Talk:List of Air Ministry specifications

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I took the liberty of arranging the list by year and by spec number within each year. The alternating light gray/dark gray lines are nice but PITA to move around with each addition so IMHO they'd be best left out until we complete the list. - Emt147 Burninate! 22:40, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Organisation of list[edit]

To keep edits manageable is it time to split the list into the various categories F for Fighter, B for bomber, E for experimental etc?GraemeLeggett 20:56, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

To be honest I think the merged list gives a better picture of the progression going on in designs - you can see that the Blenheim and Spitfire were requested/approved in the same year, for example. Separating it out loses some of that perspective, and it's not like we're editing it a lot lately. ericg 23:07, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Valid point, would an (artificial) break at years be effective? My concern is that long table is less "interesting" a break into sections would also mean that links foorm articles could get to within a few lines of the specific entry rather than the top of the page ; the e "List of....#1944" coding. GraemeLeggett 09:12, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Year could work, or perhaps decade. ericg 14:39, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I've tried it by decade, but I'd like to know how to keep the table column widths consistent. GraemeLeggett 14:57, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Page length[edit]

Just thinking that the page length is now getting pretty long - 40KB when I last looked, which translates to 29 pages in Firefox - time for a move to separate pages perhaps?

If so then I would suggest that we do it by period, e.g., 1920 to 1929, 1930-1939, etc. - any thoughts? Ian Dunster 21:30, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Its below the nominal 75 kb for the moment, and you'd expect a list to take up a lot of room, so I wouldn't worry too much yet.GraemeLeggett 14:57, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Getting there[edit]

... well, there seem to be a lot fewer red links than there were a few years ago, so someone else must be interested. Ian Dunster (talk) 13:26, 12 May 2008 (UTC)


Following this move I suppose we should at least comment on wether we agree with it.

Whats the name of the document issued is it "Air Ministry Specification XX/XX" or is it just XX/XX, a specification, issued by the Air Ministry? GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:59, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

There's this quote from the entry for the Air-Britain publication The British Aircraft Specifications File by Ken Meekcoms & Eric Morgan.

"Between 1920 and 1949, the Air Ministry Specification was the basis on which the British aircraft industry designed military and commercial aircraft" which might imply Title Caps. GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:03, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Nowhere in the article (besides one book title where everything is capped anyway) is "specifications" capitalized. They are always referred to as "specifications". I followed the article. E.g. the lead sentence: "This is a partial list of the British Air Ministry (AM) specifications for aircraft. " Fram (talk) 15:35, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


Missing from list is C.18/43, Air-Britain Aeromilitaria journal Spring 2003 has in a list of serial numbers/contracts: Contract Acft 3357 two Stirling transports (serial numbers RG336 and RG341) against spec C.18/43 - Not Built. MilborneOne (talk) 20:22, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

  • T.21/43 - Contract SB27051 one Fairey Spearfish (serial number RN241) against spec T.21/43.
  • B.27/42 - Contract Acft 3401 one Handley Page Halifax development aircraft (serial number SR657) against spec B.27/42.
  • C.26/43 - Serial numbers SR669 and SR704 de Havilland C.26/43 (Dove prototypes)

May need more investigation. MilborneOne (talk) 20:31, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

I have found a reference to C.18/43 in Barnes & James (1989) which makes interesting reading:

Only one true civil derivative of the Stirling was ever built, the 'Silver Stirling' or S.37, a fully furnished and insulated transport for 30 passengers to the general requirements of specification C.18/43; this was converted at Belfast from PJ958, and flown in May 1945, but could not compete with the similar civil conversions of the Halifax VIII, of which 12 were subsequently rebuilt and furnished at Belfast as Halton airliners for B.O.A.C.'s West African route.

PJ958 was a Belfast-built Stirling V. --TraceyR (talk) 17:30, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

RAF specifications[edit]

While a few articles [e.g. Vickers Vildebeest) erroneously refer to an "RAF Specification 24/25" when they really mean Air Ministry specs, I have come across several references in Barnes & James (Putnam, 1989) "Shorts Aircraft since 1900" to RAF specifications, e.g. "specification N.1B (which was revised as RAF XXII after April 1918)" on p.144, "... Admiralty N.3 (later RAF XXX)" on p.155 and "... specification RAF XXXII" on p.159.

Where do they fit in the the scheme of things? Is there scope for including them in this article, perhaps in a separate table, and possibly creating a redirect to the article from "RAF specifications"? Thanks. --TraceyR (talk) 15:33, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

The first specs seem to have been Air Board specifications in the form A.x for the RFC and N.y on the behalf of the Admiralty. Follwing setup of the RAF on 1 April 1918, these were rolled into a single set of RAF specifications - RAF specification Type XXX replaced specification N.3(b) for a twin engined long range flying boat. This stayed in place until 1920 when it was replaced by the familiar Air ministry specs.
They would fit nicely here if we could get a decent list of them.Nigel Ish (talk) 15:57, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
The specifications prior to about 1920 could be added in a section at the front of the tables. At present we have the later 'Post 1949 Operational Requirements and Naval Requirements' at the end of the Air Ministry one, so it seems perfectly fine to have earlier ones at the beginning. Just start a new section and call it something like Admiralty and Air Board specifications or similar. As long as people can find the Spec. then having them all in one place makes sense, even if they are from organisations that preceded (and succeeded) the AM. It will also illustrate the continuity of the whole specification system. Just have a new paragraph in the introduction explaining that the specification system evolved over time.
Incidently, this list appears from my limited research to be the only such list of AM specifications on the web (the others appear to be mirrors of this page) so hopefully someone will find it useful in their aviation research.
BTW, does anyone know what R.2/48 - OR.231 refers-to? - it's been in the list for ages but with no other information. Presumably it's a post-war flying boat but that's just a guess.
R.2/48 appears to be a Maritime Patrol flying boat, producing designs from Shorts (PD.2), Blackburn (B-78), Saunders Roe (P.162) and Supermarine (524). The Supermarine was a four Proteous, 148 ft span giant.Nigel Ish (talk) 22:09, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Just a thought in the 1920s and 1930s the Fleet Air Arm aircraft were part of the RAF which is probably why Air Ministry specification and RAF specification may have been used for the same document. MilborneOne (talk) 22:22, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
I've added as far as possible the RAF Type specifications.Nigel Ish (talk) 23:29, 4 November 2009 (UTC)


