ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY – Aerial Target

ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY – Aerial Target The Development of Radio Controlled Drone Aircraft Conceived late in 1916, this was a radio-controlled, pilotless aeroplane intended both for defence against Zeppelins and as a flying bomb. In the former role it was planned that it would be controlled from the ground, but in the latter role control from an accompanying manned aeroplane was also considered. To disguise its intended purpose it was always referred to as the Aerial Target. Its wireless apparatus was designed by Capt Archibald M Low of the RFC’s…

VICKERS F.B.26 VAMPIRE

Vickers F.B.26 Vampire The Vickers F.B.26 Vampire was a British single-seat pusher biplane fighter built by Vickers during the First World War. Four were built by Vickers at Bexleyheath, one of these was subsequently modified to become the F.B.26A. The design was a development of the earlier Vickers F.B.12 prototypes; and was a two-bay biplane with a high-mounted nacelle for the pilot and an initial armament of two .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Guns. Behind this was a water-cooled 200 hp (150 kW) Hispano-Suiza engine driving the propeller. The tailplane…

MARTINSYDE F. 3 / F.4 Buzzard

MARTINSYDE F. 3 / F.4 Buzzard In 1917, Martinsyde designed a single-seat biplane fighter powered by a Rolls-Royce Falcon V-12 engine, the Martinsyde F.3, with a single prototype being built as a private venture. A further 6 were ordered in 1917, with the first flying in November that year. Its performance during testing was impressive, demonstrating a maximum speed of 229 km/h. F.3 – Single-seat fighter biplane. Powered by Rolls-Royce Falcon. Seven built. Tow or three of the F.3 Prototypes were tested and used in the Home Defence activities at Biggin Hill in 1918. F.4 Buzzard – Single-seat…

Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin

SOPWITH 5F.1 DOLPHIN  (Fighter & Night Fighter)  The Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin was a British fighter aircraft manufactured by the Sopwith Aviation Company. It was used by the Royal Flying Corps and its successor, the Royal Air Force, during the First World War. The Dolphin entered service on the Western Front in early 1918 and proved to be a formidable fighter.  The resulting Dolphin was a two-bay, single-seat biplane, with the upper wings attached to an open steel cabane frame above the cockpit. To maintain the correct centre of gravity, the…

SOPWITH PUP

Sopwith Pup Sopwith Pup was a British single-seater biplane fighter aircraft built by the Sopwith Aviation Company. It entered service with the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service in the autumn of 1916. With pleasant flying characteristics and good manoeuvrability, the aircraft proved very successful. The Pup was eventually outclassed by newer German fighters, but it was not completely replaced on the Western Front until the end of 1917. Remaining Pups were relegated to Home Defence and training units. The Pup’s docile flying characteristics also made it…

ZEPPELIN-STAAKEN R.VI

Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI The Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI was a four-engined German biplane strategic bomber of World War I, and the only Riesenflugzeug (“giant aircraft”) design built in any quantity. In September 1914, at the start of World War I, Ferdinand von Zeppelin visualised the concept of a Riesenflugzeug (R) bomber. Almost all of these Zeppelin-Staaken Riesenflugzeug designs used some variation of either pusher configuration and/or push-pull configuration in their engine layout, orientation and placement of their powerplants. The R.VI was the most numerous of the R-bombers built by Germany, and also among…

GOTHA G.V

GOTHA G.V. The Gotha G.V was a heavy bomber used by the Luftstreitkr√§fte (Imperial German Air Service) during World War I. Designed for long-range service, the Gotha G.V was used principally as a night bomber. Operational use of the Gotha G.IV demonstrated that the incorporation of the fuel tanks into the engine nacelles was a mistake. In a crash landing the tanks could rupture and spill fuel onto the hot engines. This posed a serious problem because landing accidents caused 75% of operational losses. In response Gothaer produced the G.V,…

BRISTOL F 2B

BRISTOL F 2B The Bristol F.2 Fighter was a British two-seat biplane fighter and reconnaissance aircraft of the First World War developed by Frank Barnwell at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It is often simply called the Bristol Fighter, other popular names include the “Brisfit” or “Biff”. Although the type was intended initially as a replacement for the pre-war Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c reconnaissance aircraft, the newly-available Rolls-Royce Falcon V12 engine gave it the performance of a two-seat fighter. Despite a disastrous start to its career, the definitive F.2B version proved…