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Страна Конструктор Название Год Фото Текст

Vickers FB.5 Gunbus

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1914

Фронтовой самолет

Vickers - No.26 Pumpkin - 1913 - Великобритания<– –>Vickers - FB.6 - 1914 - Великобритания


В.Кондратьев Самолеты первой мировой войны


ВИККЕРС FB.5/9 "ГАН БАС" / VICKERS FB.5/9 GUN BUS

  Известный британский оружейный концерн Виккерс одним из первых выдвинул идею вооруженного боевого самолета. В 1913 году на очередном ежегодном авиашоу Виккерс представил самолет FB.4 - двухместный биплан смешанной конструкции с толкающим винтом и шаровой установкой пулемета "Максим" в носовой оконечности фюзеляжной гондолы. Машина вызвала интерес, но не более. Официальных заказов не последовало.
  Однако руководство фирмы сохраняло уверенность в перспективности аппарата и на свой страх и риск заложило в начале 1914-го серию в 50 экземпляров. При этом громоздкий и тяжелый "Максим" заменили более легким и удобным в обслуживании "Льюисом" на шкворневой установке. Самолет получил обозначение FB.5 и прозвище "Ган бас", что можно перевести как "вооруженная повозка".
  Виккерс не ошибся в прогнозах, и с началом войны "Ган бас" был немедленно принят на вооружение. Правда, в первые месяцы боев отсутствие воздушного противника по-прежнему заставляло многих считать, что пулемет на самолете - всего лишь бесполезная нагрузка. В результате первый дивизион FB.5 прибыл на фронт только в феврале 1915-го. До июля самолеты вели воздушную разведку.
  Потом ситуация резко изменилась. Появление у немцев истребителей Фоккера выявило беззащитность большинства английских машин перед этой новой угрозой. Поскольку "Ган бас" был единственным в RFC вооруженным самолетом, его переквалифицировали в истребитель! В таком качестве FB.5 применялся до конца года, сбив несколько германских аэропланов. Затем его вновь перевели в разведчики, а в июле 1916 сняли с вооружения.
  В декабре 1915-го появилась новая модификация "Ган баса" - FB.9, также выпускавшаяся серийно. Она отличалась усовершенствованным шасси без противокапотажных лыж, турельный пулеметом и мотором повышенной мощности.
  Небольшое количество этих машин использовалось на западном фронте и в учебных частях до начала 1917 года.


ДВИГАТЕЛЬ
  
  "Гном-моносупап", 100 л.с.
  
  
ВООРУЖЕНИЕ
  1 подвижный 7,7-мм "Льюис" на шкворневой или турельной установке в передней кабине, несколько мелких бомб.


А.Шепс Самолеты Первой мировой войны. Страны Антанты


Виккерс F.B.5 "Ганбас" (Gunbus) 1915 г.

  Самолет создавался как разведчик и легкий бомбардировщик, по схеме был близок французским машинам фирмы "Фарман". Это был двухстоечный ферменный биплан с толкающим винтом.
  Гондола имела деревянную конструкцию и фанерную обшивку. В носовой части стоял пулемет на шкворневой установке, за местом наблюдателя находилось место пилота, а затем топливный и масляные баки.
  Несущая ферма имела смешанную конструкцию. Пояса фермы выполнялись из стальных труб, а стойки были деревянные. Растяжки фермы и бипланной коробки - стальной трос. Крыло двухлонжеронное, цельнодеревянной конструкции. Обтяжка - полотно. Крыло оборудовалось элеронами. Стойки бипланной коробки выполнялись из дерева. Горизонтальное оперение устанавливалось по верхнему поясу ферм, имело цельнодеревянную конструкцию и обтягивалось полотном. Руль поворота крепился к стойке, соединяющей фермы между собой, а перед ним устанавливался киль. Шасси обычной схемы с резиновой шнуровой амортизацией и хвостовым колесом, двигатель 7цилиндровый, воздушного охлаждения, ротативный "Рон".
  Хотя машина создавалась как разведчик и легкий бомбардировщик, но установка в носовой части гондолы пулемета позволила использовать машину для борьбы с неприятельскими самолетами и дирижаблями. Но к концу 1915 года у немцев появились истребители "Фоккер", превосходившие по летным качествам машины F.B.5, и к середине 1916 года оставшиеся машины были переданы в учебные дивизионы.


