Aircraft Type Photo
BELOW: Vickers Wellington bombers in flight.
Photo: 1940 RAF (Crown Copyright expired)
Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Vickers Wellington Mk III / X3707
(Click hyperlink above for RAF history of this type)
Aircraft Type Nickname: Wimpy (or Wimpey).
The Wellington was a medium bomber, of which there were 16 variants, the first Wellington bombers were powered by two 1,050 hp Bristol Pegasus Mk. I radial engines. It had a maximum speed of 235 mph (410 km/h)
Like the Vickers Wellesley, the Wellington was constructed using a geodetic (lattice) framework to provide additional strength and durability for the fuselage. As a result of this design by Barnes Wallis, Wellington bombers were able to survive and return safely to base even after sustaining considerable damage.
The first Wellingtons entered service with No. 99 Squadron RAF. Later, an improved version entered service with RAF Bomber Command. The aircraft carried a crew of six.
BELOW: A Vickers Wellington instrument panel on display at RAF Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire, England.
Photo: 2010 David Wright
Released by the author under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License. [Wikimedia]
Aircraft Accident Details
Vickers Wellington X3707 was on a secret test flight from RAF Defford.1
Just over an hour into the flight, the aircraft experienced a critical failure of the special equipment on board. The aircraft was then instructed to return to base. However, at some stage after this, the port engine failed. After passing over RAF Turnhouse, Edinburgh, the aircraft entered a stall and spun into the ground.
The pilot attempted to land the now-spiralling aircraft on playing fields in the Craiglockhart [map] district of Edinburgh. However, he overshot the playing fields and ended up in the back garden of a house in Craiglockhart View, near the banks of the Union Canal in Meggetland, Edinburgh.
The munitions on board the aircraft then began to explode.
Although the crew members died, the pilot's skilful handling of the crippled aircraft avoided any civilian casualties.
Aircraft Crew Casualties
All five crew members perished in this accident. These were:
(Please click on hyperlinked names above for further details)
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 14 Dec 1942
Region: Lothian (Midlothian)
Nearest city, town or village:
Nearest large town or city:
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref: N/A
Present Condition: No remaining wreckage. The last remaining pieces were found and removed a few years ago.
Registration or Serial: X3707
Operator: RAF (Telecom-munications Flying Unit (TFU))
Operating Station: RAF Defford
Station Location: Defford, Worcestershire, England.
Current Station Status: Disused. Runway layout visible.
Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields
Accident Specific Links
BBC History: Scotland on Film (Forum)
Commonwealth Forces of World War Two (Forum) (Detailed description of flight and resulting crash)
Living.scotsman.com (Feature by Sandra Dick)
RAF and Related Links
RAF Vickers Wellington (History)
Vickers Wellington at RAF Brampton Wyton Henlow (The Pathfinder Museum)
Hill Walking Links
(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)
Hillwalking (The Scottish Mountaineering Club)
Hillwalking.org.uk (Equipment, etc.)
Mountain Guides (Routes, maps, advice and guidance compiled by Steven Fallon)
OutdoorScotland.co.uk (Directory of Clubs, Associations, and Mountain Rescue Teams)
WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)
Other Outdoor Activities
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Cicerone (Backpacking Guides for Walking in the UK)
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Kayaking at Active Scotland (Various venues)
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Rock Climbing at Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre (Skills Courses and Qualifications Courses)
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Emergency Services Link
If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.
Vickers Wellington X3707
Craiglockhart, Edinburgh, Midlothian