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Beardmore W.B.IV

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1917


Beardmore - W.B.III - 1917 - Великобритания<– –>Beardmore - W.B.V - 1918 - Великобритания

Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919

The Beardmore W.B.IV. is a single-seater ship's scout designed with flotation gear in the fuselage and a dropping under-carriage. In order to keep the size of the flotation gear which is actually built into the fuselage, down to a minimum, the power unit is placed under the centre-section and over the centre of gravity, the pilot being seated in front astride the airscrew shaft in a watertight cockpit.
  The under-carriage is of the Vee type and is so arranged that by means of a control in the pilot's cockpit the whole undercarriage can be released.
  Two wing-top floats are fitted as additional stabilizers when the machine is resting on the sea.
Type of machine Biplane.
Name or type No. of machine W.B.IV.
Purpose for which Intended Ship's Scout.
Span 35 ft. 10 in.
Gap 4 ft. 9 in.
Overall length 26 ft. 6 in.
Maximum height 9 ft. 10.5 in.
Chord Top 6 ft. 3 in., bottom 4ft. 9 in.
Total surface of wings,
  including ailerons 850 sq.ft.
Span of tail 11 ft. 9 in.
Total area of tail 50.5 sq. ft.
Area of elevators 24 sq. ft.
Area of rudder 12 sq. ft.
Area of fin 8 sq. ft.
Area of each aileron 18.8 sq. ft. each
  total area 37 ft. 6 In. total.
Maximum cross section of body 12.5 sq. ft.
Horizontal area of body 73 sq. ft.
Vertical area of body 51 sq. ft.
Engine type and h.p. Hispano-Suiza 200 h.p.
Airscrew, diam. and revs. 9 ft., 1,500 r.p.m.
Weight of machine empty 1,960 lbs.
Load per sq. ft. 7.5 lbs.
Weight per h.p. 13 lbs.
Tank capacity in hours 8.5 hours.
Tank capacity in gallons 37 gallons.
  Speed low down 110 m.p.h.
  Speed at 10,000 feet 102 m.p.h.
  Landing speed 45 m.p.h.
   To 5,000 feet in minutes 7 minutes.
   To 10,000 feet in minutes 18 minutes.
Disposable load apart from fuel 340 lbs.
Total weight of machine loaded 2,600 lbs.

H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)

W.B. IV. Of wholly original design, this single-seat 'ship's aeroplane' of 1917 was remarkable in having the pilot in front of the wings, the Hispano-Suiza engine being mounted in the fuselage over the centre of gravity and driving the airscrew through an extension shaft (compare Westland F.7/30). A fixed synchronised Vickers gun tired out through the nose immediately behind the airscrew on the port side, the breech casing being in the fuselage. The installation was very neat and there were separate case and link chutes. Forward of the watertight cockpit was a sturdy tripod for a Lewis gun.

P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)

Two other single-seat fighter designs, intended for the R.N.A.S., appeared from Beardmore in the course of 1917. The W.B.IV was a two-bay biplane designed around the 200 h.p. Hispano-Suiza, the engine being installed in the fuselage above the lower wings and driving its propeller by an extension shaft, which was straddled by the pilot in his high-set cockpit in the nose ahead of the leading edge of the wings. N38, the sole W.B.IV built, was notable also in having a streamlined flotation tank faired into the fore-fuselage and at first had floats under each wingtip. The machine carried two guns - a forwards-firing Vickers installed to port in the nose and a Lewis fitted at an upward angle in front of the pilot.

F.Mason The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)

