Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Avro 533 Manchester I

 Hard to image that this sophisticated design was produced as early as 1918. It flew too late to see service in WW I and, in the event, the program was limited to three prototypes, the first of which, the Mk. I is seen above. This version of the bomber/reconnaisance concept was powered by two A.B.C. Dragonfly I engines. The Mk II received the more reliable 300 hp Siddeley Puma power plant, whilst the prototype (Mk .III) was to have had 400 h.p. Liberty engines but was never completed.

Designed as a twin-engine bomber and photo-reconnaissance aircraft, the Avro 533 was a development of the earlier 523 and 529A. Originally designated as the Avro 529B, the new 320 hp (240 kW) ABC Dragonfly I nine-cylinder engine was specified, but with a redesign in July 1918, the type number was subsequently changed to Avro 533. When the original engines were not available, the 300 hp (220 kW) Siddeley Puma engine was substituted on the second protoype in November 1918, this acquiring a new designation, the Avro 533A Manchester Mk II, and first flying in December that year. An American 400 hp (300 kW) Liberty engine was also proposed as an alternate engine.

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