Beardmore WB-3

1st Flight 1917

Military Users- Royal Naval Air Service.


The Beardmore WB.III was a British carrier-based fighter biplane of World War I.

It was a development of the Sopwith Pup that Beardmore was then building under licence, but was specially adapted for shipboard use.


It featured a redesigned wing cellule with no stagger and an extra set of struts inboard, facilitating folding for stowage, a modified fuselage that carried emergency floatation gear, and main undercarriage that could be folded for stowage on the WB.IIIF.

Later examples, designated WB.IIID could jettison their undercarriage for safer water landings.


As many as one hundred were built, with small numbers deployed on various Royal Navy warships including the carriers HMS Furious, HMS Argus and seaplane tenders Nairana and Pegasus.

Performance was less than the Sopwith Pup on which it had been based and it was largely superseded by the Sopwith 2F1 Ships Camel.

Beardmore WB-3


Length: 20 ft 3 in (6.17 m)

Wingspan: 25 ft (7.6 m)

Height: 8 ft 1 in (2.46 m)

Wing area: 243 sq ft (22.6 m2)

Empty weight: 890 lb (404 kg)

Gross weight: 1,290 lb (585 kg)

Power plant: 1 × Le Rhône 9C 9-cylinder air-cooled rotary piston engine, 80 hp (60 kW)

Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller


Maximum speed: 103 mph (166 km/h, 90 kn)

Endurance: 2 hours 45 minutes

Service ceiling: 12,400 ft (3,800 m)

Rate of climb: 534 ft/min (2.71 m/s)


Guns: 1 × fixed, forward-firing .303 in Lewis gun

Beardmore WB-3


Beardmore, The history of a Scottish industrial giant-John R Hume.

Beardmore Aviation, The Story of a Scottish Industrial Giant’s Aviation Activities-Charles Edward Mackay.


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