C.Andrews Vickers Aircraft since 1908 (Putnam)


<...>
  In 1913, Type 18, the E.F.B.2, appeared as an unstaggered biplane with slight overhang on the top wings and with large celluloid windows in the sides of the nacelle. It was flown frequently at Brooklands by Capt Wood and Harold Barnwell during that year, and was powered by a 100 hp Gnome monosoupape rotary engine. E.F.B.3 or No. 18B appeared in December 1913 with the side windows deleted and with ailerons replacing the wing warping. It was shown at the 1914 Olympia Aero Show. An order for six modified No. 18Bs, known as Vickers Type 30s, was placed in December 1913 by the Admiralty. However, before delivery was effected the Type 18B design was still further improved; the contract was taken over by the War Office, and this led to the prototype E.F.B.5, which retained the semicircular tailplane characteristic of the early Type 18. When this latest variant went into production the tailplane was made rectangular, and various nacelle configurations necessitated by different armament mountings were tried before the familiar blunt nose of the standard F.B.5 emerged. At this time the F.B.5 was dubbed the Gunbus.
  It will be noted at this time that the prefix E, signifying experimental, was dropped. The first F.B.5 Gunbus was delivered to No. 6 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps at Netheravon in November 1914. In it the lighter and handier Lewis gun replaced the Vickers gun (One or two F.B.5s used by the Royal Naval Air Service retained the Vickers gun on a pivot mounting), which, however, continued to be used in the air war as a fixed weapon with the whole aeroplane aimed at the target. Before this happened, however, a satisfactory means had to be invented to enable a fixed gun to fire through a revolving tractor propeller. One of the earliest of such devices was, in fact, the Vickers-Challenger interruptor gear. By this time aviation had become an arm of the Services, tentatively at first for reconnaissance and later for air attack.
  The Crayford works took over the production of Vickers aircraft in late 1914, and the first F.B.5s were delivered from there. Three aircraft comprised the initial delivery to Netheravon, but two were returned to Joyce Green to create the nucleus of the Air Defence of London. The first recorded use of a Gunbus in action was on Christmas Day 1914, when 2nd Lt M. R. Chidson with Corporal Martin as gunner took-off from Joyce Green to attack a German Taube monoplane and, according to circumstantial evidence, destroyed it. The type went to the Western Front, and the first F.B.5 to arrive there was Chidson's, he having been posted to No. 2 Squadron in France on 7 February, 1915.
  In November 1915, 2nd Lt G. S. M. Insall was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry displayed after forcing down a German Aviatik reconnaissance machine while flying a Vickers Gunbus. Compelled by ground fire to land near the front lines of the Allies, Insall repaired the damage to his aeroplane during the night and returned next morning to his squadron. In spite of these and other successes, the Gunbus suffered in company with other Allied aircraft from the unreliability of the rotary engine, largely because servicing and maintenance in the early days were not of the high standard reached later.
  Experimental work was carried out with the Gunbus concept, and the E.F.B.6 was a variant flown in 1914 with extended top wing, presumably to obtain more lift for load carrying, but was not proceeded with. Before that, an advanced project following the general configuration of the E.F.B. 1 Destroyer had been designed under the classification E.F.B.4.
  The F.B.5A was fitted with the Le Rhone or Clerget engine of 110 hp, and at least four were constructed with armour-plated nacelles. Two F.B.5s were fitted with the experimental Smith static radial air-cooled engine, nominally of 140 hp, while another was equipped with floats for operation off water but before this could be tried was reconverted to standard form and flown back to France.
<...>
  A replica F.B.5 Gunbus was made by the Vintage Aircraft and Flying Association (Brooklands) in 1966 to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Aeronautical Society. It was fitted with a 100 hp Gnome monosoupape rotary engine rebuilt from two surviving examples found in RAF redundant stores. This aeroplane flew faultlessly at the first attempt, piloted by D. G. Addicott, a Vickers test pilot. Despite its low power, the replica disclosed good handling qualities and is an existing testimony to the excellence of the design for the requirement of its day, which was to provide a steady gun platform for air offence.


