C.Owers Beardmore Aircraft of WW1 (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 69)
This proposed 24 passenger three-engine triplane was designed with two fuselages with a passenger cabin in the nose of each fuselage, the central nacelle carrying the crew and one engine. Three 500-hp Beardmore Atlantic engines were carried. The central nacelle had a pusher installation, while at each fuselage the engine was situated behind the passenger compartment with driving shafts running along the top longeron driving geared airscrews.
The machine was to have a span of 120 feet, a length of 62 feet and a height of 23 feet. The triplane wing folded for storage.
This civil amphibian twin engine biplane had a short hull with outriggers carrying the twin rudders and tailplane. With a span of 107 feet, a length of 62 feet and accommodation for ten, it was a large flying boat. Designed by Tilghman-Richards in 1920, apparently in response to an Air Ministry competition, the machine was scrapped before completion with the closure of the Beardmore Aviation Department.
The W.B.X was the last design of Richards at Dalmuir. The machine was constructed of duralumin. It only made one flight after its initial trial at Martlesham Heath, the duralumin having deteriorated such that it was considered too dangerous to fly. The machine had been built to compete in a 1920 Air Ministry competition for commertial aircraft.
None of the projects for post-Armistice aircraft came to anything. Richards was released with a bonus payment of £150, and he went to Martinsyde Aircraft Ltd as General Manager. With the departure of Richards to Martinsyde, the World War I era of aeroplane building at Beardmore had, come to an end.
The products of William Beardmore & Co, Dalmuir, Scotland, are given seven pages in Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 1919, despite none of the company’s designs achieving success. Only the W.B.III had a limited production run, although other companies’ designs were built under license.
Beardmore continued to dabble in aircraft construction, the most impressive were the Inverness flying boat and the Inflexible landplane, that were built to test the all-metal construction techniques developed by Adolf Karl Rohrbach. Beardmore had purchased the patent rights for the UK in 1923. The Air Ministry ordered a landplane that emerged as the Inflexible. The machine was designed in Berlin and the plans sent to Beardmore who constructed it in Glasgow. The Beardmore Aircraft Department finally closed for good in February 1929.