Beardmore W.B.IV

  Encouraged no doubt by the Admiralty’s ready acceptance of radical features in his W.B.III, Tilghman Richards of William Beardmore pursued another naval fighter of even more unusual ingenuity - this time in a two-bay biplane of the Company’s own design, intended to meet Specification N.1A. In order to achieve stability while floating on the sea, following an emergency ditching, not only was the undercarriage capable of being jettisoned but the engine, a 200hp Hispano-Suiza, was located behind the pilot and on the aircraft’s centre of gravity, driving the tractor propeller by an extension shaft which passed between the pilot’s feet. The radiator was placed behind the engine, mounted between the rear interplane struts.
  The pilot was afforded an excellent all-round field of view, his cockpit being raised high in the nose of the aircraft, forward of the wings, and was watertight below the coaming. The fuselage was unusual in itself in being entirely plywood-clad, and another innovation was the provision of a large flotation chamber faired into the underside of the nose and projecting on each side to form a large lateral buoyancy surface. When the W.B.IV first appeared, it also featured floats faired under each lower wingtip. For shipboard stowage the wings could be folded back.
  Three W.B.IVs were ordered by the Admiralty, but only one, N38, came to be built. Flown late in 1917, this sole example was delivered to the RNAS Isle of Grain station for trials which may have included ditching tests without the wing floats fitted. At all events the aircraft was damaged while alighting on the water, the nose buoyancy chamber being damaged with the result that N38 sank.
  Many contemporary observers considered the W.B.IV to have been one of the most advanced aircraft produced during the First World War with regard to its innovative, yet practical features.
  It was, after all, the first British aircraft in which the engine drove a tractor propeller by means of an extension shaft - pre-dating aircraft such as the Westland F.7/30 by at least fifteen years. Its top speed of only 110 mph was, however, considered disappointing by the standards set by contemporary scouts and no production was ordered.

  Type: Single-engine, single-seat, two-bay shipborne fighting scout biplane.
  Manufacturer: William Beardmore & Co Ltd, Dalmuir, Dunbartonshire.
  Admiralty Specification: N.1A (of 1917)
  Powerplant: One 200hp Hispano-Suiza water-cooled in-line engine driving two-blade propeller through an extension shaft.
  Construction: All-wood construction with ply-covered fuselage. Jettisonable undercarriage and folding wings. Buoyancy chamber incorporated under the front fuselage.
  Dimensions: Span, 35ft 10in; length, 26ft 6in; height, 9ft 10 1/2 in; wing area, 350 sq ft.
  Weights: Tare, 2,055lb; all-up, 2,595lb.
  Performance: Max speed, 110 mph at sea level; climb to 5,000ft, 7 min; service ceiling, 14,000ft; endurance, 2 1/2 hr.
  Armament: One fixed, synchronized 0.303in Vickers machine gun in port side of nose with breech inside cockpit; and one 0.303in Lewis gun on tripod mounting above the pilot’s windscreen.
  Prototypes: Three ordered (N38-N40) but only N38 completed and flown (1917).

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


  The W.B.IV single-seat shipboard fighter was the first entirely original fighter to be developed by William Beardmore & Company and embodied several interesting features. To provide the best possible view for the pilot, the 200 hp Hispano-Suiza eight-cylinder water-cooled engine was mounted aft of the cockpit and drove the propeller via an extension shaft which passed between the pilot's legs. The cockpit was water-tight, a large flotation chamber was provided in the forward fuselage, wingtip floats were incorporated to stabilise the aircraft in the event of it alighting on the water in an emergency, and the undercarriage was jettisonable. The mainplanes could be folded, and armament comprised a single synchronised 0.303-in (7,7-mm) Vickers gun and a Lewis gun of similar calibre mounted on a tripod ahead of the cockpit. Three prototypes of the W.B.IV were ordered, the first of these flying on 12 December 1917. Performance proved creditable, but the other prototypes were not completed.

Max speed, 110 mph (177 km/h) at sea level, 102 mph (164 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3050 m).
Time to 5,000 ft (1 525 m), 7.0 min.
Endurance, 2.5 hrs.
Empty weight, 2,055 lb (932 kg).
Loaded weight, 2,595 lb (1177 kg).
Span, 35 ft 10 in (10,92 m).
Length, 26 ft 6 in (8,08 m).
Height, 9 ft 10 1/2 in (3,00 m).
Wing area, 350 sq ft (32,52 m2).

F.Mason - The British Fighter since 1912 /Putnam/
The Beardmore W.B.IV (200 h.p. Hispano Suiza Engine), N38, with its midships engine location, aft of the pilot’s cockpit.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
Tested at Martlesham Heath, the Beardmore W.B.IV had the original underwing tip floats removed.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
The Beardmore W.B.IV was designed for shipboard use.