The VICKERS WELLINGTON was a British twin-engined, long-range medium
bomber . It was designed during the mid-1930s at
Weybridge, Surrey , led by
Vickers-Armstrongs ' Chief Designer Rex
Pierson ; a key feature of the aircraft is its geodesic fuselage
structure, principally designed by
Barnes Wallis . Development had
been started in response to
Air Ministry Specification B.9/32 ; issued
in the middle of 1932, this called for a twin-engined day bomber
capable of delivering higher performance than any previous design.
Other aircraft developed to the same specification include the
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley and the
Handley Page Hampden
Handley Page Hampden . During the
development process, performance requirements such as for the tare
weight changed substantially, as well as the powerplant for the type
The Wellington was widely used as a night bomber in the early years
of the Second World War , performing as one of the principal bombers
Bomber Command . During 1943, it started to be superseded as a
bomber by the larger four-engined "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster
. The Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other
duties, particularly as an anti-submarine aircraft . It holds the
distinction of being the only British bomber to be produced for the
duration of the war and of being produced in a greater quantity than
any other British-built bomber. The Wellington remained as first-line
equipment when the war ended, although it had been increasingly
relegated to secondary roles. The Wellington was one of two bombers
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington , the other being
Vickers Wellesley .
A larger heavy bomber aircraft designed to Specification B.1/35 , the
Vickers Warwick , was developed in parallel with the Wellington; the
two aircraft shared around 85% of their structural components. Many
elements of the Wellington were also reused in a civil derivative, the
Vickers VC.1 Viking
Vickers VC.1 Viking .
* 1 Development
* 1.1 Origins
* 1.2 Prototype and design revision
* 1.3 Production
* 1.4 Further development
* 2 Design
* 3 Operational history
* 4 Variants
Coastal Command variants
* 4.3 Transport variants
* 4.4 Trainer variants
* 4.5 Experimental and conversion variants
* 4.6 Total built
* 5 Operators
* 6 Aircraft on display
* 7 Specifications (Wellington Mark IC)
* 8 In popular culture
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 10.1 Notes
* 10.2 Citations
* 10.3 Bibliography
* 11 External links
Wellingtons under construction, showing the geodesic airframe
RNZAF Wellington Mark I aircraft with the original turrets;
anticipating war, the
New Zealand government loaned these aircraft and
their aircrews to the RAF in August 1939
In October 1932, the British
Air Ministry invited Vickers to tender
for the recently issued Specification B.9/32 , which sought a
twin-engine medium daylight bomber. In response, Vickers conducted a
design study, led by Chief Designer
Rex Pierson Early on, Vickers'
chief structures designer
Barnes Wallis proposed the use of a geodesic
airframe , inspired by his previous work on airships and the
single-engined Wellesley light bomber . During structural testing
performed at the
Royal Aircraft Establishment
Royal Aircraft Establishment , Farnborough , the
proposed structure demonstrated not only the required strength factor
of six, but reached 11 without any sign of failure, providing the
geodesic airframe to possess a strength far in excess of normal
levels. This strength allowed for the structure design to be further
developed to reduce the size of individual members and adopt
simplified standard sections of lighter construction.
Vickers studied and compared the performance of various air and
liquid-cooled engines to power the bomber, including the Bristol
Pegasus IS2 , Pegasus IIS2, the
Armstrong Siddeley Tiger , and the
Rolls-Royce Goshawk I . The Pegasus was selected as the engine for
air-cooled versions of the bomber, while the Goshawk engine was chosen
for the liquid-cooled engine variant. On 28 February 1933, two
versions of the aircraft, one with each of the selected powerplants,
were submitted to the tender. In September 1933, the Air Ministry
issued a pilot contract for the Goshawk-powered version. In August
1934, Vickers proposed to use either the Pegasus or Bristol Perseus
engines instead of Goshawk, which promised improvements in speed,
climb rate, ceiling, and single-engine flight capabilities without any
major increase in all-up weight; the
Air Ministry accepted the
Other refinements of the design had also been implemented and
approved, such as the adoption of variable-pitch propellers , and the
use of Vickers-produced gun turrets in the nose and tail positions.
By December 1936, the specification had been revised to include front,
rear, and midship wind-protected turret mountings. Other
specification changes included modified bomb undershields and the
inclusion of spring-loaded bomb bay doors. The proposal had also been
developed further, a mid-wing arrangement was adopted instead of a
shoulder-mounted wing for greater pilot visibility during formation
flight and improved aerodynamic performance, as well as a
substantially increased overall weight of the aircraft. Design
studies were also conducted on behalf of the
Air Ministry into the
adoption of the
Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.
