The Armstrong Whitworth Whitley was a British heavy bomber in the spine-wing configuration, with a landing gear retracted in flight from the Second World War. The drive was provided - in the basic version - by two engines Rolls-Royce Merlin X with 1075 hp each. The prototype flight took place in 1936. During serial production, which lasted in the years 1936-1943, approximately 1,800 examples of this aircraft were produced. The armament was (in the Mk. I version): two 7.7 mm machine guns and a load of up to 1514 kg of bombs. Armstrong Whitworth Whitley was developed as part of RAF Command requirements for a new heavy night bomber. When designing the new machine, Armstrong Whitworth relied on a transport plane of its own production designated as AW23 and on prototypes of the AW30 bomber. In 1936, the result of the company's work was approved by the British Air Force, and the new bomber went into mass production, quickly becoming a supplement to the Vickers Wellington bomber. During it, several development versions of the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley machine were created. One of the first was the Whitley Mk. II, which was powered by new, more powerful engines. Shortly thereafter, the Whitley Mk. III, which had clearly enhanced protective armament. The Whitley Mk. V, in which the shape of the vertical stabilizer was changed and the fuselage was extended. The specialized version equipped with radar and intended for maritime patrols was the Whitley GR Mk. VII. Whitley bombers in the period 1939-1942 actively participated in the strategic bombing of Germany, but from 1942 they were gradually moved to training and transport tasks. Coastal defense planes remained in line until 1943. The final withdrawal of this type of aircraft took place in 1945.
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