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  • Airspeed Ambassador




    The Airspeed AS.57 Ambassador is a British twin piston-engined airliner that first flew on 10 July 1947 and served in small numbers through the 1950s and 1960s.

    General Information

    The planes are sometimes referred to as "Elizabethans", as they were originally ordered and popularised by British European Airways as the planes used for their "Elizabethan Class" passenger service.


    The Ambassador had its origin in 1943 as a requirement identified by the Brabazon Committee for a twin-engined short-to-medium-haul replacement for the Douglas DC-3. Airspeed Ltd. was asked to prepare an unpressurised design in the 14.5-ton gross weight class, using two Bristol Hercules radial engines. In 1943, the company duly set up a dispersed design office in Fairmile Manor at Cobham in Surrey.


    By the time the British Ministry of Aircraft Production ordered two prototypes from Airspeed, immediately after the end of the Second World War, the design had grown substantially. The Ambassador would be pressurised, have more powerful Bristol Centaurus radials and have a maximum gross weight of almost 24 tons.


    The revised design offered seating for 47 passengers and, having a tricycle undercarriage, looked more modern than the DC-3s, Curtiss Commandos, Avro Lancastrians and Vickers Vikings that were common on Europe's shorter airline routes. With three low tailfins and a long pointed nose, it shared something of the character of the larger transcontinental Lockheed Constellation.


    Butler Air Transport operated 3 Ambassadors in Australia, VH-BUI, VH-BUJ, VH-BUK.


    For more information, click here.







    Crew: 3 Capacity: Up to 60 passengers
    81 ft (25 m)
    115 ft (35 m)
    18 ft 4 in (5.59 m)
    Wing Area:
    1,200 sq ft (110 m2)
    Wing Loading:
    43.3 lb/sq ft (211 kg/m2) at 52,000 lb (24,000 kg)
    Empty Weight:
    35,884 lb (16,277 kg)
    52,000 lb (23,587 kg)
    Fuel Capacity:
    1,000 imp gal (1,200 US gal; 4,500 l) in two integral wing tanks, with provision for 600 imp gal (720 US gal; 2,700 l) in two centre-section bag tanks
    2 × Bristol Centaurus 661 18-cylinder air-cooled sleeve-valve piston enigines, 2,625 hp (1,957 kW) each
    Maximum speed: 312 mph (502 km/h, 271 kn) at 75% power with 11,650 lb (5,280 kg) payload
    Cruise Speed:
    300 mph (480 km/h, 260 kn) at 20,000 ft (6,100 m) at 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) 279 mph (242 kn; 449 km/h) at 60% power
    Maximum 1,950 mi (1,690 nmi; 3,140 km) with 7,900 lb (3,600 kg) payload max. fuel at 220 mph (190 kn; 350 km/h)
    Takeoff Dist.:
    to 50 ft (15 m): 3,270 ft (1,000 m) at maximum T.O weight
    Landing Dist.:
    from 50 ft (15 m): 2,565 ft (782 m) at max landing weight
    Rate of Climb:
    1,520 ft/min (7.7 m/s) at 5,000 ft (1,500 m) at maximum weight

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