In spite of a traditional preference of the establishment to strictly
adhere to the restrictive tare weight for the aircraft established in
the tender, both Pierson and Wallis firmly believed that their design
should adopt the most powerful engine available. Perhaps in response
to pressure from Vickers, the
Air Ministry overlooked, if not openly
accepted, the removal of the tare weight restriction, as between the
submission of the tender in 1933 and the flight of the first prototype
in 1936, the tare weight eventually rose from 6,300lb to 11,508lb.
The prescribed bomb load and range requirements were routinely revised
upwards by the Air Ministry; by November 1935, figures within the
Ministry were interested in the possibility of operating the aircraft
at an all-up weight of 30,500lb, which aviation author C.F. Andrews
stated to be "a very high figure for a medium bomber of those days".
During the development phase of the aircraft, the political and
military situations in Europe drastically transformed. With the rise
of fascist dictatorships in
Italy , the British government
had become keen to reevaluate the capabilities of the nation's armed
forces, including the
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force (RAF). By 1936, the need for a
high priority to be placed on the creation of a large bomber force,
which would form the spearhead of British offensive power, had been
recognised; accordingly, a new command organisation within the RAF,
Bomber Command , was formed that year to deliver upon this
PROTOTYPE AND DESIGN REVISION
In early 1936, an initial prototype, K4049, which was originally
designated as a Type 271, was assembled. The prototype could
accommodate a payload of nine 250lb or 500lb bombs, and both nose and
tail gun positions were fitted with hand-operated turrets furnished
with a single gun in each, provisions for a third retractable gun in a
dorsal position were also present. It had provisions for a crew of
four, along with a fifth position for performing special duties.
On 15 June 1936, K4049 conducted its maiden flight from Brooklands.
Vickers chief test pilot
Joseph Summers flew K4049 on its first
flight, accompanied by Wallis and Trevor Westbrook. The aircraft soon
came to be largely regarded as being an advanced design for its era
and proved to have considerable merit during its flight trials. In
April 1937, K4049 was destroyed by an accident during a service test
flight. The cause was the failure of the elevator 's horn balance due
to excessive slipstream exposure, leading to the aircraft inverting
and rapidly descending into terrain. It was completely destroyed in
the crash, which also had resulted in the death of the navigator. The
horn balances would later be deleted, and thus not feature on
On 5 June 1936, the name Crecy was initially chosen for the type, and
it was publicly displayed as such. On 15 August 1936, the aircraft
was accepted for production. On 8 September 1936, the name Wellington
was adopted for the type; Pierson later explained that this was due to
Air Ministry nomenclature and also followed the tradition set by the
Vickers Wellesley of possessing names referring back to the Duke of
Wellington . On 12 December 1936, a corresponding works order was
issued for the Wellington.
In addition to the prototype, refinement of the Wellington's design
was influenced by the issuing of Specifications B.1/35 and B.1/35 ,
the latter of which had led to the parallel development of a larger
bomber aircraft, the
Vickers Warwick . According to Andrews, the
Wellington was practically redesigned to form the first production
model of the aircraft, during which extensive details attributed to
the Warwick were added, such as the deepening of the fuselage, the
lengthening of the nose, a reshaped horizontal tail unit, and an
increased crew complement for four to five members. Other changes
made included the adoption of a retractable tailwheel and
constant-speed propellers ; the
Air Ministry also requested the
adoption of a Nash L4212 subsequently participated in an intensive
flight program. Flight trials with L4212 confirmed the aerodynamic
stability initially encountered by K4049, but also revealed the
aircraft to be nose-heavy during dives, which was attributed to the
redesigned elevator. Accordingly, modifications, including the
interlinked of the flaps and the elevator trim tabs , were
successfully trialled on L4212 to resolve the issue.
Wellington Mark X HE239 of No.428 Sqn. RCAF. It completed its
bomb run despite losing the rear turret and then flew back home for a
successful landing with its bomb bay doors stuck open due to lack of
In August 1936, an initial order for 180 Wellington Mk I aircraft,
powered by a pair of 1,050 hp (780 kW)
Bristol Pegasus radial engines
, was received by Vickers; it had been placed so rapidly that the
order occurred prior to the first meeting intended to decide the
details of the production aircraft. In October 1937, another order
for a further 100 Wellington Mk Is, produced by the Gloster Aircraft
Company , was issued; it was followed by an order for 100 Wellington
Mk II aircraft, which were instead powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce
Merlin X V12 engines . Yet another order was placed for 64
Wellingtons produced by
Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft
Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft . With this
flurry of order and production having been assured by the end of 1937,
Vickers set about simplifying the manufacturing process of the
aircraft and announced a target of building one Wellington per day.