I always get confused when editing this article as I expect the specs to be in numerical order! I keep thinking specs are missing when they have just been placed in alphabetical rather than numerical. For example I expected to find M.1/30 as the first one in 1930 above 3/30 but it listed further down. Might just be me but is confuses me every time. MilborneOne (talk) 19:27, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

That confuses me too. To be fair, the article does state "Specifications within the tables are listed by year of issue and in numerical and alphabetical order. Specifications lacking a letter-prefix or where one is not currently known are listed first at the beginning of each year's entries before those with a letter-prefix", but it seems more sensible to give the numerical order precedence, i.e. to sort on alphabetical order within numerical order within year. Be bold! --TraceyR (talk) 22:24, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Since there were no objections, I have started to order the specs numerically, but cannot complete the task all at once. If anyone else feels like helping out, please do: the next year to be processed is 1935. When this has been finished, the aforementioned text will also need to be changed. --TraceyR (talk) 22:19, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Good work, if I get a chance I will try and do some (or at least add it to my long to do list!) MilborneOne (talk) 12:01, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Done. I would be grateful if others could check the result. Thanks. --TraceyR (talk) 13:45, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the hard work. quick look it appears OK, I have some more to add but it was getting confusing the other way round. MilborneOne (talk) 18:21, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I originally organised the tables the way they were to simplify the finding of Specifications, the two differing formats making it awkward, as many of the Specs. are without an alphabetic character. It seemed easier to find them if the ones without a letter-prefix were lumped together at the start of each year, as the tables were originally organised by order of introduction. Also there are some duplicates where one has no letter-prefix and another has, so the other way seemed simpler for distinguishing between them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:30, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
A couple of us found the alphabetical order to be counter-intuitive; it didn't simplify things for us. Since the numbers were allocated in ascending order within each year, I, for one, find it easier to locate them in the same order. The new order also makes it easier to see when there were two specs with the same number, e.g. one without a prefix and another with. The text explains how to find things. --TraceyR (talk) 12:47, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
If the new way works for you then that's OK by me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:37, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Would it be feasible to make the list sortable on the first column, so that a user can choose between numerical order and aphabetical order? How about creating one table for each year, rather than the decade-grouping currently used, so that each year could be viewed as a whole? Any other ideas? --TraceyR (talk) 09:51, 25 July 2010 (UTC)


Re-directs are now in place for all the Specifications listed. To use in articles, specs without Mission prefixes should be Written thus;Specification 21/26, and those with prefixes thus;B.1/35Petebutt (talk) 19:37, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Probably not needed far easier just to link directly to this article as the redirects are unlikely ever to be articles (particularly as any article would be named Air Ministry specification 99/99 rather than Specification 99/99. MilborneOne (talk) 20:01, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


I added {{refimprove}} to this list because it is my judgement that this list lacks citations to reliable sources. There are no citations whatsoever supporting the textual body of the article and very few citations to sources for the specifications listed. This is very disappointing. I came to the article looking to see if I could find either the text for specification F.36/34 or a source for that text, for example at the National Archives. I found neither --Senra (talk) 21:02, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Seems a reasonable call, I have a reference for most of the entries just give me time to add them. Dont have the exact wording of the spec but do you have something in particular you want to know about F.36/34? I need to tweak the entry as it has nothing to do with the Spitfire it was issued to Hawker in August 1934 for the Hawker Monoplane Fighter. MilborneOne (talk) 21:09, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
There is of course no rush to improve the article. In my case, I am helping an editor write Roy Chaplin, a Hawker's aircraft designer, and read in a Sydney Camm biography (note: not a reliable source) that "In 1934 the Air Ministry issued specification F.36/34, for a monoplane eight-gun fighter". Firstly, did that specification really require a monoplane? Secondly, is the specification open for public access at the National Archives? If so, what is its catalogue number? Roy Chaplin was nominated for a DYK today --Senra (talk) 22:25, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Sorry I dont have any info on any national archives files, The Air-Britain British Aircraft Specification File pages 200 and 201 says that the spec was for "High Speed Monoplane Single Seater Fighter" and was issued to Hawker in August 1934 for the Hawker Monoplane Fighter (later named Hurricane). Original based on the Fury as the "Hawker F.5/34" it didnt appear to meet fully the F.5/34 requirement, it wasnt considered for F.5/34 so the ministry took the design as at August 1934 and issued it back to Hawkers to tender. Original a four-gun design it was amended to have eight-guns and a Merlin "C" with a two-bladed propeller. The company entered a tender on the 4 September 1934 and the Air Ministry ordered one "Hurricane" prototype to be serialed K5083 on 1 December 1934. MilborneOne (talk) 22:39, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Superb. Thank you. That is brilliant. Just to be clear, please confirm that your book would be: Meekcoms, K J; Morgan, Eric B (1994). The British Aircraft Specifications File. London: Air Britain. pp. 200–201. ISBN 0851302203. Retrieved 8 February 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)?
Yes it is the right book. MilborneOne (talk) 23:06, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

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