F.B.5 (Gunbus)
Accommodation: Pilot and gunner
Engine: 100 hp Gnome monosoupape
Span: 36 ft 6 in
Length: 27 ft 2 in
Height: 11 ft
Wing Area: 382 sq ft
Empty Weight: 1,220 lb
Gross Weight: 2,050 lb
Max Speed: 70 mph at 5,000 ft
Service Ceiling:9,000 ft
Climb to: 5,000ft in 16min
Range: 250 miles
Armament: One Lewis


O.Thetford British Naval Aircraft since 1912 (Putnam)


VICKERS ADMIRALTY TYPE 32 GUNBUS

  The F.B.5 Gunbus, the first British two-seat fighter aeroplane, made its appearance In 1914. It was used mainly by the RFC but over 20 were delivered to the RNAS beginning with No.32. This resulted in the aeroplane being known as the Type 32 in the RNAS. Subsequent serials were 861 to 872, 1534 to 1535 and 3595 to 3606. Nos.l and 4 Squadrons of the RNAS used at least one Gunbus each in France in 1915, but there is no operational record of other naval Gunbuses. One 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape engine. Loaded weight, 2,050 lb. Maximum speed, 70 mph at 5,000 ft. Service ceiling, 9,000 ft. Span, 36 ft 6 in. Length, 27 ft 2 in.


H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)


<...>
  It will thus be seen that much ingenuity was applied to the earliest members of the family of aircraft which came to be known by the name 'Gun Bus' during 1914. Yet on the E.F.B.5 prototype, the gun mounting was of simple trunnion type, carried above a fairing built up from the shallow nose of the redesigned nacelle. Thereafter F.B.5s had various types of simple mounting, sometimes associated with variations in nacelle shape. The real significance of the reversion to a simple form of mounting may well have been an aerodynamic one, governed by considerations of side area rather than arcs of fire, for the pusher-type of biplane, with its tail carried on booms, must have been especially sensitive in this regard. Indeed, when the prototype E.F.B.5 arrived at Brook lands in July 1914 it was remarked that this 'latest Vickers gun-carrier, which may be regarded as the outcome of the experimental work carried out on the previous gun-carrier' embodied the modifications in side area dictated by those experiences'.
  A small number of F.B.5s used by the RNAS were armed with a Vickers gun on a trunnion mounting and one machine so armed was captured intact by the Germans. Thereafter the Vickers gun was to suffer almost total eclipse as a free-mounted weapon, and the redesigned nacelle of the Gun Bus was an early factor in bringing this about, for the Lewis gun was far more easily handled in an exposed position.
  Various forms of pillar or pylon mounting were fitted to Gun Buses in service, and with the four machines designated by C. F. Andrews (Vickers Aircraft since 1908, Putnam, 1969) as F.B.5A a new type of mounting was associated. This mounting was designed by G. H. Challenger, and for the first time the mounting was of ring form. The ring was rotatable and the gun was carried on a V-shaped frame, to which it was pivoted. The frame projected beyond the diameter of the ring to permit the gun to be fired vertically downward. Vickers made mention of 'counter-balancing springs', enabling the frame to be readily raised and lowered, and also of means for locking it in any desired position. The gunner could raise and lower the frame with the hand he employed for firing the gun and training it round its pivotal connection on the arm, thus leaving his other hand free to rotate the ring.
  It has been said of the Scarff ring-mounting that it was the first mounting which allowed for the gun to move round the gunner, instead of vice versa. This, however, was not the case, for the Vickers-Challenger mounting dated from the early summer of 1915, whereas the Scarff ring-mounting was developed in 1916. As events turned out, a number of F.B.5 Gun Buses were later converted as gunnery trainers, fitted with the Scarff ring-mounting.
  For his original ring-mounting, Challenger developed early in 1916 a quite elaborate balancing system. Movement of the gun in elevation was compensated for the resultant moment due to air resistance and the weight of the gun, and movement of the gun in traverse was compensated for the moment due to air resistance. The elevation-compensating device was a spring-controlled chain arranged between the ring and an extension of one of the arms. The chain passed round one or other of a pair of pulleys, according to the position of the gun in elevation. The spring thus increasingly opposed motion on each side of a certain central position corresponding to the angle of gun elevation at which air resistance was exactly balanced by the weight of the gun. The traverse-compensating device comprised a spring-controlled chain and pulleys, arranged to give a central position when the gun was pointed ahead and increasingly opposed movement of the gun to the right or left of this position. Later in 1916 Vickers developed the mounting by introducing a spring-controlled crank, moving synchronously with the gun.


