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Beardmore Be.2 Inverness

The Scottish shipbuilding company William Beardmore and Company of Dalmuir agreed to a license manufacturing deal with Rohrbach in 1924.

The British Air Ministry was interested in the use of metal hulls for flying boats, and therefore drew up Specification 20/24 for an all-metal monoplane flying boat to compare with the wooden biplanes in service with the Royal Air Force.

In November 1924 Beardmore received an order for two Rorhbach flying boats, based on Rohrbach’s Ro III but powered by British Napier Lion engines.

The Ro IV, known as the BeRo.2 Inverness by Beardmore, was a twin engined high winged cantilever monoplane, constructed mainly of duralumin.

Its two engines were mounted in streamlined tractor nacelles above the wing centre section, the slab sided fuselage accommodated the crew of four.

The design included a retractable mast and sails in case of engine failure or running out of fuel.

In order to speed delivery, the first aircraft serial number N183 was assembled in Rohrbach’s Copenhagen factory from parts made in Rohrbach’s main works in Berlin.

It was delivered to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Felixstowe on 18 September 1925.

Testing showed the aircraft had poor handling both in the air and on the water, and poor performance, and it was destroyed during strength testing in May 1927.

The second prototype, assembled by Beardmore from Berlin-built parts, did not fly until 30 November 1928.

While it incorporated a revised fuel and cooling system and a modified rudder, N184 still demonstrated poor performance.

The program was stopped in April 1929, and the prototype scrapped.



56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)


94 ft 0 in (28.65 m)


16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)

Wing area

760.7 sq ft (70.67 m2)

Empty weight

10,580 lb (4,799 kg)

Max take-off weight

13,160 lb (5,969 kg)


2 × Napier Lion V W12 engine,

450 hp (340 kW) each


Maximum speed

110 mph (180 km/h, 96 kn)


4 hr 30 min (estimated)

Service ceiling

8,750 ft (2,670 m)

Rate of climb

550 ft/min (2.8 m/s).


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