Armstrong Whitworth Argosy (100 series)

The AW650 was designed by Armstrong-Whitworth to meet a 1955 British Air Ministry specification for a freight/passenger aircraft suitable for civil and miltary use. Initially known as the Freightliner, construction started as a private venture in early 1957. This was the manufacturer's last project as in 1958 the company was subsumed by the Hawker-Siddeley group, and the aircraft project was designated the HS.650 Argosy.
The prototype Series 100 freighter (c/n 6651 G-AOZZ) was first flown on January 8, 1959. Type certification was achieved in December 1959, by which time six had been completed. The aircraft was displayed in Paris in July, 1959 and Farnborough in 1960 where it attracted interest but few orders. The project was not successful in the commercial sector as only ten were built. Riddle Airlines of Miami, Florida ordered four aircraft, later increasing that to seven for a contract with the USAF. The three remaining Series 100 aircraft were sold to BEA. Apart from G-APRM (c/n 6653) all the series 100 aircraft were at some point operated in the USA, but many eventually returned to the UK. One (c/n 6656 VH-IPD) went on to work in Australia. All but two of the Series 100 Argosies had been scrapped by 1990, with the others surviving in UK museums.
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