Airspeed AS.10 Oxford Mk.I
British, World War II, Twin-engine Advanced Training Monoplane

Archive Photos 1

Airspeed A.S.10 Oxford Mk.I (V3388, G-AHTW) on display 1994 Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England (John Shupek photo copyright © 1994 John Shupek)

Airspeed AS.10 Oxford Mk.I (V3388, G-AHTW) at Gloucester (Staverton) Airport on 2 October 1971 (Photo by Ruth AS via Wikipedia 2)

Airspeed AS.10 Oxford (Collector card images from the Skytamer Archive 4)

Overview 2

The Airspeed AS.10 Oxford was a Twin-engine aircraft used for training British Commonwealth aircrews in navigation, radio-operating, bombing and gunnery during the Second World War.

Design and Development 2

The Oxford, built to Specification T.23/36, was based on Airspeed’s commercial 8-seater aircraft, the AS.6 Envoy, designed by Hessell Tiltman. Seven Envoys had been modified for the South African Air Force as the Convertible Envoy, which could be equipped at short notice with a single machine-gun in a hand-operated Armstrong Whitworth dorsal turret, and with bomb racks.

Airspeed Ltd. was founded by Nevil Shute Norway (later to become a well-known novelist under his first two names, Nevil Shute) and the talented designer Hessell Tiltman. In his autobiography, Slide Rule: Autobiography of an Engineer, Norway gives an account of the founding of the company and of the processes that led to the development and large scale production of the Oxford. (He received the Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society for his innovative fitting of a retractable undercarriage to the aircraft.)

The Oxford was a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a semi-monocoque constructed fuselage and wooden tail unit. Its main landing gear struts retracted into the engine nacelles. It used conventional landing gear configuration. With a normal crew of three the seating could be changed to suit the training role. The cockpit had dual controls and two seats for a pilot and either a navigator or second pilot. When used for bombardier training, the second set of controls was removed and the space was used for a prone bomb-aimer. When used as a navigation trainer the second seat was pushed back to line up with the chart table. Aft of the pilots’ area was a wireless operator station, facing aft on the starboard side of the fuselage. In the Oxford Mk.I a dorsal turret is located amidships. The aircraft could be used for training navigators, bomb-aimers, wireless operators, air gunners and camera operators. The Oxford could also be used as an air ambulance.

A total of 8,586 Oxfords were built, with 4,411 and by Airspeed at its Portsmouth factory, 550 at the Airspeed-run shadow factory at Christchurch, Dorset, 1,515 by de Havilland at Hatfield, 1,360 by Percival Aircraft at Luton and 750 by Standard Motors at Coventry.

Operational History 2

The Oxford (nicknamed the ’Ox-box’) was used to prepare complete aircrews for RAF’s Bomber Command and as such could simultaneously train pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, gunners, or radio operators on the same flight. In addition to training duties, Oxfords were used in communications and anti-submarine roles and as ambulances in the Middle East.

The Oxford was the preferred trainer for the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) and British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) which sent thousands of potential aircrew to Canada for training. 27 Oxfords were on the strength of No 4 Flying Training School RAF Habbaniya, Iraq in early 1941 and some were converted locally for use as light bombers to help in the successful defence of the School against threatening and attacking Iraqi forces.

In 1941, the aviatrix Amy Johnson went missing in an Airspeed Oxford, presumably crashing into the Thames Estuary.

After the war, 152 surplus Oxfords were converted into small 6-seat commercial airliners called the A.S.65 Consul. A few Oxfords were acquired by the Hellenic Air Force and used during the Greek Civil War by No. 355 Squadron RHAF.

Although the Oxford was equipped with fixed-pitch wooden, or Fairey-Reed metal propellers, the cockpit contained a propeller pitch lever which had to be moved from "Coarse" to "Fine" for landing. This was done to reinforce this important step for training pilots.

Oxfords continued to serve the Royal Air Force as trainers and light transports until the last was withdrawn from service in 1956. Some were sold for use by overseas air arms, including the Royal Belgian Air Force.

Variants 2

Operators 2

Specifications (Airspeed A.S.10 Oxford Mk.I) 3




Tail Unit

Landing Gear

Power Plant



Weights (Two Siddeley Cheetax X engines)

Weights (two Pratt & Whitney Wasp-Junior engines)

Performance (with turret and two Siddeley Cheetah X engines and fixed-pitch airscrews)

Performance (without turret and with two Siddeley Cheetah X engines and fixed-pitch airscrews)

Performance (without turret and with two Pratt & Whitney Wasp-Junior engines and two-position variable-pitch airscrews)


  1. Shupek, John. Airspeed A.S.10 Oxford I, The Skytamer Archive, Copyright © 1994 & 2013 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Airspeed Oxford
  3. Bridgman, Leonard, The Airspeed A.S.10 Oxford, Jane’s All The world’s Aircraft 1943-44. Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., London, 1944, pp. 8c-9c.
  4. Shupek, John. Airplane Trading Card Images, The Skytamer Archive, Copyright © 2013 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved


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