Vickers-Armstrong Wellington


Vickers-Armstrong Wellington (27 kb)
A Hercules-powered Vickers-Armstrong Wellington
There were essentially two different kinds of heavy bombers used by Great Britain during World War 2: from 1939 to 1942, the British used twin-engined bombers like the Vickers Wellington, Handley Page Hampden, Armstrong Whitworth Whitley or Avro Manchester. From 1942 to 1945, they switched to a generation of four-engined bombers including the Short Stirling, Handley Page Halifax or Avro Lancaster.

The most successful bomber of the first category was without any doubt the Vickers-Armstrong Wellington, designed by Sir Barnes Wallis, who became later famous for his "bouncing bomb" used by the Dambuster raids over the Ruhr.

Just like Sir Wallis' previous bomber, the Wellesley, the Wellington had a geodetic structure and was fabric-covered. This kind of design, traditionally used for airships, made the Wellington light and exceptionally resistant to enemy fire.

Various engines were used on the Wellington, and its role switched slowly as war went on from a long-range bomber for Bomber Command, to a reconnaissance and anti-submarine search plane for Coastal Command; several Wellingtons also finished their career after World War II as transports.

Because it was fully fabric-covered, the Wellington was nicknamed the "Cloth bomber"; however for its crews, who really appreciated this resistant and efficient bomber, it was simply the "Wimpy".


Development

Vickers Wellington Mk.IC
Engine Pegasus XVIII, 9-cylinder radial 1,050 hp
Weight empty: 8,417 kg (18,556 lb) - with full load: 11,703 kg (25,800 lb)
Armament Two .303 cal guns in the nose turret, two in the tail turret, one beam gun on each side
Ordnance 4,500 lb (2,040 kg) of bombs
Performance Max speed: 380 km/h (236 mph) Ceiling: 5,791 m (19,000 ft)
Coastal Command Wellington (30 kb)
A Coastal Command Wellington, with radar and Leigh light to search for submarines.

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