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Airspeed Oxford help please


BillF67
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Can anyone provide any info on the Oxford T2? I believe 9 were produced, some (or all?) were modified Mk 1’s. According to D. Evans in “The Long Line” Mk1s were used ‘in conjunction’ with Target Tugs for Gunnery Training but no mention of T2s. 

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Oxfords ultimately came as mark I, II and V but before the adoption of mark numbers early production Oxfords used the terms advanced and intermediate to differentiate designate what became the mark I and a mark II respectively, the mark numbers probably came into use in 1939.  There were a lot more than 9 mark II, is the idea a TT2 (Target Tug) or similar conversion?

 

Standard built 750 mark I, Percival 780 I and 575 II, Airspeed Portsmouth 3,283 I, 933 II and 190 V, Airspeed Christchurch 300 I and 250 II, De Havilland 840 I and 675 II.

 

http://britishaviation-ptp.com/airspeed_as10.html

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I did wonder about the T2 as a Tug but I can’t find any reference to such a beast anywhere. T2 is, I believe, not a Mk2. I also would have thought that a Tug version would have been a TT, in common with all tugs of that era? I have checked several references and where the T2 is mentioned, it’s always caveated with the small number built. 691 Sqn had Mk1 Oxfords but when it became 17Sqn in 1949ish, T2 Oxfords appear on the roster.

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24 minutes ago, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

Oxfords ultimately came as mark I, II and V but before the adoption of mark numbers early production Oxfords used the terms advanced and intermediate to differentiate designate what became the mark I and a mark II respectively, the mark numbers probably came into use in 1939.  There were a lot more than 9 mark II, is the idea a TT2 (Target Tug) or similar conversion?

 

Standard built 750 mark I, Percival 780 I and 575 II, Airspeed Portsmouth 3,283 I, 933 II and 190 V, Airspeed Christchurch 300 I and 250 II, De Havilland 840 I and 675 II.

 

http://britishaviation-ptp.com/airspeed_as10.html

According to Air Britain

The Oxford MkI was a general purpose training aircraft with dorsal turret for training air gunners

6143 produced, 3480 by Airspeed Portsmouth, 300 by Airspeed Christchurch, 839 by De Havilland , 750 by Standard Motors and 744 by Percival

 

The Oxford MkI/II Inter. isn't described as far as I can see

75 produced, all by De Havilland

 

The Oxford MkII was an advanced trainer for pilot, navigator and radio operator training with no turret.

2163 produced, 739 by Airspeed Portsmouth, 250 by Airspeed Christchurch, 559 by De Havilland , and 575 by Percival

 

The Oxford MkIII was fitted with Cheetah XV engines and Rotol constant speed props

1 produced by Airspeed Portsmouth

 

The Oxford MkIV was an unbuilt projected pilot training developement of the MkIII

 

The Oxford MkV  was fitted with Wasp Junior engines and used exclusively in Canada

199 produced, 191 by Airspeed Portsmouth, 2 by De Havilland, and 6 by Percival

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Yes the production numbers are different.  The ones I used are drawn from the RAF Contract Cards, which are complete for the Oxford, the cards record who built the aircraft, what mark and when it was built, with some space for comments.  In addition the Serial Registers for the Oxford are complete, recording mark, taken on charge, when lost and whether Category E, Struck Off Charge, Lost at Sea etc. and again space for comments, including when and where shipped overseas.

 

Using the two references gives an accurate serials list and comparing mark numbers between the two lists shows up conversions.  So the mark III was a conversion, while only 190 mark V were built as such, the web page has a planned update to reduce the mark V total to 190.  I think from memory some Oxfords sent to Africa ended up as mark V.

 

As noted early Oxfords came as advanced and intermediate which then became the mark I and mark II, note 1 on the web page I referenced explains how this created the belief there was a mark I/II Inter version, rather than the contract initially asking for advanced and intermediate, then being changed to mark I and II then being built as mark II, with the relevant documents probably having hand corrections, words crossed out sort of thing.

