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.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
BEARDMORE W.B.IV UK
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).