The 138 and 161 Squadron Aircraft.

The Armstrong Whitworth Whitley

The Whitley was the first modern style monoplane heavy bomber of the RAF and entered service in 1937. It also has the distinction of being the first bomber to fly night operations to Germany during WWII and was capable of carrying a greater bombload than it's nearest rival, the Wellington. The main production model was the MkV of which 1,445 were built and ultimately equipped 15 squadrons.
(MkI) 2 x 795hp Armstrong Siddeley Tiger IX 14 Cylinder air cooled radial engines
(MkII & III) 2 x 845hp Tiger VIII air cooled radial engines
(MkIV) 2 x Rolls Royce Merlin IV 12 Cylinder water cooled in-line engines
(MkV) 2 x 1,145hp Merlin X water cooled engines

Wingspan 84 feet (25.6m), Length 69 feet 3 in (21.1m)
Height 15 feet (4.57m),
Unladen Weight: (MkII & III) 15,475lbs (7,017.9kg), (Mk V) 19,350lbs (8,775.2kg)
Laden weight: (MkII & III) 22,900lbs (10,385.1kg), (Mk V) 33,500lbs (15,192.25kg)

(Mk II & III) 209 mph (336.3kmh), (MkV) 230 mph (370.13km)
(MkII & III) Ceiling 23,000 feet (7,010.4m), (Mk V) 26,000 feet (7,924.8)
Range: (MkII & III) 1,315 miles (2,116.2), (MkV) 1,500 miles (2,413.95km)

Nose Turret: 1 x .303, Tail Turret: 4 x .303, Bombload 7,000lbs (3,174.5kg)


These pages are completely non-commercial and exist to provide information for those with an interest in RAF Tempsford, especially friends and family of those who flew from this airfield between 1942 and 1945. If we have unintentionally breached any copyright or made any errors, please contact us and we will amend the item accordingly.