Construction took longer to build due to the geodesic fuselage in
comparison to other designs using monocoque approach, leading to
criticism of the Wellington. In particular, it was difficult to cut
holes in the fuselage for access or equipment fixtures; to aid
Leigh light was deployed through the mounting for
the absent FN9 ventral turret . In the late 1930s, Vickers built
Wellingtons at a rate of one per day at
Weybridge and 50 a month at
North Wales . Many of the employees on the production
lines were only semi-skilled and new to aircraft construction. Peak
wartime production in 1942 saw monthly rates of 70 at Weybridge, 130
at Broughton and 102 at
Blackpool . Shadow factories were set up to
produce parts for the Wellington all over the British Isles.
In October 1943, as a propaganda and morale-boosting exercise,
workers at Broughton gave up their weekend to build Wellington number
LN514 rushed by the clock. The bomber was assembled in 23 hours 50
minutes, and took off after 24 hours 48 minutes, beating the record of
48 hours set by a factory in California. Each Wellington was usually
built within 60 hours. It was filmed for the Ministry of Information
for a newsreel Worker's Week-End, and was broadcast in both Britain
and America. It was the first time in the world that a British
aircraft manufacturer had attempted such a feat with a metal aircraft
of this scale.
A total of 180 Wellington Mk I aircraft were built; 150 for the RAF
and 30 for the Royal
New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) (which were
transferred to the RAF on the outbreak of war and used by 75 Squadron
). In October 1938, the Mk I entered service with 9 Squadron . The
Wellington was initially outnumbered by the
Handley Page Hampden
Handley Page Hampden (also
ordered by the Ministry to B.9/32) and the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
(to B.34/3 for a 'night' bomber) but outlasted both rival aircraft in
service. The Wellington went on to be built in 16 separate variants,
in addition to two training conversions after the war. The number of
Wellingtons built totalled 11,461 of all versions, a greater quantity
produced than any other British bomber. On 13 October 1945, the last
Wellington to be produced rolled out.
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it .
The Wellington Mk I was quickly superseded by several successive
variants featuring various improvements. Improvements to the turrets
and the strengthening of the undercarriage quickly resulted in the
Wellington Mk IA. According to Andrews, the IA model bore more
similarities to the later Wellington Mk II than to its Mk I
predecessor. Due to armament difficulties encountered that left the
Wellington with weaker than intended defenses, the Wellington Mk IB
was proposed for trials, but appears to have been unbuilt. Further
development of various aspects of the aircraft, such as the hydraulics
and electrical systems, along with a revision of the ventral turret
gun, led to the Wellington Mk IC.
In January 1938, design work on what would become the Wellington Mk
II formally commenced. The principal change on this model was the
adoption of the Merlin engine in place of the Pegasus XVIII; other
modifications included hydraulic and oxygen system revisions along
with the installation of cabin heating and an astrodome . On 3 March
1939, L4250, the prototype Mk II, performed its maiden flight; this
had been delayed due to production delays of its Merlin X engines.
Stability and balance issues were encountered during flight tests of
the prototype, resulting in further changes such as the enlargement of
the tailplane. By late 1939, the Mk II was capable of delivering
superior performance to the Mk IC, such as higher cruising and top
speeds, increased all-up weight or alternatively greater range, and a
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it .
The tail turret of a Wellington, 1942
Vickers Wellington was a twin-engined long-range medium bomber ,
initially powered by a pair of
Bristol Pegasus radial engines , which
drove a pair of de Havilland two-pitch propellers . Various different
engines and propeller configurations were used on different variants
of the aircraft, which included several models of both the Bristol
Hercules and the iconic
Rolls-Royce Merlin engines. Recognisable
characteristics of the Wellington include the high aspect ratio of its
tapered wing , the depth of its fuselage, and the use of a tall single
vertical stabiliser on its tail unit, which reportedly aided in
recognition of the type.
The Wellington typically had a crew of five. The bomb-aimer was
located within the aircraft's nose. The Wellington could be fitted
with dual flight controls, and specialised dual-control conversion
sets were developed for the purpose of performing training upon the
type. The cockpit also contained provisions for heating and de-icing
equipment, which was introduced on later models of the Wellington.
