Armstrong Whitworth Armadillo
|Manufacturer||Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft|
Development and design
The Armadillo was designed in 1917 by Armstrong Whitworth's new chief designer, Fred Murphy, as a private venture single-seat fighter powered by a Bentley BR2 rotary engine. While the design met the requirements of Air Board Specification A1(a) for a replacement for the Sopwith Camel, it was principally produced to test the abilities of Armstrong Whitworth's new design team, and was not considered a serious competitor for the requirement. Despite this, Armstrong Whitworth was granted a licence in January 1918 to allow construction of two prototypes.
The aircraft was a two-bay biplane with a square section fuselage. The engine in the nose was enclosed by a circular cowl with a deep hump above the cowl housing two .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns that fired through the propeller arc using synchronisation gear.
The first prototype made its maiden flight during April 1918. The type was not subject to formal evaluation by the Air Ministry, with the poor view from the cockpit being criticised. By the time the Armadillo appeared the Sopwith Snipe, powered by the same engine and faster was already in large scale production and Murphy had started work on the more advanced Ara fighter, so the Armadillo was abandoned, the second prototype not being completed.
Data from War Planes of the First World War:Volume One: Fighters 
- Crew: 1
- Length: 18 ft 10 in (5.74 m)
- Wingspan: 27 ft 9 in (8.46 m)
- Height: 7 ft 10 in (2.39 m)
- Wing area: 232 ft2 (21.6 m2)
- Empty weight: 1,250 lb (568 kg)
- Gross weight: 1,860 lb (845 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Bentley BR2 rotary engine, 230 hp (172 kW)
- Maximum speed: 125 mph (201 km/h)
- Endurance: 2 hours 45 min
- Service ceiling: 24,000 ft (7,300 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,500 [a] ft/min (7.8 m/s)
- 2 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Climb to 10,000 ft: 6 min 30 sec
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Armstrong Whitworth aircraft.|
- Tapper 1988, p. 79.
- Mason 1992, p.138-139.
- Taylor 2001, p. 47
- Tapper 1988, p. 82.
- Tapper 1988, pp. 82–83.
- Bruce 1965, p.19.
- Tapper 1988, p. 83.
- Bruce, J.M. (1965). War Planes of the First World War:Volume One: Fighters. London: Macdonald.
- Mason, Francis K. (1992). British Fighters since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
- Tapper, Oliver (1988). Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-826-7.
- Taylor, Michael (2001). Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I. London: Randon House Group. ISBN 1 85170 347 0.
- Taylor, Michael J. H. (1990). Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I. London: Studio Editions. p. 49.