The Brabazon Committee in the UK recommended early 1943 in its
report the development and construction of a 30-seat transport
aircraft for the short to medium range. Airspeed responded with the
AS.57 Ambassador designed by a team led by Arthur Hagg.
The had a standard seating capacity for 40 passengers. The first
unpressurized prototype Ambassador Mk.1 (G-AGUA, c/n 61) flew July
10, 1947, with the second (G-AKRD c/n 62) flying over a year later on
August 26, 1948. Finally the production prototype Ambassador Mk.2
(G-ALFR, c/n 5210) was flown May 1950.
G-AKRD was used, from 1951 on, in the development of a de Havilland
propeller; the Bristol Proteus 705 radial; and the Rolls-Royce
turbine engines Tyne and Dart.
In 1948 British European Airways was the first, and as later turned
out the only airline, to order the aircraft, naming it Elizabethan.
Due to the delays during development the first production aircraft
was not delivered until March, 1952. From 1957 BEA started to sell
the type, the last scheduled flight taken place on June 30, 1958.
Most of the sold aircraft went to Dan-Air London and BKS of
Newcastle, the last one sold in March 1961. Last known flight of an
Ambassador was in 1971.