Armstrong Whitworth Awana

The Armstrong Whitworth Awana was a British prototype troop-transport aircraft built to meet a 1920 Air Ministry requirement.

Armstrong Whitworth Awana
Class Aircraft
Type Transport
Manufacturer Armstrong Whitworth
Production Period 1923 - 1923
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1923
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Armstrong Whitworth 1923 1923 2 View

The Awana was designed in response to Air Ministry Specification 5/20 for a twin-engined Troop Carrying Aeroplane able to carry 25 fully equipped troops for a distance of 400 miles, any design should be capable of landing on rough terrain, other requirements were folding wings and the ability to fly on one engine.

One of the largest landplanes of its time, it was a large, twin-engine four-bay staggered biplane with a box-like fuselage, and a three-rudder, biplane tail. The pilot and navigator sat in open cockpits atop the nose, while the 25 troops it was to carry entered through a hatch in the floor and sat in two rows of "bus"-style seats with a centre aisle. It was of composite construction with a tubular steel framed fuselage and wooden wings incorporating substantial hinges to allow them to be folded for storage. The Napier Lion engines were supported on tubular steel supports between the wings and housed in streamlined cowlings with retractable radiators on the underside. The three cylindrical main petrol tanks were slung under the floor in an aluminium fairing, and fed fuel via windmill driven pumps to header tanks on the underside of the upper wing.

Two prototypes were ordered by the Air Ministry on 27 June 1921 and the first prototype, serial number J6897, first flew on the 28 June 1923. Evaluated at Martlesham Heath, control during landing was found to be poor, and the structure overall too flimsy. The second prototype addressed some of these concerns, but the Vickers Victoria was selected for production instead.

Role Military transport biplane
Manufacturer Armstrong Whitworth
First flight 28 June 1923
Number built 2

General characteristics

  • Crew: two (pilot and navigator)
  • Capacity: 25 troops
  • Length: 68 ft 0 in (20.73 m)
  • Wingspan: 105 ft 6 in (32.16 m)
  • Height: 20 ft 0 in (6.10 m)
  • Wing area: 2,300 ft (213.7 m)
  • Empty weight: 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 18,450 lb (8,369 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 x Napier Lion 12-cylinder W-block inline engine, 450 hp (335 kw) each


  • Maximum speed: 84 knots (97 mph, 156 km/h)
  • Range: 313 nm (360 mi, 580 km)
  • Service ceiling 8,000 ft (2,440 m)
  • Rate of climb: 253 ft/min (1.3 m/s)

End notes