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On This Day

The sixth production aircraft of the Avro 706 Ashton 3 made its maiden flight from Woodford on 9th April 1952, piloted by J.C. Nelson.


Avro Ashton 3 WE670 seen here fitted for icing trials of the RR Avon RA14 engine.

The Avro 706 Ashton was a test aircraft based on the Tudor and originally designated as the Tudor Mk IX. Despite being one of the first jet-engined transport aircraft, the Ashton was never intended for commercial use and was used by the Ministry in various guises for research purposes.

A total of three Ashton 3s were built including WE670, which was equipped with underwing pods for bomb carriage. It was delivered to Martlesham Heath in October 1952 where it completed bomb ballistics trials on the Orfordness Range. It was subsequently used by Rolls Royce for icing tests on an Avon RA 14 turbojet fitted under the belly and was retired in 1962.

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