The Wellington Mk I had a maximum offensive bomb load of 4,500 lb
(2,000 kg), more than one-fifth of the overall aircraft's 21,000 lb
(9,500 kg) all-up weight. Additional munitions and an expanded
bombing capacity were a recurring change made in many of the
subsequent variants of the Wellington developed during the war,
including the carrying of ever-larger bombs. A crew member
inside a Wellington
Defensive armaments comprised the forward and tail turret gun
positions, along with a retractable revolving ventral turret. Due to
the high cruising speeds of the Wellington, it had been realised that
fully enclosed turrets, as opposed to semi-enclosed or exposed
turrets, would be necessary; the turrets were also power-operated in
order to traverse with the speed and manoeuvrability necessary to keep
up with the new generations of opposing fighter aircraft. Due to the
specialised nature of increasingly advanced turrets, these were
treated as ancillary equipment, being designed and supplied
independently and replacing Vickers' own turrets developed for the
aircraft. The turrets initially used a
Nash & Thompson control unit,
while each position was equipped with a pair of .303 in (7.7 mm)
Browning machine guns . On many Wellington variants, the
Vickers-built ventral turret of the Mk I was replaced by a Nash the
linen, treated with layers of dope , formed the outer skin of the
aircraft. The construction proved to be compatible with significant
adaptations and alterations including greater all-up weight, larger
bombs, tropicalisation, and the addition of long-range fuel tanks.
The metal lattice gave the structure considerable strength, with any
single stringer able to support a portion of load from the opposite
side of the aircraft. Heavily damaged or destroyed beams on one side
could still leave the aircraft structure viable; as a result,
Wellingtons with huge areas of framework missing were often able to
return home when other types would not have survived, leading to
stories of the aircraft's 'invulnerability'. The effect was enhanced
by the fabric skin occasionally burning off leaving the naked frames
exposed. A further advantage of the geodesic construction of the wings
was its enabling of a unique method for housing the fuel, with each
wing containing three fuel tanks within the unobstructed space
provided between the front and rear spars outboard of the engines.
A Wellington DWI Mark II HX682 of No. 1 General Reconnaissance
Unit. Note the magnetic field generator to detonate naval mines at
On 3 September 1939, the eve of the outbreak of the Second World War,
No. 3 Group of
Bomber Command comprised eight squadrons (No. 9 , No.
37 , No. 37 No. 38 , No. 99 , No. 115 and No. 149 Squadrons ),
alongside two reserve squadrons (No. 214 and No. 215 squadrons ), that
were equipped with a mixture of Wellington Mk I and Mk IA aircraft.
On 4 September 1939, less than 24 hours after the commencement of
hostility, a total of 14 Wellingtons of No. 9 and No. 149 Squadrons,
alongside a number of
Bristol Blenheim aircraft, performed the first
RAF bombing raid of the war, targeting German shipping at Brunsbüttel
. The bombing of the harbour itself had not been permitted by the
Chamberlain War Cabinet for fear of injuring civilians. The
effectiveness of the raid was diminished by a combination of poor
weather and high amounts of anti-aircraft fire. During this opening
raid, a pair of Wellingtons became the first aircraft to be lost on
the Western Front .
On 3 December 1939, 24 Wellingtons of No. 38, No. 115 and No. 147
Squadrons attacked the German fleet moored at
Heligoland . The bombing
commenced from high altitude and, while results of the bombing itself
proved negligible in terms of damage, the ability of a formation of
Wellingtons to adequately penetrate strongly defended hostile airspace
was validated. On 14 December 1939, 12 Wellingtons of No. 99 Squadron
conducted a low-level raid upon German shipping at the Schillig Roads
Wilhelmshaven . Encountering enemy fire from warships, flak , and
Luftwaffe aircraft, the Wellington formation lost five aircraft, along
with another that crashed near its base, while only one enemy fighter
On 18 December 1939, 24 Wellingtons of No. 9, No. 37 and No. 149
Squadrons participated in the Battle of the
Heligoland Bight against
the German fleet and naval bases in both the
Schillig Roads and
Wilhelmshaven. The Wellingtons were unable to deploy their bombs as
all vessels were in harbour, thus restrictions on endangering
civilians prevented their engagement. Having been alerted by radar ,
Luftwaffe fighter aircraft intercepted the incoming bombers near to
Heligoland and continuously attacked the formation much of the way
home. In total, 12 of the bombers were destroyed and a further three
were badly damaged, defensive fire from the turrets downed four
aircraft. Wellington GR Mk XIII showing anti-submarine radar
The action at
Heligoland highlighted the Wellington's vulnerability
to attacking fighters, possessing neither self-sealing fuel tanks nor
sufficient defensive armament. In particular, while the nose and tail
turrets protected against attacks from the front and rear, the
Wellington had no defences against attacks from the beam and above, as
it had not been believed that such attacks were possible owing to the
high speed of aircraft involved. As a consequence of the losses
taken, the tactic of unescorted day bombing was abandoned, and Bomber
Command decided to use the Wellington force to attack German
communications and industrial targets instead.
