings were mounted high in the fuselage.1


The York prototype first flew on July 5, 1942.1,2 It and the second prototype had only two fins.1


One of the Yorks was constructed by Victory Aircraft in Canada.1

The Avro York didn't receive any production priority until 1945.1

  • Prototype: 41
  • Production: 2531
  • Total: 2571,2
    • Manufacturer: A. V. Roe & Co. Ltd.2


  • Prototype: Had Merlin XX engines (1,280 HP).1
  • York C.1:
  • York Mk II: This was one of the prototypes that had its engines replace by Bristol Hercules radials (1,650 HP).1



In 1943 the third York prototype was converted to be Winston Churchill's personal transport.1,2,3 It was called the Ascalon.2.3 It was only York to have square windows.1

The No. 24 Squadron flew the Prime Minister and other cabinet members to meetings in Moscow, Yalta, and Tehran.1

King George VI was flow to North Africa for a tour in 1943.1

Post World War II

After World War II the York was delivered up until April 1948 to the Royal Air Force.1

From 1948 - 1949 Yorks were used in the Berlin Airlift.1,2

The Avro Yorks served until 1957.1


  Avro York, Avro York Mk I
Type Transport1,2,3
Crew 52
Pilot, Co-Pilot, Navigator, Radio Operator, Steward3
Passengers 12 - 503, 242, 24 - 501
Cargo 10,000 lb1
4,535 kg1
Engine (Type) 4: Rolls-Royce Merlin T.24 or 5021
4: Rolls-Royce Merlin XX2
4: Rolls-Royce Merlin 243
Cylinders V 121,2,3
Cooling Liquid2,3
HP 1,280 each2, 1,640 each1
Propeller blades 31, 3 bladed constant speed feathered3
Span 102'1,2,3
31.09 m1, 31.1 m3
Length 78'3, 78' 6"1,2
23.7 m3, 23.93 m1
Height 16' 6"1,2, 20'3
5.03 m1, 6.1 m3
Wing area 1,190 sq ft3
110.5 sq m3
Empty 38,000 lb3, 42,040 lb1
17,250 kg3, 19,070 kg1
Loaded 65,000 lb3, 68,000 lb1, 68,597 lb2
29,500 kg3, 30,845 kg1
Speed 290 mph3
467 kph3
Speed @ 20,500' 298 mph2
Speed @ 21,000' /
6,400 m
298 mph1
480 kph1
Cruising speed 223 mph1
358 kph1
Service ceiling 21,000'2, 26,000'1
7,925 m1
Range 2,700 miles1,2, 3,100 miles3
4,345 km1, 4,990 km3


  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site