 

Because Oxford production began in 1937 and the change over to mark numbers was probably in 1939 it causes problems trying to count mark numbers, as Portsmouth and De Havilland had both produced mark I and II by 1940.

 

I can only refer you to the web page and its attempts to reconcile the various production totals.  My totals exclude Portsmouth built mark I NM532 and 3 which destroyed by fire in February 1944, most probably before they flew.

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51 minutes ago, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

I can only refer you to the web page and its attempts to reconcile the various production totals. 

The website looks both impressive and a lot of work, but it doesn't inspire confidence when the first figures I look at are wrong.

The figures I quoted above are copied from Oxford, Consul and Envoy File, John F. Hamlin (Air-Britain Publications, 2001) and are correct (at least for the copy I have in front of me) 

The figures in the table in the notes section of the web page that are attributed to Oxford, Consul and Envoy File, John F. Hamlin (Air-Britain Publications, 2001) don't match these, and the assertion that the production totals match across all references is also incorrect as the total quoted in Hamlin is 8581, not 8580.

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(From Wikipedia - I know, hardly the most authoritative source but………..)

 

(17 Sqn)”The Squadron adopted No. 691 Squadron's role of being an anti-aircraft co-operation unit. During this time the Squadron flew a mixture of aircraft including the Spitfire LF.XVIe and target tugs: Airspeed Oxford T.II; Miles Martinet TT.I; North American Harvard TT.IIb; Bristol Beaufighter TT.X.”

 

I can’t find any evidence of an Oxford Target Tug. I can find an image of an Oxford with a dorsal turret on gunnery training so this would be a Mk.1 presumably, but not a T2 (whatever that is?). I can also find several published references to a T2 variant:

 

JDR Rawlings in Aircraft Profiles 227 photo of T1214, (which elsewhere is identified as a Mk2). I can’t see anything in this photo to say that it’s a tug.

JG Halley - Squadrons of the RAF

W/Cdr CG Jefford - RAF Squadrons.

 

As I want to make a representative 17 Sqn a/c I’d like to at least get the Mk1 with turret/Mk2 without turret right!

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There does not seem to have been any Oxfords converted for target towing.  They would have been a bit slow with that much extra drag.

 

The T prefix for trainer, as with the other role prefixes, was not introduced prewar, so the simple Mark Numbers were used to establish production.  Once they were introduced then T2 would be, and continued in the same way for many years, used as a convenient simplified abbreviation of the full designation T Mk.2.  However official documentation carried the full official designation - I cannot confirm that there were no exceptions but would not in the slightest be surprised that such existed.

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6 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

The website looks both impressive and a lot of work, but it doesn't inspire confidence when the first figures I look at are wrong.

The figures I quoted above are copied from Oxford, Consul and Envoy File, John F. Hamlin (Air-Britain Publications, 2001) and are correct (at least for the copy I have in front of me) 

The figures in the table in the notes section of the web page that are attributed to Oxford, Consul and Envoy File, John F. Hamlin (Air-Britain Publications, 2001) don't match these, and the assertion that the production totals match across all references is also incorrect as the total quoted in Hamlin is 8581, not 8580.

Dave, as the owner of http://britishaviation-ptp.com/airspeed_as10.html, some comments in my defense.

Unfortunately, Hamlin's book has quite a few errors. To start with, the summary table given on page 33 appears to be just pulled directly from H.A. Taylor's Airspeed book, but unfortunately doesn't agree with his own breakdown on the preceding pages! A summation of those pages is what I used when quoting Hamlin's totals, not his summary. Unfortunately, I must admit, on re-checking, to a small summation error - the Mk.I/Mk.II breakdown for Hamlin should have been 6231/2074 respectively. Also, I omitted to mention that I did not include the A.S.40 in the comparison table, as this was the sole Oxford built new as a civilian aircraft, and I was comparing purely the military versions. Hence to 8580 total in the comparison table.