M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)


Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing


P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)


Vickers Gunbus E.F.B.1 to F.B.6

<...>
  The E.F.B.5 formed the prototype of the production F.B.5, but, strangely enough, reverted to steel struts while retaining the equal-span wings and curved tailplane. Foreseeing the likelihood of war, the Vickers Company decided to put the Gunbus into production in advance of official orders, and the machine was revised to become the F.B.5. A return was made to the wooden struts of the E.F.B.4; the curved tailplane was replaced by the rectangular type, which was simpler to produce, and well-curved vertical tail surfaces were fitted. The armament comprised a drum-fed Lewis gun, which proved lighter and far handier than the Vickers-Maxim weapon. The F.B.5 underwent official tests at Farnborough in July, 1914, and subsequently proved a useful addition to the strength of the R.F.C. Fifteen were used also by the R.N.A.S.
<...>


W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters


VICKERS F.B.5 GUNBUS UK

  Progressive changes introduced by successive E.F.B.3s led to the E.F.B.5 - the E.F.B.4 being a project with a more streamlined nacelle centred between the wings and only two tailbooms - which was flown from Joyce Green to Brooklands on 17 July 1914. In parallel, Vickers developed the E.F.B.6, which, basically similar to the E.F.B.5, had longer-span upper wings. It lacked top decking between the two crew seats and had ailerons in the upper wings only. At Brooklands on 14 July 1914, the E.F.B.6 was taken on strength by the Royal Flying Corps when World War I began, but was not developed. The E.F.B.5, on the contrary, was ordered into production for both the RFC and the RNAS on 14 August 1914, the first series aircraft being completed in the following October. At this time, the aircraft became simply F.B. (Fighting Biplane) 5 and was dubbed Gunbus. The E.F.B.5 had retained the semi-circular tailplane of the E.F.B.2 and early E.F.B.3, but the series F.B.5 had an enlarged tailplane of rectangular planform and a larger rudder. A Lewis gun on a more practical mount supplanted the similar-calibre Vickers in the nose and the standard power plant was the 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape nine-cylinder rotary. The first F.B.5 reached the Western Front early February 1915, and, on the following 25 July, the first squadron of any air service formed specifically for fighting duties and equipped throughout with a single aircraft type arrived in France, this being the RFC’s No 11 Sqn with F.B.5s. The RNAS made little use of the F.B.5, and, after the delivery of four to that service, the large majority of subsequent deliveries went to the RFC, although the RNAS did receive two further F.B.5s which, ordered in May 1915, were fitted with the 150 hp Smith Static radial engine, its large diameter propeller necessitating the raising of the fuselage nacelle several inches above the lower wing. Two hundred and forty-one F.B.5s were delivered to the RFC, of which 109 were sent to the British Expeditionary Force in France (60 in 1915 and 49 in 1916). Licence production of the F.B.5 was undertaken in France by the Societe Anonym Darracq (which built a total of 99 of these and the later F.B.9) between May 1915 and June 1916. Twelve were also built under licence in Denmark in 1917-18 by the Tojhusvseiksted. At least four F.B.5As were built with armour-plated fuselage nacelles and these were powered by 110 hp Clerget 9Z nine-cylinder rotary engines and had oleo undercarriages. Suffering an unreliable engine and a marginal performance throughout its operational career, the F.B.5 was finally withdrawn from the Western Front in the autumn of 1916, being subsequently confined to RFC instructional units.

