Russian Albemarle Freight Transports

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Robert Hurst
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Russian Albemarle Freight Transports

Post by Robert Hurst » 23 Jun 2003 10:50


Can anyone give me any information as to what happened to the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle transports supplied to the Soviet Union in 1943.

The only info that I have with regard to these aircraft is as follows:

Ten Albemarles were offered to the Soviet air force by the British Government, and an RAF ferry training unit was formed at Errol aerodrome in Scotland for the purpose of training the Russian air crews who were to fly the aircraft to Russia. The crews arrived from Russia in March 1943, and it is believed that they remained at Errol for the best part of a year, during which time one of the Albemarles flown by a Russian pilot, was lost in an accident. How many Albemarles eventually reached Russia, and what their new owners did with them is unrecorded.

What I would like to know is

(i) how many of these aircraft actually reached Russia

(ii) to what use did the Russians put these aircraft to


(iii) where the Russians more interested in acquiring the Bristol Hercules engines that powered the Albemarle, and if so did they copy them for their own use without a licence.

The two photos of the Albemarles in Russian markings were taken from Amstrong Whitworth Aircraft Since 1913, by Oliver Tapping.


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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 24 Jun 2003 22:34

Hi Bob! has some more info: (3 pics of them at USSR) codes (original serial and Soviet reg), subtypes, ferry dates and pilots etc.

(i) Originally there were 15 planes at Errol one crashed at Kenmore 29th May-43, killing the leader of the Soviet pilot group Capt S.A. Gruzdin (died 16th June). 14 planes left UK between 3rd March and 27th April-43. Two of them were lost in transit, so 12 planes reached Vnukovo airport, Moscow.

(ii) Direct quote: "...After evaluation at NII VVS and LII the Albemarles (called "AL-1" in USSR) were considered completely unsuitable for frontal bombing tasks and were used only for rear transport tasks."
They got civil register codes and were operated by Vnukovo based 3 TAP of ATD GVF (1944 renamed 10 GTAD) , Izmailovo, Moscow, based 65 AP ON VVS VMF and Levanevskiy (Nikolayev, Black Sea) based VMAU im. The last operator still had 1st July-45 two Albemarles on it`s records.

(iii) :oops:

Regards, Juha

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Andy H
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Re: Russian Albemarle Freight Transports

Post by Andy H » 11 Jan 2021 15:44


No 305 Ferry Training Unit (FTU) was formed on January 1st 1943 to train Russian AF Crews on Albemarles prior to ferrying to Russia.
The unit was disbanded on April 30th 1944.
The Russian planes had the topside turret removed(?) and freight doors installed along the fuselage.

The following planes were allocated.
P1385, crashed on landing at Errol and later re-allocated to 295Sqn (Harwell March'44?)
P1455, lost on route to Russia 10/3/43
P1562, 25/4/43
P1567, 3/3/43
P1590, 15/3/43
P1595, 25/4/43
P1636, 31/3/43
P1637, 31/3/43
P1638, 25/4/43
P1640, 4/4/43
P1642, 12/4/43
P1645, lost on route to Russia 27/4/43
P1647, 12/4/43
V1598, 27/4/43

Source: Aeromilitaria (1976) magazine


Andy H

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