Although superficially similar to the Wellington bomber which it was based upon, the Vickers Warwick was a larger development built for a multitude of different roles. It shared its predecessor's famed geodetic construction pioneered by Barnes Wallis and despite the original intention of producing it as a bomber, it was actually employed mostly in the air-sea rescue, maritime reconnaissance, and transport roles although a small number of initial examples were indeed built as such but eventually used for testing and trials. During the war, Warwicks saw extensive service with RAF Coastal Command in the above-mentioned roles, rescue aircraft were even equipped with an innovative parachute-dropped lifeboat designed by Uffa Fox. Warwicks were responsible with rescuing crews from bombing missions as well as gliders during the Arnhem airborne landings. Production ended post-war with civil versions also used by the BOAC.
The prototype Vickers 284 had its maiden flight on 13 August 1939 powered by the notoriously unreliable Rolls-Royce Vulture engine which was eventually substituted by Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasps in the initial production bomber version, the B.1. Conversions of these into rescue aircraft resulted in the ASR.1 and later, the new-build ASR.IV . Reconnaissance variants began with the GR.II and, especially, the GR.V which had ASV radar, and Leigh Light, and anti-submarine armament (these versions were powered by Bristol Centaurus engines while the GR.VI reverted to Twin Wasps). Transport variants included the C.I and C.III both of which were powered by Twin Wasps and used for both military and civil duties and could carry up to 24 troops or an equivalent freight load.
|2 x R-2800 Twin Wasp
Pratt & Whitney
|2 x Centaurus VII
|3 x .50-in 4 x .303-inBrowning Mk. II