Another key decision made was to switch the Wellington to night
operations; on 25 August 1940, the type participated in the first
night raid on
Berlin . During the First 1,000 bomber raid on
conducted on 30 May 1942, 599 out of 1,046 RAF aircraft dispatched
were Wellingtons; of these, 101 were flown by Polish aircrews. During
Bomber Command, Wellingtons flew a total of 47,409
operations, dropped 41,823 tons (37,941 tonnes) of bombs and lost
1,332 aircraft in action.
In one high-profile incident, a German Bf 110 night-fighter attacked
a Wellington returning from an attack on
Münster , causing a fire at
the rear of the starboard engine. Co-pilot Sergeant James Allen Ward
climbed out of the fuselage, kicked holes in the doped fabric of the
wing for foot and hand holds to reach the starboard engine and
smothered the burning upper wing covering. He and the aircraft
returned home safely and Ward was awarded the
Victoria Cross .
The Wellington was also adopted by
Coastal Command , in which it
contributed to the
Battle of the Atlantic
Battle of the Atlantic . It was used to carry out
anti-submarine duties; on 6 July 1942, a Wellington sank its first
enemy vessel. Specialised DWI variants were developed fitted with a 48
ft (14.63 m) diameter metal hoop were used for exploding enemy mines
by generating a powerful magnetic field as it passed over them. In
1944, Wellingtons of
Coastal Command were deployed to
performed various support duties during the British intervention in
Greek Civil War . A few Wellingtons were operated by the Hellenic
Air Force . A captured Wellington Mk.IC L7842 in Luftwaffe
service, probably at
Rechlin-Lärz Airfield , circa 1941
While the Wellington was superseded in the
European Theatre , it
remained in operational service for much of the war in the Middle East
and in 1942, Wellingtons based in
India became the RAF's first
long-range bomber operating in the
Far East . It was particularly
effective with the
South African Air Force
South African Air Force in
North Africa . The
Wellington also served in anti-submarine duties with 26 Squadron SAAF
Takoradi , Gold Coast (now
In late 1944, a radar-equipped Wellington XIV from 407 Sqn. RCAF was
modified for use by the RAF's
Fighter Interception Unit as what would
now be described as an airborne early warning and control aircraft.
It operated at an altitude of 4,000 ft (1,219 m) over the
North Sea to
control a de Havilland Mosquito and a
Bristol Beaufighter fighter
Heinkel He 111
Heinkel He 111 bombers flying from Dutch airbases and
carrying out airborne launches of the
V-1 flying bomb
V-1 flying bomb . The FIU
operators on the Wellington would search for the He-111 aircraft
climbing to launch altitude, then direct the Beaufighter to the
bomber, while the Mosquito would attempt to intercept the V-1 if
The Wellington is listed in the appendix to the novel
KG 200 as one
flown by the German secret operations unit
KG 200 , which also tested,
evaluated and sometimes clandestinely operated captured enemy aircraft
during the Second World War.
Scale comparison diagram of the trio of British twin-engined
medium bombers at the outbreak of the Second World War: Wellington
Handley Page Hampden
Handley Page Hampden (yellow) and Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
(pink). Type 271 The first Wellington bomber prototype. Type 285
Wellington Mark I One pre-production prototype. Powered by two Bristol
Pegasus X radial piston engines. Type 290 Wellington Mark I The
first production version. Powered by two 1,000 hp (750 kW) Bristol
Pegasus XVIII radial piston engines. Fitted with Vickers gun turrets,
183 built at
Weybridge and Chester. Type 408 Wellington Mark IA
Production version built to B Mark II specifications with provision
for either Pegasus or
Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, although only 1,000
hp (750 kW) Pegasus XVIII engines were used in practice. Main landing
gear moved forward 3 in (8 cm). Fitted with Nash a pilot, radio
operator, navigator/bomb aimer, observer/nose gunner, tail gunner and
waist gunner. A total of 2,685 were built at Weybridge, Chester and
Blackpool. The Merlin-engined Wellington Mark II. This aircraft
belongs to No. 104 Sqn. Notice the criss-cross geodesic construction
through the perspex fuselage panels. Type 406 Wellington Mark II
The B MARK II was identical to the Mark IC with the exception of the
powerplant; using the 1,145 hp (855 kW)
Rolls-Royce Merlin X engine
instead. A total of 401 were produced at Weybridge. Type 417
Wellington B Mark III The next significant variant was the B MARK III
which featured the 1,375 hp (1,205 kW)
Bristol Hercules III or XI
engine and a four-gun tail turret, instead of two-gun. A total of
1,519 Mark IIIs were built and became mainstays of
through 1941. A total of 1,517 were built at Chester and Blackpool.
Type 424 Wellington B Mark IV The 220 B MARK IV Wellingtons used the
1,200 hp (900 kW) Pratt able to carry up to 18 troops. Wellington C
Mark XVI Service conversions of the Wellington Mark IC into unarmed
transport aircraft; able to carry up to 18 troops.
