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British Industrial History

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Avro: 642

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March 1934.
1935. VT-AFM

Note: This is a sub-section of Avro.

The Avro 642 Eighteen was a 1930s British monoplane airliner. Only two were built — one twin-engined and the other four-engined.

As a follow on to the Avro 618 Ten the Eighteen was a larger aircraft but used a modified Avro Ten wing.

The wing was moved to the shoulder position with the engines mounted on the wing and a new larger fuselage was used. When the design was completed in February 1933 it was the largest aircraft designed by Avro. The new fuselage was a fabric-covered welded steel structure with seats for 16 passengers, a baggage area and a toilet. The nose section was made of wood and originally had a semi-circular glazed front, although this was later changed to a more conventional-type windscreen. The wooden wing was designed to use any of the engines in the Armstrong-Siddeley family and the first aircraft was built with two Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar VID engines with four-bladed propellers.

The four-engined second aircraft Registered VT-AFM was handed over on 12 December 1934 and named the Star of India. By arrangement with the Indian Government the aircraft was operated and maintained by Indian National Airways when not required by the Viceroy. The aircraft was taken over by the Royal Air Force as L9166 in 1937 for use by AHQ India and was dismantled at Delhi in 1940. It has been said that the performance of the four-engined plane was poor, even dangerous, due to the reduced wing area caused by the extra "power-eggs".

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