Avro 643 “Cadet Mk.II”
British two-seat training biplane

Archive Photos

[Avro 643 “Cadet Mk.II” (VH-PRU, Ag-25) on display on 5/13/2001 at the Fantasy of Flight Air Museum, Polk City, Florida. (John Shupek photos copyright © 2001 Skytamer Images)]

Avro 643 “Cadet Mk.II” Overview 2

Avro 643 Cadet

  • Role: Trainer
  • Manufacturer: Avro
  • First flight: October 1931
  • Introduction: 1932
  • Produced: 1932-1939
  • Number built: 104
  • Developed from: Avro 621 Tutor
  • Variants: Avro 638 Club Cadet

The Avro Cadet was a single-engined British biplane trainer designed and built by Avro in the 1930s as a smaller development of the Avro Tutor for civil use.

Design and Development 2

The Avro 631 Cadet was developed in 1931 as a smaller, more economical, derivative of the Avro 621 Tutor military trainer, for flying club or personal use. The first prototype (G-ABRS) flew in October 1931. It was publicly unveiled at the opening of Skegness airfield in May 1932, although by this time, the first orders for the type, for the Irish Army Air Corps, had already been placed and the order for six Avro Cadets delivered.

The Avro 631 Cadet was replaced in production in September 1934 by the improved Avro 643 Cadet, which had a revised rear fuselage with a raised rear seat, retaining the 135 hp Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major 1 engine of the Avro 631. In turn, this formed the basis for the more powerful Avro 643 Mk.II Cadet; it was also strengthened and had improved parachute egress. This model entered service in 1935, and was built in the largest numbers, including 34 fitted with a tail wheel for the Royal Australian Air Force.

Operational History 2

The Cadet, while smaller and more economical than the Tutor, was still more expensive to run than competing two-seat light civil aircraft and was harder to hangar because of its lack of folding wings; so was mainly used as a trainer for flying schools or the military. By far, the largest civil user was Air Service Training Ltd, which operated 17 Avro 631s at Hamble, together with a further four operated by its Hong Kong subsidiary, the Far East Aviation Co. Air Service Training also operated 23 Avro 643 Mk.II Cadets, with both these and the earlier Cadets remaining in service with Reserve Training Schools run by Air Service Training until they were impressed as ATC instructional airframes in 1941.

The other major operator was the RAAF, which acquired 34 Avro 643 Mk.II Cadets, delivered between November 1935 and February 1939. These remained in service until 1946, when the surviving 16 were sold for civil use. Two of these were re-engined in 1963 with 220-hp Jacobs R-755 engines for use as crop sprayers. In the U.K., only two Cadets survived the war.

Variants 2

Avro 631 Cadet: Initial version, powered by Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major I engine, 35 built.
Avro 643 Cadet: Raised rear seat, 8 built.
Avro 643 Cadet Mk.II: Powered by 150 hp (110 kW) Genet Major 1A, 61 built.

Operators 2


  • United Kingdom: Air Service Training Ltd


  • Australia: Royal Australian Air Force operated 34 Avro 643 Mk.II Cadets.
  • Ireland: Irish Air Corps operated 7 Avro 631 Cadets.
  • Portugal: Portuguese Air Force
  • China: Chinese Nationalist Air Force - China had 5 Avro 631 deployed at Liuzhou Aviation School during the Second Sino-Japanese War, all of which were lost due to Japanese bombing in 1939.
  • Spain: Spanish Republican Air Force

Survivors 2

  • There are two Avro Cadets flying in Australia (VH-AEJ and VH-AGH)
  • There is one in Ireland (the last of the Irish Air Corps machines, though home after a long tour of duty via the U.K. and New Zealand as ZK-AVR)
  • One reputed airworthy Avro Cadet is on display in the Museu do Ar, Portugal.
  • A former Australian Air Force A-25 is airworthy as NX643AV at Kermit Weeks' Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida.
  • A former Australian Air Force A-34, ex VH-RUO, is on static display at the RAAF Museum in Point Cook.

Avro 643 Cadet Mk.II Specifications 3


  • A. V. Roe and Company Limited, Newton Heath, Manchester


  • One 150-hp Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major IA, or
  • One 220-hp Jacobs R-755


  • Span: 30 ft 2 in
  • Length:24 ft 9 in
  • Height: 8 ft 10 in
  • Wing area: 262 ft2


  • Tare weight: 1,286 lbs
  • All-up weight: 2,000 lbs


  • Maximum speed: 116 mph
  • Cruising speed: 100 mph
  • Initial climb rate: 700 ft/min
  • Ceiling: 12,000 ft
  • Range: 325 miles


  1. Shupek, John. Avro 643 Cadet Mk.II photos via The Skytamer Archive, Copyright © 2001 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Avro 643 Cadet
  3. Jackson, A.J. “Avro 631 and 643 Cadet,”, Avro Aircraft since 1908, 2nd edition. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1990. ISBN 0-85177-797-X. pp. 304-309

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