Max speed, 70 mph (113 km/h) at 5.000 ft (1525 m).
Time to 5,000 ft (1525 m), 16.0 min.
Service ceiling, 9.000 ft (2 745 m).
Endurance, 4.5 hrs.
Empty weight. 1,220 lb (553 kg).
Loaded weight, 2,050 lb (930 kg).
Span, 36 ft 6 in (11,13 m).
Length. 27 ft 2 in (8,28 m).
Height, 11 ft 1 in (3.38 m).
Wing area, 382 sq ft (35.49 m2).


Журнал Flight


Flight, June 12, 1919.

"MILESTONES"

THE VICKERS MACHINES

  AT the outbreak of hostilities in August, 1914, the whole of the Technical Offices and the Drawing Office staff of the Aviation Department of Messrs. Vickers, Ltd., were transferred from Vickers House to the Crayford Works. The work on experimental seaplanes, of which two were under construction, was abandoned, and all efforts concentrated on the Vickers Fighter F.B. 5, which was the only definitely offensive aeroplane then in existence. This was familiarly known as -

"The Vickers Gun-'Bus"

  With his usual foresight, the late Major Wood, having finished exhaustive tests, had a batch of 50 F.B. 5's actually in construction. These machines were fitted with the 100 h.p. monosoupape engine, of which Major Wood, realising its worth, had already ordered a great number.
  Up to this time the armament of aeroplanes had not received much attention, either by the Services or designers. The chief functions of the R.F.C. had been that of carrying out reconnaissance flights and the dropping of small bombs. Fighting in the air, as understood to-day, did not exist, and although observers sometimes armed themselves with Service rifles or revolvers for cases of emergency, machines very seldom approached sufficiently near to one another to exchange shots. The advent of the Vickers F.B. 5 marked an epoch in the history of aeronautics, being the first fighting aeroplane, and was destined to influence the whole of aerial operations at the Front.
  As is generally known, this machine was of the pusher type, and it was therefore possible to mount a Vickers gun in the nose of the nacelle, commanding an unobstructed and very wide range of fire.
  It was the arrival of this machine on the Western Front which established for the first time our aerial supremacy. This supremacy, thanks largely to the "Gun-'bus," lasted for many months, in fact until the Fokker, with its synchronised gun arrived to dispute it. In spite of this, however, Vickers Fighters remained in commission as late as March, 1916, and their work was of the greatest value.

