The third prototype York LV633 "Ascalon" (the first of the type with
triple fins) was used by Winston Churchill and had square windows
instead of the usual round ones. Allocated the civil registration G-AGFT,
it was never applied
Shortly before the
prototype flew at Ringway, Manchester, on 5 July 1942, an official
order was placed for four aircraft, the first two were to have 1,280 hp
(954 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin XXs and the others 1,615 hp (1205 kW)
Bristol Hercules VIs. All four were in fact ultimately flown with the
Merlin engines, the sole Hercules-powered aircraft being the prototype
which was re-engined with 1,615 hp (1205 kW) Bristol Hercules XVls late
in 1943 to become the York II. To compensate for the additional side
area forward of the centre of gravity, a central third fin was added
from the third aircraft which, named Ascalona, was delivered to
No. 24 Squadron at RAF Northolt in March 1943. Equipped as a flying
conference room, principally for the use of Prime Minister Winston
Churchill, it carried him to Algiers in May and, just a few days later,
His Majesty King George VI used it for his visit to troops in North
slowly, first at Ringway but transferred to Yeadon in October 1945, and
the first two aircraft were delivered to No. 24 Squadron for VIP
duties. Other VIP-configured Yorks included those allocated for
official duties to Louis Mountbatten, Field Marshal Smuts and the Duke
of Gloucester. Five early aircraft were delivered to BOAC for the
operation of a UK-Morocco-Cairo service from April 1944 and a further
25 were delivered from August 1945 for joint operation with Transport
During 1945 No. 511
Squadron at Lyneham became the first to receive a full complement of
Yorks, with 10 squadrons eventually flying the aircraft in RAF service,
and seven of these squadrons were equipped in time to take part in the
Berlin Airlift from 1 July 1948. Production ceased with the delivery of
the 257th York to RAF Honington on 29 April 1948. This total comprised
four prototypes, 208 for the Royal Air Force, 25 for BOAC, 12 for
British South American Airways Corporation, five for FAMA of Argentina
and two for Skyways Ltd. One York was built in Canada by Victory
When finally replaced
in RAF service by the Handley Page Hastings, the type saw continued
service with civilian companies, operating in their old roles as Troop
Transports under government contract.
York Prototypes - First
four aircraft powered by four 1,280 hp (954 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
12-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled inline piston engines. Starting with the
third prototype, a third fin was added to compensate for the additional
side area forward of the centre of gravity.
York Mk I - The main
production aircraft powered by four 1,280 hp (954 kW) Rolls-Royce
Merlin XX 12-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled inline piston engines. It was
built in three variants; an all-passenger, all-freight and a mixed
York Mk II - One of the
prototypes was re-engined to accept the 1,615 hp (1205 kW) Bristol
Hercules XVls late in 1943, being redesignated York Mk II.
685 York Mk I)
Type: Long Range
Passenger & Cargo Transport
(Passenger) One or two Pilots, Navigator, Wireless Operator and
Steward. (Cargo) One or two Pilots, Navigator and Wireless Operator
Design: A.V. Roe
& Company Limited with Lead Designer Roy Chadwick
A.V. Roe & Company Limited (Chadderton Factory) and a single prototype
produced by Victory Aircraft Limited in Canada.
1,280 hp (954 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX 12-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled
inline piston engines driving three-bladed constant speed
full-feathering propellers. Engines were mounted on welded steel-tube
nacelles bolted to the front spar of the centre-section. Some aircraft
flew using Merlin 22 engines (which were virtually identical to the
Merlin XX engines) and a few aircraft reportedly used the 1,640 hp
(1223 kW) Merlin 24 which was an uprated Merlin XX. These were not
experiments, but reflected the usage of whatever engine was available
at the time.
Maximum speed 298 mph (480 km/h) at 21,000 ft (6400 m); cruising speed
210 mph (338 km/h); service ceiling 23,000 ft (7010 m).
miles (4345 km) on internal fuel.
42,040 lbs (19069 kg) with a maximum overload take-off weight of 68,597
102 ft 0 in (31.09 m); length 78 ft 6 in (23.93 m); height 17 ft 10 in
(5.44 m); wing area 1,297.0 sq ft (120.49 sq m).
(prototype), York Mk I, York Mk II.
Standard communications and navigation equipment.
flight (prototype) 5 July 1942; end production (257th aircraft) 29
April 1948; retired from service 1957.
Britain (208 for the RAF), BOAC (25), British South American Airways
Corporation (12), FAMA (5), Skyways Limited (2), Victory Aircraft (1).