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The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber. It was designed during the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, led by Vickers-Armstrongs' Chief Designer Rex Pierson; a key feature of the aircraft is its geodesic fuselage structure, principally designed by Barnes Wallis. Development had been started in response to Air Ministry Specification B.9/32; issued in the middle of 1932, this called for a twin-engined day bomber capable of delivering higher performance than any previous design. Other aircraft developed to the same specification include the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley and the Handley Page Hampden. During the development process, performance requirements such as for the tare weight changed substantially, as well as the powerplant for the type being swapped.

The Wellington was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, performing as one of the principal bombers used by Bomber Command. During 1943, it started to be superseded as a bomber by the larger four-engined "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster. The Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other duties, particularly as an anti-submarine aircraft. It holds the distinction of being the only British bomber to be produced for the duration of the war and of being produced in a greater quantity than any other British-built bomber. The Wellington remained as first-line equipment when the war ended, although it had been increasing relegated to secondary roles. The Wellington was one of two bombers named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the other being the Vickers Wellesley.

A larger heavy bomber aircraft designed to Specification B.1/35, the Vickers Warwick, was developed in parallel with the Wellington; the two aircraft shared around 85% of their structural components. Many elements of the Wellington were also reused in a civil derivative, the Vickers VC.1 Viking.

Sources[]

  1. Andrews, C.F and E.B. Morgan. Vickers Aircraft since 1908. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-815-1.
  2. Murray, Dr. Iain Vickers Wellington Manual. Haynes, 2012. ISBN 978-0-85733-230-1.

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