В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
Vickers FB.5 - RNAS, 1917г.
А.Шепс - Самолеты Первой мировой войны. Страны Антанты
Двухместный истребитель Виккерс F.B.5 "Ганбас" 11-го эскадрона RFC (1914г.)
M.Goodall, A.Tagg - British Aircraft before the Great War /Schiffer/
E.F.B.5 prototype as first flown at Joyce Green, showing progressive development, including wooden interplane struts.
C.Andrews - Vickers Aircraft since 1908 /Putnam/
Head-on view of prototype E.F.B.5 revealing Levasseur-type propeller and semicircular stabiliser.
C.Andrews - Vickers Aircraft since 1908 /Putnam/
E.F.B.5 prototype in service under serial 664 with gun pylon added - sometimes described as F.B.4, although the E.F.B.4 was a project development of E.F.B.1.
C.Andrews - Vickers Aircraft since 1908 /Putnam/
First production F.B.5 at Brooklands for trials before delivery. The two seat Vickers FB 5, popularly known as the 'Gun Bus', had its origins in a visionary 1912 Admiralty requirement for a so-called fighting aeroplane, armed with a machine gun. The contract for this machine was placed with Vickers on 19 November 1912, where its development became somewhat protracted, the first production FB 5s, by now ordered for both the RFC and the RNAS, not reaching No 6 Squadron, RFC until November 1914, while the handful of RNAS FB 5s did not reach the front until early 1915. Powered by a somewhat unreliable 100hp Gnome Monosoupape, the FB 5's top level speed was 70mph at 5.000 feet, while the time taken to reach that altitude was 16 minutes. Excluding prototypes, around 136 FB 5s are known to have been produced by Vickers in Britain and Darracq in France.
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
By early 1916 the FB5 Gunbus was completely outclassed, causing Trenchard to comment: it is essential that these machines be replaced by something better at an early date.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
The F.B.5 in its series form with enlarged rudder and tailplane.
C.Andrews - Vickers Aircraft since 1908 /Putnam/
One of the first batch of F.B.5s for the Royal Flying Corps presented by the City of Bombay to H.M. Government in 1914; this Gunbus was the pattern for the replica built in 1966.
P.Lewis - British Aircraft 1809-1914 /Putnam/
Production Vickers F.B.5 with rectangular tailplane.
C.Andrews - Vickers Aircraft since 1908 /Putnam/
The replica Gunbus built by the Vintage Aircraft and Flying Association (Brooklands) on an engine test flight piloted by 'Dizzy' Addicott with Alan Blower as observer.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
One of the F.B.5s used by the Royal Naval Air Service, with modified nose and Vickers machine-gun; for the Admiralty the designation was Vickers Type 32. This (machine, which was fitted with a 100 h.p. Gnome monosoupape engine, was affectionately known as the "Gun-bus."
H.King - Armament of British Aircraft /Putnam/
View of Vickers F.B.5 Gun Bus with Lewis gun on simple spigot mounting.
M.Goodall, A.Tagg - British Aircraft before the Great War /Schiffer/
Vickers FB.5 Gunbus was the version produced for the RFC and RNAS and used in some numbers in the early months of World War I.
O.Thetford - British Naval Aircraft since 1912 /Putnam/
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
Deliveries of the Vickers FB5 Gunbus began in December 1914, the type starting its operational career with 5 Squadron in early 1915. This was an attempt to provide an aeroplane armed with a machine gun for the Western Front, after it became apparent that aircraft would have to be armed in order to protect themselves and at the same time destroy the enemy. This particular aircraft, '5659, was at Joyce Green.
Журнал - Flight за 1915 г.
A 100 h. p. Vickers gun 'bus, reproduced from a photo, taken somewhere on earth by a reader of "FLIGHT."
C.Andrews - Vickers Aircraft since 1908 /Putnam/
A Gunbus on the Western Front in 1915 in traditional Christmas conditions.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
A dozen examples of the Vickers F.B.5 were built in Denmark; illustrated is No 7.
H.King - Armament of British Aircraft /Putnam/
Lewis gun on spigot mounting on Vickers F.B.5. The ammunition drum held 47 rounds.
H.King - Armament of British Aircraft /Putnam/
Though not to scale, this Vickers drawing shows salient features of the mounting designed for the Gun Bus by G H. Challenger.
C.Andrews - Vickers Aircraft since 1908 /Putnam/
Vickers E.F.B.5
C.Andrews - Vickers Aircraft since 1908 /Putnam/
Vickers FB.5 (production)
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
The F.B.5 in its series form with enlarged rudder and tailplane.
В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
Vickers FB.5