Beardmore WB.V

1st Flight 1917

At the same time as developing the Beardmore W.B.IV, G. Tilghman Richards, the chief designer of Beardmore, designed a second aircraft to meet an Admiralty requirement for a ship-borne fighter aircraft to be armed with a 37 mm Le-Puteaux quick firing gun in order to destroy airships.

The resulting aircraft, the W.B.V, was a single seater two-bay tractor biplane powered by a 200 hp (149 kW) Hispano-Suiza engine.

The wings folded for storage on board ship.

The manually loaded Le-Puteaux gun was mounted between the cylinder banks of the V-8 engine, firing through a hollow propeller shaft.

Unlike the W.B.V, the W.B.IV was not fitted with a buoyancy chamber, being instead fitted with inflatable flotation bags.

The first prototype flew on 3 December 1917.

During testing, the Le Puteaux gun was considered dangerous by RNAS pilots, and the aircraft was re-armed with a more conventional synchronized Vickers machine gun together with a Lewis gun mounted on a tripod mounting.

Development was abandoned shortly after the completion of a second prototype.

Specifications

Crew: 1

Length: 26 ft 7 in (8.10 m)

Wingspan: 35 ft 10 in (10.92 m)

Height: 11 ft 10 in (3.61 m)

Wing area: 394 sq ft (36.6 m2)

Empty weight: 1,860 lb (845 kg)

Gross weight: 2,500 lb (1,136 kg)

Power plant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 8 , 200 hp (149 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed: 112 mph (180 km/h, 97 kn)

Stall speed: 45 mph (72 km/h, 39 kn)

Endurance: 2 hours 30 minutes

Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4,270 m)

Armament

One 37 mm Le Puteaux quick firing gun firing through the propeller shaft or One .303 in Vickers machine gun and one Lewis gun.

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