Armstrong-Whitworth AW-16

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Armstrong-Whitworth AW-16




The A.W.16 was created by Armstrong Whitworth to fulfill the requirements of Specifications F9/26. The first prototype took flight in 1930, missing the chance to be considered against this specification, and was instead submitted for Specification N21/26 as a naval fighter for the Fleet Air Arm.

This aircraft was a single bay biplane with wings of unequal span braced with N-type interwing struts. It shared a strong resemblance to the A.W.XIV Starling Mk I, but had a less Siskin-like, humped fuselage. The undercarriage was fixed, undivided, and spatted. The Armstrong Siddeley Panther radial engine, previously known as the Jaguar Major, was enclosed by a Townend ring.

Delays caused by issues with the Panther engine led to the Hawker Nimrod being acquired before the AW.16 could be assessed. Upon evaluation, it was found that the AW.16 had lower performance capabilities compared to the Nimrod and exhibited poor handling on an exposed carrier deck.

Armstrong Whitworth continued to try to sell the aircraft, and produced a second prototype (G-ACCD) fitted with a more reliable Panther IIA engine for submission against Specifications F7/30for an order from the Royal Air Force. However, by this time the A.W.16 was out of date, and was quickly discarded from consideration, which was eventually won by the Gloster Gladiator.

Between December 30, 1930, and the start of 1933, a total of 21 aircraft were manufactured. With the exception of a small number of planes designated for civilian purposes, the majority were sold to China. In the years 1931 to 1933, 6 aircraft were acquired by the Guangdong Air Force and another 6 by the Guangxi Air Force, facilitated by Hong Kong’s Eastern Airlines. Following the consolidation of national aviation in 1936, these planes were transferred to the Central Aviation School for advanced training purposes. Throughout the Sino-Japanese War, these aircraft were not utilized in combat due to their subpar performance, and were only sporadically employed as liaison aircraft.

Technical Data


Crew - 1

Length - 7.62 m

Height - 3.53 m

Wingspan - 10 m

Empty Weight - 1,229 kg

Gross Weight - 1,597 kg

Max Takeoff Weight - 1,845 kg

Powerplant - 1 × Armstrong Siddeley Panther IIA 14 cylinder radial engine (391 kW)

Max Speed - 312 km/h

Climb Rate - 8.3 m/s

Service Ceiling - 8,839 m

Range - 430 km


2 x 7.7mm Vickers Machine Guns

8 x 10 kg Bombs (?)







(Book) Encyclopedia of Chinese Aircraft, Vol 1. - Page 282

Armstrong Whitworth A.W.16 - Wikipedia

Armstrong Whitworth A.W.16 - Alchetron, the free social encyclopedia