Weight & dimensions
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The Vickers Warwick was a multi-purpose twin-engined British aircraft developed and operated during the Second World War. In line with the naming convention followed by other RAF heavy bombers of the era, it was named after a British city or town, in this case Warwick. The Warwick was the largest British twin-engined aircraft to see use during the Second World War.
The Warwick was designed and manufactured by Vickers-Armstrongs during the late 1930s. It was intended to serve as a larger counterpart to the Vickers Wellington bomber. The two aircraft share similar construction and design principles but unlike the smaller Wellington bomber, development of the Warwick was delayed by a lack of suitable high-powered engines. The maiden flight occurred on 13 August 1939 but delays to its intended powerplant, the Napier Sabre engine, led to alternatives being explored in the form of the Bristol Centaurus and Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engines. By the time adequate engines were available, rapid advances in the field of aviation had undermined the potency of the design in the face of Luftwaffe fighters.
The Warwick entered quantity production during 1942 and squadron service with the Royal Air Force (RAF). Shortly thereafter, it had been superseded as a bomber and barely a dozen aircraft were built as bombers. The type was used by the RAF in RAF Transport Command and by RAF Coastal Command as an air-sea rescue and maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The Warwick was also adopted by the Polish Air Forces in exile in Great Britain and the South African Air Force. A civil operator, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), also operated a handful of Warwicks.