AW 660


Powerplant: Four Rolls Royce RDa.8 Dart turboprops 1843kW (2470shp) each
Wing span: 3505m (115ft)
Length: 27.12m (89ft)
Height: 8.23m (27ft)
Wing area: 135.45msq (1458sq ft)
Empty weight: 25400kg (56000lb)
Maximum take-off weight: 44000kg (97000lb) overload 47628kg (105000lb)
Payload: 13154kg (29000lb)
Cruising speed: 440kg/hr (273mph)
Range: 5560km (3455 miles), with maximum payload 555km (345 miles)


C Mk1
All the 56 RAF Argosies were built and operated as C Mk1. Later some were converted for different uses. The C Mk1 could be used in a number of different roles, including full passenger (using standard rear facing RAF airline type seats), full paratroop (illustrated), full freight empty floor, full freight roller conveyor, various air-dropping configurations, casualty evacuation and VIP.

Para role

It could also be fitted out in many combinations of all of these roles. In-flight re-fuelling trials were out carried using XN814 but were never adopted operationally. Extra fuel tanks could be fitted internally to extend the range.

Long range fuel tank fitted to 215 Sqn Argosy - photo by Phil Hosey

"Chocolate Bombers"
Towards the end of their operational life some Argosies were finished in the camouflage scheme adopted by the RAF for it's tactical transports. The troops called them "Chocolate Bombers". I have seen photographs of XN851, XP408, XP443, XP450, XR106, XR134 and XR138 in this colour scheme. There may have been others.

Chocolate Bomber - XR106
Air-Britain Photographic Images Collection

E Mk1
12 aircraft were converted to the airfield navigation aids calibration role and were designated E Mk1. The work required to convert the aircraft was carried out at Watton during 1967/68. Initially they carried the markings of 90 Signals Group but eventually they were assigned to 115 Squadron. Externally they appeared the same as the C Mk1 except for extra aerials on the port side of the nose. Internally they carried extra electronics. At least one aircraft, XR137, also had what appears to be an extra radome beneath the main one. The 12 aircraft converted were XN814, XN815, XN816, XN817, XN855, XP413, XP439, XP448, XP449, XR137, XR140, and XR143.

XR137 in 115 Squadron markings at Gatow 23 June 1977

T Mk1
XP411 was designated as a T Mk1. It was used by 6 FTS for crew familarisation training prior to the introduction of the T Mk2. Externally it appears to be the same as the C Mk1 apart from the fact that it was finished in Training Command colours, the only Argosy to do so.

XP411 at Cosford museum
XP411 at Cosford museum

T Mk2
The T Mk2 was intended to be a multi-engined trainer but the the project did not go ahead, either because the aircraft was found to be unsuitable or because of financial constaints. Four aircraft were converted, XP442, XP446, XP447 and XR136. Externally they differed from the C Mk1 in that they had a larger radome and a double supply aimers window.

XP447/N1430Z showing radome and aimers window,  Kemble Mar 76