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Airspeed AS65 Consul

A successful civil conversion of the Oxford, meeting a post-war need for a light civil transport aircraft.
Airspeed AS65 Consul prototype air to air Air-to-air photograph of the prototype Consul G-AGVY in the standard blue and gold colour scheme.

 

The Airspeed AS.6 Consul was a six-passenger / 8-seat civil conversion of the Airspeed AS.10 Oxford with the prototype (G-AGVY - previously V3679) flying in March 1946.

 

The Consul also featured additional cabin windows and baggage space in an elongated nose.

 

Airspeed carried out 162 conversions at their works in both Portsmouth and Christchurch, with 46 other Oxford aircraft also being re-registered for civil use.

 

The second conversion (G-AHEF) was retained by Airspeed themselves for company use, with the remainder being sold to civil and military customers world-wide.  Additionally, a number were engaged in 'Executive Use' by major corporations and companies.  

 

Some Consul aircraft were supplied for military use with operators including Burma, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, Turkey and Mexico.  Those that found military use were often operated in a VIP transport role although a small number were converted to Trainers by the Israeli Air Force.

 

Airspeed AS65 Consul G-AIDX Air to air photograph of Airspeed AS65 Consul G-AIDX.

 

The Airspeed Consul was widely used by the smaller British charter airlines such as Morton Air Services, Chartair Ltd, Westminster Airways, and Air Enterprises Ltd as well as a number of other long-vanished concerns.

 

The aircraft was also widely exported, finding customers in Belgium, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, East Africa and Canada.

 

The type was also the first to be operated by Malayan Airlines, forerunner of both Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.  One aircraft (G-AKCW / VX587) was also used for the flight test of Alvis Leonides engines.

 

One aircraft (G-AJWR) was demonstrated in an Air Ambulance configuration with a stretcher door in the port side and was sold to French Indo-China.

 

Whilst a number of Oxfords survive today, the Consul was not so fortunate although one airframe (G-AIKR) is currently being restored to Oxford status by the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum.  This leaves just a single example Consul (VR-SCD) which has been restored to Malayan Airlines livery and is on display in Singapore. 

 
Airspeed AS65 Consul MC-ABA Airspeed AS65 Consul MC-ABA; this aircraft later became G-AJAX.

Specification

Powerplant               Two 395 hp AS Cheetah 10 engines
Span 53 ft 4 in
Maximum Weight 8,250 lb
Capacity Two crew and 6 passengers
Maximum Speed 190 mph 
Cruising speed 156 mph
Endurance / Range  900 miles

Number built

162  All civilian conversions from Airspeed Oxfords

Survivors

AS.6 Consul
(VR-SCD)  
G-AIKR is due to be returned to Oxford configuration by the RNZAF Museum.
VR-SCD (formerly G-AJLR) is believed to be restored and on display in Singapore