Type 487 Wellington T Mark XVII Service conversions of the
Wellington bomber into training aircraft with Air Intercept radar;
powered by two
Bristol Hercules XVII radial piston engines. Type 490
Wellington T Mark XVIII Production version. Powered by two Bristol
Hercules XVI radial piston engines. A total of 80 were built at
Blackpool, plus some conversions. Wellington T Mark XIX Service
conversions of the Wellington Mark X used for navigation training;
remained in use as a trainer until 1953. Type 619 Wellington T Mark
X Postwar conversions of the Wellington
Bomber into training aircraft
Boulton Paul in
Wolverhampton . For navigation training the front
turret was removed and replaced by a fairing and the interior
re-equipped. Some were sold to
EXPERIMENTAL AND CONVERSION VARIANTS
Type 298 Wellington Mark II prototype one aircraft L4250; powered by
two 1,145 hp (854 kW)
Rolls-Royce Merlin inline piston engines. Type
299 Wellington Mark III prototype two only. Type 410 Wellington Mark
IV prototype Serial R1220; powered by two Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp
radial piston engines. Type 416 Wellington (II) The original
Wellington II prototype was converted with the installation of a 40 mm
Vickers S gun in the dorsal position. Type 418 Wellington
DWI Mark I Conversion of four Wellington Mark IAs to minesweeping
aircraft. Fitted with Ford V-8 petrol engine and Mawdsley electrical
generator to induce magnetic field in a 48 ft (14.63 m) diameter loop
mounted under fuselage. They had a solid nose with a bracket
supporting the loop, which was also supported under the rear fuselage
and the wings, outboard of the engines. DWI stood for "Directional
Wireless Installation" – a cover story for the true purpose of the
loop. Type 419 Wellington DWI Mark II DWI Mark I aircraft upgraded
by installation of De Havilland Gipsy engine for increased generation
power. At least 11 further aircraft converted to this standard.
Type 407 and Type 421 Wellington Mark V Second and first prototypes
respectively: three were built, designed for pressurised,
high-altitude operations using turbocharged Hercules VIII engines.
Wellington Mark VI One Wellington Mark V with Merlin 60-series
engines, high-altitude prototype only. Type 449 Wellington Mark VIG
Production version of Type 431. Two aircraft were only built.
Wellington Mark VII Single aircraft, built as a testbed for the 40 mm
Vickers S gun turret. Type 435 Wellington Mark IC conversion of one
Wellington to test
Turbinlite . Type 437 Wellington Mark IX one Mark
IC conversion for troop transport. Type 439 Wellington Mark II one
Wellington Mark II was converted with the installation of a 40 mm
Vickers S gun in the nose. Type 443 Wellington Mark V one Wellington
was used to test the
Bristol Hercules VIII engine. Type 445
Wellington (I) one Wellington was used to test the Whittle W2B/23
turbojet engine, the engine was fitted in the tail of the aircraft.
Type 454 and Type 459 Wellington Mark IX prototypes with ASV Mark II,
ASV Mark III radars, and powered by two
Bristol Hercules VI and XVI
radial piston engines. Type 470 and Type 486 Wellington This
designation covers two Wellington Mark II aircraft fitted with the
Whittle W2B and W2/700 respectively. Type 478 Wellington Mark X one
Wellington was used to test the
Bristol Hercules 100 engine. Type
602 Wellington Mark X one Wellington was fitted with two Rolls-Royce
Dart turboprop engines. Wellington Mark III one Wellington was used
for glider tug, for glider clearance for Hadrian , Hotspur and Horsa
A total number of 11,461 aircraft is most often quoted, notably by
Andrews however, they appear to have totalled incorrectly as, using
their own data, the total is 11,462. There is some question over
several individual aircraft, so the actual total may be a few either
side of this figure. In combination, the Wellingtons and 846 Warwicks
represent over 75% of the total number of aircraft built by the
List of Vickers Wellington operators
AIRCRAFT ON DISPLAY
Wellington IA N2980 on display at
There are two complete surviving Vickers Wellingtons preserved in the
United Kingdom. Some other substantial parts also survive.
* Wellington IA serial number N2980 is on display at Brooklands
Brooklands , Surrey. Built at
Brooklands and first flown in
November 1939, this aircraft took part in the RAF's daylight bombing
Germany early in the Second World War but later lost power
during a training flight on 31 December 1940 and ditched in Loch Ness
. All the occupants survived except the rear gunner, who was killed
when his parachute failed to open. The aircraft was recovered from the
Loch Ness in September 1985 and restored in the late 1980s
and 1990s. A new Wellington exhibition around N2980 was officially
opened by Robin Holmes (who led the recovery team),
Penelope Keith (as
Brooklands Museum), Norman Parker (who worked for Vickers)
Ken Wallis (who flew Wellingtons operationally) on 15 June 2011,
the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the type's effective
prototype in 1936.
