Avro Cadet

The Avro Cadet was a single engined British biplane trainer designed and built by Avro in the 1930s as a smaller development of the Avro Tutor for civil use. 

Avro Cadet
Class Aircraft
Type Trainer
Manufacturer Avro
Production Period 1931 - 1946
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1931
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Australia View
China View
Ireland View
Portugal View
Spain View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1932 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Avro 1931 1946 105 View

The Avro 631 Cadet was developed in 1931 as a smaller, more economical, derivative of the Tutor military trainer, for flying club or personal use. The first prototype, G-ABRS flew in October 1931. It was publicly unveiled at the opening of Skegness airfield in May 1932, although by this time, the first orders for the type, for the Irish Army Air Corps, had already been placed and the order (for six Cadets) delivered.

The Avro 631 Cadet was replaced in production in September 1934 by the improved Avro 643 Cadet, which had a revised rear fuselage with a raised rear seat, retaining the 135 hp (101 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major 1 engine of the Avro 631. In turn, this formed the basis for the more powerful Avro 643 Mk II Cadet; it was also strengthened and had improved parachute egress. This model entered service in 1935, and was built in the largest numbers, including 34 fitted with a tail wheel for the Royal Australian Air Force.


  • Avro 631 Cadet : Initial version, powered by Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major I engine, 35 built.
  • Avro 643 Cadet : Raised rear seat, 8 built.
  • Avro 643 Cadet II : Powered by 150 hp (110 kW) Genet Major 1A, 61 built. 

The Cadet, while smaller and more economical than the Tutor, was still more expensive to run than competing two-seat light civil aircraft and was harder to hangar because of its lack of folding wings; so was mainly used as a trainer for flying schools or the military. By far, the largest civil user was Air Service Training Ltd, which operated 17 Avro 631s at Hamble, together with a further four operated by its Hong Kong subsidiary, the Far East Aviation Co. Air Service Training also operated 23 Mk II Cadets, with both these and the earlier Cadets remaining in service with Reserve Training Schools run by Air Service Training until they were impressed as ATC instructional airframes in 1941.

The other major operator was the RAAF, which acquired 34 Mk II Cadets, delivered between November 1935 and February 1939. These remained in service until 1946, when the surviving 16 were sold for civil use. Two of these were re-engined in 1963 with 220 hp (160 kW) Jacobs R-755 engines for use as crop sprayers. In the U.K., only two Cadets survived the war.

Role Trainer
Manufacturer Avro
First flight October 1931
Introduction 1932
Produced 1932 - 1939
Number built 104
Developed from Avro Tutor
Variants Avro 638 Club Cadet

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 24 ft 9 in (7.55 m)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 2 in (9.20 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
  • Wing area: 262 ft (24.3 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,286 lb (585 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2,000 lb (909 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major 1A seven cylinder radial, 150 hp (112 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 101 knots (116 mph, 187 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 87 knots (100 mph, 161 km/h)
  • Range: 283 nm (325 mi, 523 km)
  • Service ceiling 12,000 ft (3,660 m)
  • Rate of climb: 700 ft/min (3.6 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 7.63 lb/ft (37.4 kg/m)
  • Power/mass: 0.075 hp/lb (0.12 kW/kg)

End notes