Airspeed A.S.57 Ambassador
Work on a prototype began in 1945 and the aircraft, G-AGUA, first flew on July 10, 1947, powered by two 2,600hp Bristol Centaurus 631 radial engines. The 28-50 seat aircraft had great passenger appeal, due to its high wing design giving it a quiet cabin for its day. A second prototype, G-AKRD, followed with two static test machines and a pre-production machine, G-ALFR. This aircraft had the definitive Centaurus 661 engines and first flew in May 1950.
20 aircraft were built for British European Airways,and the type entered service as the Elizabethan in March 1952. The type remained in service on European routes until 1957 when the aircraft were passed on to other operators, including Butler Air Transport (3), The Royal Jordanian Air Force (2) and Globe Air of Switzerland (2). The type continued in service into the 1960s with BKS, Dan-Air and other airlines and also served as a testbed for the Dart, Eland, Proteus and Tyne turboprop engines. Dan-Air retired its last aircraft in 1971.
Dec 6, 2009