* Wellington T.10 serial number MF628 is held by the Royal Air Force
Museum . It was delivered to RAF No.18 MU (Maintenance Unit) for
RAF Tinwald Downs ,
Dumfries , as a Wellington B.X, on 11
May 1944. In March 1948 the front gun turret was removed in its
conversion to a T.10 for its role as a postwar aircrew trainer; the
RAF Museum later refitted the front gun turret in keeping with its
original build as a B.X (wartime mark numbers used Roman numerals,
Arabic numerals were adopted postwar). In Autumn 2010, this aircraft
was taken to the RAF Museum's site at Cosford for restoration which is
SPECIFICATIONS (WELLINGTON MARK IC)
Orthographic projection of the Wellington Mark Ia, with profile
views of Mark I (Vickers turrets), Mark II (Merlin engines), Mark III
(Hercules engines, 4-gun tail turret), GR Mark VIII (maritime Mark Ic,
metric radar) and GR Mark XIV (maritime Mark X, centimetric radar)
Bomb bay of a Wellington bomber
Data from Vickers Aircraft since 1908, The
Vickers Wellington I
* CREW: six
* LENGTH: 64 ft 7 in (19.69 m)
* WINGSPAN : 86 ft 2 in (26.27 m)
* HEIGHT: 17 ft 5 in (5.31 m)
* WING AREA: 840 ft² (78.1 m²)
* EMPTY WEIGHT : 18,556 lb (8,435 kg)
* MAX. TAKEOFF WEIGHT : 28,500 lb (12,955 kg)
* POWERPLANT : 2 ×
Bristol Pegasus Mark XVIII radial engines, 1,050
hp (783 kW) each
* MAXIMUM SPEED : 235 mph (378 km/h) at 15,500 ft (4,730 m)
* RANGE : 2,550 mi (2,217 nmi , 4,106 km)
* SERVICE CEILING : 18,000 ft (5,490 m)
* RATE OF CLIMB : 1,120 ft/min (5.7 m/s)
* WING LOADING : 34 lb/ft² (168 kg/m²)
* POWER/MASS : 0.08 hp/lb (0.13 kW/kg)
* GUNS: 6–8× .303 Browning machine guns :
* 2× in nose turret
* 2× in tail turret
* 2× in waist positions
* BOMBS: 4,500 lb (2,041 kg) bombs
IN POPULAR CULTURE
The Wellington was nicknamed the Wimpy by RAF personnel, after the
J. Wellington Wimpy character from the
Target for Tonight (1941), a documentary about a Wellington on a
raid over Germany.
* Worker's Week-End (1943), a documentary newsreel about the
Vickers Wellington LN514 in record time.
Nebeští jezdci ("Riders in the Sky") (1968), about a
Czechoslovakian bomber crew in the RAF, based on the real operations
No. 311 Squadron RAF .
1942 Ruislip Wellington accident ,
Dumfries and Galloway Aviation
Museum Related development
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* List of aircraft of
World War II
World War II
List of aircraft of the RAF
* List of aircraft of the
* ^ 4× from Mark III onwards
* ^ deleted from Mark III onwards
* ^ Andrews and Morgan 1988, p. 363.
* ^ Murray 2012,
* ^ "Remembering Rex Pierson". Flight and Aircraft Engineer. LXII
(2287): 651. 21 November 1952. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
* ^ A B C D E F G Andrews 1967, p. 3.
* ^ A B C D E F Andrews 1967, p. 5.
* ^ A B C D E F Andrews 1967, p. 6.
* ^ A B Andrews 1967, pp. 5–6.
* ^ Andrews 1967, pp. 3, 5–6.
* ^ Andrews 1967, pp. 6–7.
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J K Andrews 1967, p. 7.
* ^ A B C D Andrews 1967, p. 10.
* ^ Andrews 1967, pp. 7, 10.
* ^ Andrews 1967, pp. 10–11.
* ^ A B C D Andrews 1967, p. 11.
* ^ Andrews 1967, pp. 3–4.
* ^ A B C D E F G H I Andrews 1967, p. 4.
* ^ Andrews 1967, pp. 4–5.
* ^ "Building a bomber plane in just a day." BBC News Magazine, 13
* ^ "Workers weekend" "Workers weekend (video)"The National
Archives . Retrieved: 12 February 2014.
* ^ Andrews 1967, pp. 11–12.
