H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
P.V.1. This was an experimental seaplane of 1916, having a Sopwith Baby fuselage and high-lift wings with a view to improving take-off with two 65-lb bombs.
P.V.2 and P.V.2bis. In 1916 the Davis recoilless gun was still viewed hopefully as an anti-Zeppelin weapon, and the P.V.2 single-seat seaplane was designed to carry a 2-pounder gun of the type. It was to be fitted over the top wing and be accessible for loading (ten rounds provided). Before the airframe was completed, the Davis gun was abandoned, and with two Lewis guns above the raised top wing the aircraft was designated P.V.2bis.
P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)
During the early part of 1916 Sqn.Cdr. J.W. Seddon, one of the early pioneers of British aviation, was stationed at Port Victoria on the Isle of Grain and was responsible for the investigations which resulted in the construction of the Port Victoria P.V.1. This was an attempt at improving the performance of the Sopwith Baby seaplane, particularly as far as its weight-lifting qualities were concerned. As with any service aeroplane, the tendency was to continue adding more equipment to the steady deterioration of performance.
The standard Baby’s wings were of the popular low thickness/chord type with comparatively little camber. This form of aerofoil gave low drag but possessed accompanying low lift properties. National Physical Laboratory experiments on aerofoil sections with greater camber had shown them to be superior for general weight lifting but a loss of speed was the penalty. Sqn.Cdr. Seddon decided to put the Laboratory investigations to practical test and had a Sopwith Baby modified by fitting a standard fuselage with new wings of identical area but with increased aspect ratio and of heavily-cambered profile. Forward stagger was also increased and new larger floats were installed. The finished conversion weighed some 300 lb. more than the normal Baby but was quite successful in proving that the revised wings enabled the P.V.1 to lift greater loads. With the 100 h.p. Monosoupape Gnome the top speed was 77 m.p.h. and the height reached was in excess of 8,000 ft. The P.V.1 later contributed to early experiments related to possibilities of launching by catapult in the course of which it took off from a railway truck on the Isle of Grain.
The R.N.A.S. Experimental Construction Depot at Port Victoria was now getting into its stride and followed up the P.V.1 conversion with a completely original design, the P.V.2, for a Zeppelin-intercepting seaplane, single-seat gun-carrier. The armament selected was the Davis 2-pounder with ten rounds and further stipulations were that the top speed was to be 80 kt., operational cruising height 10,000 ft. and endurance 3 hours.
The P.V.2 was drawn up around the 100 h.p. Monosoupape Gnome, enveloped by a broad-chord cowling, from the periphery of which the fuselage section tapered smoothly to the tail end. The upper wings were mounted direct onto the top longerons, to avoid obstruction of the pilot’s view by struts, while the narrow-chord lower planes passed in one piece well below the underside of the fuselage. Rectangular-section pontoon-type floats were fitted but were changed later for the more refined style of Linton Hope float.
The P.V.2 N.1 presented an altogether extremely attractive appearance for its time, and during its first flight tests in June, 1916, flew successfully with the exception of the aileron control. This fault was rectified by shortening the original broad-span ailerons to half their span and with strengthening them. The P.V.2 was not destined to adhere to the original project of operating with the Davis gun as development of the weapon was terminated.
Rather than abandon the P.V.2 altogether, the machine was rebuilt as the P.V.2bis with the upper wings elevated by 1 ft. on struts, together with the addition of a 2 ft. centre-section, so that they passed over the fuselage and thereby improved the forward view for landing. As a seaplane fighter the P.V.2bis was scheduled to carry a pair of Lewis guns above the upper centresection but apparently only one was fitted eventually.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
PORT VICTORIA P.V.2. UK
The Royal Naval Aeroplane Repair Depot was commissioned at the Isle of Grain early in 1915, and to distinguish it from the seaplane station already established there it was named Port Victoria. Ultimately it became known as the Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot and undertook original design work. Its first entirely original design was the P.V.2 single-seat anti-Zeppelin seaplane. Of wooden construction and powered by a 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape rotary, the P.V.2 was an exceptionally clean sesquiplane, the wing cellule being almost devoid of bracing wires with the upper wing attached to the upper fuselage longerons and the lower wing passing beneath the fuselage. The intended armament was a two-pounder Davis gun, although this was never fitted. The P.V.2 was first flown in June 1916 with floats of the pontoon type, these later being replaced by Linton Hope floats. Trials showed considerable promise and it was decided to develop the design further as the P.V.2bis (which see).
Max speed, 95 mph (153 km/h) at sea level.
Time to 3,0 ft (915 m), 5.0 min.
Empty weight, 1,087 lb (493 kg).
Loaded weight, 1,590 lb (721 kg).
Span, 27 ft 0 in (8,23 m).
Length, 22 ft 0 in (6,70 m).
Height, 8 ft 4 in (2,54 m).
Wing area, 168 sqft (15,60 m2).
PORT VICTORIA P.V.2bis UK
The decision to develop the P.V.2 as the P.V.2bis single-seat fighter seaplane resulted in major changes to the original prototype, the most significant being the raising of the upper wing by 1 ft (30 cm) to improve the pilot’s view for alighting and the insertion of centre-section struts. The span and area of the upper wing were increased by introduction of a 2-ft (61-cm) centre section, and the planned armament was two 0.303-in (7,7-mm) machine guns to fire forward and upward above the propeller, although, in the event, only one such gun was apparently fitted. The P.V.2bis was flown early in 1917, providing data for later Port Victoria types.
Max speed, 93 mph (150 km/h) at sea level.
Time to 3,000 ft (915 m), 6.0 min.
Empty weight, 1,211 lb (549 kg).
Loaded weight, 1,702 lb (772 kg).
Span, 29ft 0 in (8,84 m).
Length, 22 ft 0 in (6,70 m).
Height, 9 ft 4 in (2,84 m).
Wing area, 180 sq ft (16,72 m2).