One of Hamlin's major errors is to continue the "Mk.I/II Inter" myth. Taylor also includes this and one has to suspect some of Hamlin's book was just taken from Taylor without further investigation. As described in the notes, a careful revue of contract details, delivery ledgers, AIR documents and MAP documents (the latter two curtesy of Geoff Sinclair) shows that this was simply a mis-interpretation. Hamlin's book was just one of many used to provide the information given in the site, most importantly being a review of contract and delivery records. As explained in notes 4 and 5, the basis for incorrect accounting between Mk.I and Mk.II aircraft seems to be a mis-interpretation of the terms "Intermediate Trainer" and "Advanced Trainer".

Hope this gives you a bit more confidence in my site!

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James Halley (Squadrons of the Royal Air Force) offers PH318 (built/delivered 1944/45) as a 17 Sqn aircraft. A Google search returns several images of this a/c crashed near Exeter in 1956. Noel Collier has images of her (ABPic site) and places her with 3/4 CAACU. 
 

I can accept this could be 17 Sqn, handed over to Exeter when the CAACU was formed. So far so good.

 

looking at the images, there is no dorsal turret but there is a dorsal blister, and the side windows appear to be blacked out? Any ideas?

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17 Squadron reformed in Britain on 11 February 1949, in the mid/late/post war designation changes the Oxford mark II became the Oxford T.2, the squadron had Oxford T.2 (T.1?), Spitfire LF.16E and Harvard T.2B until disbandment in March 1951, it had also started with Martinet TT.1 but they were removed in January 1950, Beaufighter TT.10 were added in June 1949 and kept until disbandment.  Code letters UT, Oxford I MP368 UT-Z reported to be on strength.


3 Civilian Anti Aircraft Co-Operation Unit, formed 18 March 1951, merged with 4 CAACU to form 3/4 CAACU on 1 July 1954, where CAACU Oxfords are listed in Flying Units of the RAF by Alan Lake they are all mark I.

 

PH318 Oxford mark I Taken On Charge 16 October 1944, Struck Off Charge 2 May 1956.   MP368 Oxford mark I Taken On Charge 27 January 1943, Sold 3 August 1956.  No idea why side windows would be blacked out.

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Thanks Geoffrey. 
 

WRT the dorsal blister - any ideas? I’ve seen one other a/c photo but it was a very late build destined for overseas.

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On 06/05/2022 at 23:25, ursirius said:

Hope this gives you a bit more confidence in my site!

Unfortunately not, no. Quite the opposite in fact, it reinforces my concerns.

If you are quoting data from another source, you should quote that data verbatim irrespective of whether it is thought to be correct or it can be proven to be wrong. 

You can't take data, manipulate it to what you believe to be correct or fits your theories and then present it as being a quote from a source without this casting doubt on all the other data on your site.

You've done this with the production summary in Hamlin by your own admission above and without any explanation on the website, and I note you've done the same with the production summary from Rawlings Profile Publication on the Oxford, albeit with a brief explanation further down the page but without any indication in the table that this data has been edited.

It would surely have been better to quote directly from these sources and then explain why you felt the data was wrong and give the corrections as notes? 

This would reinforce your point above that you think there are errors in the data presented in Hamlin (and presumably /Rawlings and other sources) rather than introduce doubt about all your data when the discrepancies between the published data and your quotes of the same are pointed out?

A bit like a maths exam, you get 1/10 for the correct answer and 9/10 for showing your workings for how the answer was derived.

I'm sure you've published in good faith and have put a lot of work into trying to get it right (as I'm sure Hamlin and Rawlings did for their publications) and I've only looked at a tiny portion of it, but as that bit I have looked at is demonstrably incorrect due to deliberate manipulation it casts doubt over everything else on the site.

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6 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

If you are quoting data from another source, you should quote that data verbatim irrespective of whether it is thought to be correct or it can be proven to be wrong. 

There are 420 pages of contract card and goodness knows how may relevant pages in the delivery ledgers. You seriously expect me to present those on the web page? The web page is, per se, a summary of this data which was reviewed and checked many times by two people independantly.

 

6 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

You've done this with the production summary in Hamlin by your own admission above and without any explanation on the website,

In this I concur that my explanation here is better than on the web site and Note 1 will be amended accordingly.