* ^ A B Andrews 1967, pp. 12–13.
* ^ Andrews 1967, p. 12.
* ^ A B C D E F Andrews 1967, p. 13.
* ^ Andrews 1967, pp. 13, 14.
* ^ A B C D E F Andrews 1967, p. 14.
* ^ A B Richards 1953, p. 46.
* ^ Richards 1995, p. 115.
* ^ Jackson 2007, p. 217.
* ^ R.H. Hamilton in Perkins, L.W., ed., Flight into Yesterday –
A Memory or Two from Members of the Wartime Aircrew Club of Kelowna,
L.P. Laserprint, Ltd., Kelowna, B.C., 2000, and 407 Squadron History
1941–1996 – a Narrative History, 407 Squadron, 1996
* ^ Gilman and Clive 1978, p. 314.
* ^ A B C D E Andrews 1967, p. 16.
* ^ Andrews 1970, pp. 44–56.
* ^ A B C D E F Simpson, Andrew. "
Vickers Wellington X MF628/9210M:
Museum Accession Number 69/A/17."
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Museum. Retrieved:
13 January 2008.
* ^ "Pewter Aircraft Wellington DWI page." Pewter Aircraft.
Retrieved: 14 January 2008.
* ^ Murray, 2012, p. 39.
* ^ A B "
Vickers Wellington X."
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Museum. Retrieved:
13 January 2008.
* ^ Andrews and Morgan 1988, p. 340.
* ^ Kucera, Pawel. "Recreating a Wimpy". Aeroplane Monthly,
September 2001. pp. 72–75.
* Andrews, C.F. The
Vickers Wellington I & II (Aircraft in Profile
125). Leatherhead, Surrey: Profile Publications Ltd., 1967. No ISBN.
* Andrews, C.F and E.B. Morgan. Vickers Aircraft since 1908. London:
Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-815-1 .
* Bowman, Martin. Wellington, The Geodetic Giant. Shrewsbury, UK:
Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1989. ISBN 1-85310-076-5 .
* Bowyer, Chaz. Wellington at War. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan
Ltd., 1982. ISBN 0-7110-1220-2 .
* Bowyer, Chaz. Wellington Bomber. London: William Kimber & Co Ltd.,
1986. ISBN 0-7183-0619-8 .
* Cooksley, Peter G. Wellington, Mainstay of
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1987. ISBN
* Crosby, Francis. The World Encyclopedia of Bombers. London: Anness
Publishing Ltd., 2007. ISBN 1-84477-511-9 .
* Delve, Ken. Vickers Armstrong Wellington. Ramsbury, Wiltshire, UK:
The Crowood Press Ltd., 1998. ISBN 1-86126-109-8 .
* Flintham, V. Air Wars and Aircraft: A Detailed Record of Air
Combat, 1945 to the Present. New York: Facts on File, 1990. ISBN
* Gilman J.D. and J. Clive. KG 200. London: Pan Books Ltd., 1978.
ISBN 0-85177-819-4 .
* Hall, Alan W. Vickers Wellington, Warpaint Series No. 10. Husborne
Crawley, Berfordshire: Hall Park Books Ltd., 1997. No ISBN.
* Jackson, Robert. Britain's Greatest Aircraft. Barnsley, UK: Pen &
Sword Books Ltd., 2007. ISBN 978-1-84415-383-1 .
* Jackson, Robert, ed. 101 Great Bombers. New York: Rosen Publishing
Group, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4358-3594-8 .
* Lihou, Maurice. Out of the Italian Night: Wellington Bomber
Operations 1944–45. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003.
ISBN 1-84037-405-5 .
* Lumsden, Alec. Wellington Special. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan
Ltd., 1974. ISBN 0-7110-0527-3 .
* Mackay, Ron. Wellington in Action, Aircraft Number 76. Carrollton,
Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1986. ISBN 0-89747-183-0 .
* Murray, Dr. Iain Bouncing-Bomb Man: The Science of Sir Barnes
Wallis. Haynes, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84425-588-7 .
* Murray, Dr. Iain
Vickers Wellington Manual. Haynes, 2012. ISBN
* Ovčáčík, Michal and Karel Susa.
Bomber variants. Prague, Czech Republic: 4+ Publications, 2003.
ISBN 80-902559-7-3 .
* Richards, Denis. The Hardest Victory: RAF
Bomber Command in the
Second World War. London: Coronet Books, 1995. ISBN 0-340-61720-9 .
* Richards, Denis.
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force 1939–1945: Volume I The Fight
at Odds. London: HMSO, 1953.
* Tarring, Trevor and Mark Joseland. Archie Frazer-Nash .. Engineer.
London: The Frazer Nash Archives, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9570351-0-2 .
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