The Avro Type 706 Ashton was a high altitude research aircraft, designed to provide a means of developing the internal pressurisation systems needed for post war jet powered airliners.
In November 1947 the Avro company followed conversion of Tudor Mk 4 G-AGST, a.k.a TT181, to Tudor Mk 8 configuration[N 1] by submitting a tender to the Ministry of Supply for a new contract, which would cover the construction of a specialist research aircraft. Known as the Avro Type 705 Tudor Mk 9, this would, like the Tudor Mk 8, be powered by four Nene turbojets.
An Avro Ashton, in its six-engined, Olympus testbed form appeared as the fictitious Phoenix airliner in Cone of Silence (1960), based on the novel of the same name by David Beaty, a former BOAC pilot. This concerned the takeoff problems of the Phoenix, and the subsequent accident investigation; it was based on two takeoff accidents to the de Havilland Comet.
- Originally the second prototype Avro Tudor Mk 1, TT181 was fitted with four Nene 5 jet engines in place of the original Merlins. The conversion to jet power resulted in the aircraft being re-serialled as VX195
- Air Team Images
- Aeroplane - Database: October 2013 - Avro Ashton
- Cone of Silence by David Beaty. Morrow. 1959
- Conspiracy of Silence. Flight International Issue 2668 (volume 77). 29 April 1960. Page 610