The York would be one of the aircraft used by the Prime Minster Winston Churchill when travelling during the Second World War. As well as serving with RAF Transport Command the type would also be
used by British Overseas Airways Corporation. During its RAF career the Avro York would take part in the Berlin Airlift before its retirement in the late 1950s.
During February 1942 Roy Chadwick and his design team completed design work on a transport aircraft. This consisted of a new fuselage with the wings, tail, landing gear and engines of the
Avro Lancaster. However, before the first prototype flight, four aircraft were ordered to be powered by two different engines. The Bristol Hercules VI was to power two with the
Rolls-Royce Merlin XX powering the other two, in the end the Merlin XX would be fitted to all four aircraft.
Flying from Ringway, Manchester the prototype made its maiden flight on the 5th July 1942 and once production started, originally at Ringway but during October 1945 Yeadon took over
production of the type, from the third aircraft onwards a central third fin was added, this was due to the increased fuselage side area forward of the centre of gravity. Despite the
Hercules engine not being used for two of the prototypes as originally planned a Mk II prototype appeared towards the end of 1943 using the Bristol Hercules XVI engine.
The Avro York entered service during May 1943 with No. 24 Squadron at RAF Northolt receiving the first example. These early Yorks would be used for VIP duties. Perhaps the most famous of these was
the third York which was named Ascalon and used by the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. A futher five were used by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) from April 1944 for
use on a UK - Morocco - Cairo service. These were followed eighteen months later when during August 1945 twenty five were dispatched for operations with Transport Command.
The first squadron to be fully equipped with the Avro York was No. 511 Squadron during 1945 and by the time the Berlin Airlift (1948 – 1949) began on the 24th June 1948 a further six squadrons were
equipped with the new aircraft. In all ten Royal Air Force squadrons would use the York.
The Avro York also saw service with a number of civilian firms including BOAC after it was phased out of service in favour of the Handley Page Hastings. It was the Far East Air Force
Communication Squadron based at Changi which used the last Avro York, Ascalon II, before it retired in 1957.
In total 257 Yorks were built with the 29th April 1948 seeing the last one being delivered to RAF Honington.