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Beardmore WB.V

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 shipborne 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.





26 ft 7 in (8.10 m)


35 ft 10 in (10.92 m)


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)


1 × Hispano-Suiza 8,

200 hp (149 kW)


Maximum speed

112 mph (180 km/h, 97 kn)

Stall speed

45 mph (72 km/h, 39 kn)


2 hours 30 minutes

Service ceiling

14,000 ft (4,270 m)


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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