Obsolete But Willing - Vickers Wellesley


Vickers Wellesley Aviation Art Print


The highly unusual Wellesley started life as a private venture in response to a Air Ministry specification calling for a general-purpose biplane. While several companies tendered biplanes to the competition, Vickers, led by Barnes Wallis introduced both a biplane and a monoplane. The monoplane proved so superior that the specification was changed and 96 aircraft were ordered. This superiority was fleeting however as during the 1930s aircraft design was developing at a rapid pace and the Wellesley, having first flown in 1934 was soon to be eclipsed by better designs. Equipping units at home and abroad, the aircraft was to built to the tune of 176 examples, first joining 76 Squadron in 1937. Despite its obvious obsolescence by 1939 numerous units still employed the aircraft, these seeing action when Italy joined the war in Ethiopia and East Africa. The aircraft was to be gradually replaced as better aircraft became available but the last examples were not to be withdrawn until 1944. 

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