Airspeed AS.10 Oxford

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In 1936, a specification was issued by the Air Ministry, demanding an advanced twin-engined aircraft for the Royal Air Force. Airspeed proposed a derivative of AS.6 Envoy, which had some commercial success. The prototype of the AS.10 model, dubbed Oxford, made its first flight in June 1937. British officials placed an initial order for 136 AS.10 in reliance on the reputation of reliability of its predecessor. Deliveries began in November 1937, including the first six Mk.I aircraft, for evaluation at the Central Flying School. 

Resuming the general appearance and proportions of the AS6 Envoy, the Oxford also retained a wooden construction, an identical cell and a retractable landing gear with its tail wheel. Only the engines, the interior fittings and the possibility of installing a dorsal turret differed.

This model was the first British military aircraft to have a scientifically and logically designed cockpit, the instruments being grouped in the center of the dashboard for use by both the instructor and the student. The crew consisted in general of three men and, in addition to the seats for the student pilot and his instructor, the manufacturer had planned the post installation for submachine gunners, bomber, photo operator, navigator and radio. A removable top was used for flight training without visibility.

The Mk.I was a training aircraft for piloting, bombing and firing, while the Mk.II was intended for the training of a pilot, radio or navigator, Star Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah X 375 hp with fixed pitch propellers. The Mk.V, used for the same missions as the Mk.II, was equipped with two 450-horsepower (336 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN6s driving constant speed propellers. Mk.III and IV remain unresolved.

Large-scale production was widely used as part of the Commonwealth's general training program. Production continued until July 1945, reaching 8586 aircraft, of which 3785 Mk.I, 999 Mk.II, 190 Mk.V, by Airspeed, the remainder being built at De Havilland, Standard Motors and Percival Aircraft.

Several Allied aviations used Oxford including Australia (nearly 400 copies), Canada (200), New Zealand (300), Rhodesia (10) and the Republic of South Africa (700). Some aircraft were also taken into account by the Free French, and a number of them were implemented by the USAAF in Europe. He remained in service in the RAF until 1954.

Specifications :   
Length 10.83 m
Height 4.79 m
Wing span 12.81 m
Wing area 32.4 m²
Drive two Armstrong-Siddeley Cheetah X with 260 kW (355 hp)
Max speed 292 km / h
Service ceiling 5,830 m
Range 880 km
Crew 2-3
Empty weight
Max. Starting weight 3.450 kg

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