 

6 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

I note you've done the same with the production summary from Rawlings Profile Publication on the Oxford, albeit with a brief explanation further down the page but without any indication in the table that this data has been edited.

Hardly 'further down the page'. The table is an integral part of Note 1 and needs to be read as a whole. The objective of such so called manipulation is to ensure that authors data is comparable and that, with inclusion of the omissions, all agree on the total built, just not disposition.

 

7 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

It would surely have been better to quote directly from these sources and then explain why you felt the data was wrong and give the corrections as notes? 

This would reinforce your point above that you think there are errors in the data

Yes, I suppose I could have presented the table twice, once verbatim and secondly with so called manipulations, but I assumed the reader could assess this from the notes.

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16 hours ago, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

Which production figures are incorrect, versus the presentation of other people's data?

No idea, I've not got past other peoples data being manipulated before being presented on the website as the original data. -

 

16 hours ago, ursirius said:

There are 420 pages of contract card and goodness knows how may relevant pages in the delivery ledgers. You seriously expect me to present those on the web page? The web page is, per se, a summary of this data which was reviewed and checked many times by two people independantly.

Not at all, I was referring to where you were quoting data from a specific named source. Whether you agree with the total or not, the total production number stated in Hamlin is 8581, not 8580 as shown on your website, production figures for MkI and MkII are different as well. My view is you should use the figures that are actually printed in Hamlin if you are attributing them directly to that source. 

 

16 hours ago, ursirius said:

The table is an integral part of Note 1 and needs to be read as a whole.

The table may be placed within Note 1, but tables by their very nature are separate from the rest of the text, and tend to be read accordingly. 

 

16 hours ago, ursirius said:

The objective of such so called manipulation is to ensure that authors data is comparable and that, with inclusion of the omissions, all agree on the total built, just not disposition.

That's the rub, if you check your quoted sources, they don't agree on the total built, they only agree after you've manipulated the data.

I don't have a problem with manipulating data if there is good justification for doing it, it's the presentation of the data that I find troubling. 

Presenting manipulated data with no or little information on what's been manipulated and why can be misleading, and if discovered leads to doubt over any other information presented.

Presenting the original data, explaining the changes needed to the data and then giving your conclusions shows exactly how you've got there and why. 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

No idea, I've not got past other peoples data being manipulated before being presented on the website as the original data.

The trouble for me with that comment is the comparison table is at the end of the listings, not the start, the RAF order aircraft data which comes from unpublished sources (apart from the serials of the prototypes and some of the cancellation data) which is not being looked at stand alone. followed by the comparisons with published sources.  Having read the Contract Cards and Serial Registers there is no such thing as the mark I/II inter for example.

 

As the British standard was to usually omit from the production reports aircraft sent for development I need to make a correction to my earlier figures, please add the prototype mark III P1864 and prototype mark V AS592, which are on the web page as mark I, to Standard built 750 mark I, Percival 780 I and 575 II, Airspeed Portsmouth 3,283 I, 933 II and 190 V, Airspeed Christchurch 300 I and 250 II, De Havilland 840 I and 675 II.  Note compared to the web page I do not have the Percival mark V, and have 3 more Airspeed Portsmouth mark I but 7 less mark II (3 mark  I + 2 prototypes + NM532 + NM533 – 7 mark II = 0).  Since I use the RAF census and the Airspeed contract summary card total of mark II built when dealing with the ambiguities.

 

From Air Publication 15965 8.: B—P.N, Pilot’s Notes:  The Oxford I is dual controlled and is equipped for navigation, wireless and bombing training. Provision is made for fitting a gun turret for gunnery training in the majority of aircraft. Later aircraft have no turret structure. The Oxford II is equipped for navigational and flying training only.

Edited by Geoffrey Sinclair
failure to include NM532 and NM533
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Dave, since I don't think I can ever satisfy you, this will be my last word on the subject. I believe my only error is not stating that the Hamlin data I used was to summate his listings on pages 28 through 32 which do add up to 8580, and not using his summary table, which doesn't agree with his own breakdown and is a clear copy of Taylor. I will make this clear (yes, still in note 1) in an upcoming update of the site.

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