Designed to meet a British Air Ministry rquirement for a medium-range freighter, the Argosy was first flown on January 8th, 1959. The unusual "pod and boom" design earned the aircraft the nickname "The Whistling Wheelbarrow". In fact, the design served the very practical purpose of allowing for large cargo doors at each end of the fuselage for easy straight-in loading. The unobstructed cargo bay measured 47 feet long by 10 feet wide and could carry a 28,000 lb payload, in passenger configuration, could seat 89 passengers. The Argosy was the last aircraft type produced by Armstrong Whitworth.