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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.

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

The wings were mounted high in the fuselage.


The York prototype first flew on July 5, 1942. It and the second prototype had only two fins.


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

The Avro York didn't receive any production priority until 1945.

  • Prototype: 4
  • Production: 253
  • Total: 257
    • Manufacturer: A. V. Roe & Co. Ltd.


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



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

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

King George VI was flow to North Africa for a tour in 1943.

Post World War II

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

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

The Avro Yorks served until 1957.


  Avro York, Avro York Mk I
Type Transport
Crew 5
Pilot, Co-Pilot, Navigator, Radio Operator, Steward
Passengers 12 - 50, 24, 24 - 50
Cargo 10,000 lb
4,535 kg
Engine (Type) 4: Rolls-Royce Merlin T.24 or 502
4: Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
4: Rolls-Royce Merlin 24
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,280 each, 1,640 each
Propeller blades 3, 3 bladed constant speed feathered
Span 102'
31.09 m, 31.1 m
Length 78', 78' 6"
23.7 m, 23.93 m
Height 16' 6", 20'
5.03 m, 6.1 m
Wing area 1,190 sq ft
110.5 sq m
Empty 38,000 lb, 42,040 lb
17,250 kg, 19,070 kg
Loaded 65,000 lb, 68,000 lb, 68,597 lb
29,500 kg, 30,845 kg
Speed 290 mph
467 kph
Speed @ 20,500' 298 mph
Speed @ 21,000' /
6,400 m
298 mph
480 kph
Cruising speed 223 mph
358 kph
Service ceiling 21,000', 26,000'
7,925 m
Range 2,700 miles, 3,100 miles
4,345 km, 4,990 km


  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