Airspeed AS 5

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Airspeed AS 5 Courier
Airspeed Courier A5.5 G-ACJL, MacRobertson air race 1934
Type: light transport aircraft
Design country:

United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom


Airspeed Ltd.

First flight:

April 11, 1933

Number of pieces:


The Airspeed AS 5 Courier was a light, single-engine , low- wing transport aircraft produced by the British aircraft manufacturer Airspeed Ltd.


The machine was developed by Hessell Tiltman , one of the founders of Airspeed Ltd. The first series machine was delivered in September 1933. Only 16 machines of this type were built in different series, 11 of them AS 5A alone.

The first flight took place on April 11, 1933. The prototype with the registration G-ABXN crashed both in April 1933 in Portsmouth and in June 1933 at Martlesham Heath , but could be repaired in each case.


One machine took part in the 1934 MacRobertson air race from England to Australia. She arrived in Australia as one of 11 machines out of a field of 20 and finished sixth. This machine was completely destroyed in a fire in 1939 on the airfield in Essendon in the hangar of Ansett Airways.

Five machines were bought by the Republicans for the Spanish Civil War , but protests by the non-interference lobby in England prevented their delivery.

A machine with a 360 hp radial engine Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX was used for the Royal Air Force (RAF). This machine with the registration number K4047 was used until 1943. The RAF had a total of ten planes in use. A civilian machine with the registration G-ACVF was used until 1947.


As a special feature, this type was the first from Great Britain to have a retractable landing gear . In order to be able to land safely in the event of a failure of the chassis mechanics, the tires protruded slightly from their shafts. The wing and fuselage were made of wood .

There were different engine variants, the most common was the version with a 7-cylinder radial engine Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IVc with 240 hp.

Technical data (AS 5B)

Three-sided view
Parameter Data
crew 1
Passengers 5
length 8.69 m
span 14.33 m
Wing area 23.23 m²
Empty mass 1,056 kg
Max. Takeoff mass 1,814 kg
Cruising speed 233 km / h
Top speed 266 km / h
Service ceiling 5,180 m
Range 1,030 km
Initial rate of climb 3.9 m / s
Engines a 7-cylinder radial engine Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah V with 305 hp (224 kW)


In 1936, two Airspeed employees tried to steal an AS 5 Courier (designated G-ACVA) to try their luck in the Spanish Civil War, but failed at the start. One (Arthur Gargett) died trying; the other (Joseph Smith) was jailed for four months.

Web links

Commons : Airspeed AS.5 Courier  - collection of images, videos and audio files