Beardmore W.B.V

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Role Fighter
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Beardmore
Designer G. Tilghman Richards
First flight 3 December 1917
Status Prototype
Number built 2
Developed from Beardmore W.B.IV

The Beardmore W.B.V was a prototype British single-engine shipborne biplane fighter of World War I developed by Beardmore.[1] It was not successful, only two being completed.

Development and design[edit]

At the same time as developing the Beardmore W.B.IV, G. Tilghman Richards, the chief designer of Beardmore, designed a second aircraft to meet an Admiralty requirement for a ship-borne fighter aircraft to be armed with a 37 mm Le-Puteaux quick firing gun in order to destroy airships.[2] The resulting aircraft, the W.B.V, was a single seater two-bay tractor biplane powered by a 200 hp (149 kW) Hispano-Suiza engine. The wings folded for storage onboard ship. The manually loaded Le-Puteaux gun was mounted between the cylinder banks of the V-8 engine, firing through a hollow propeller shaft. Unlike the W.B.V, the W.B.IV was not fitted with a buoyancy chamber, being instead fitted with inflatable flotation bags.[3]

The first prototype flew on 3 December 1917.[2] During testing, the Le Puteaux gun was considered dangerous by RNAS pilots, and the aircraft was re-armed with a more conventional synchronised Vickers machine gun together with a Lewis gun mounted on a tripod mounting.[4] Development was abandoned shortly after the completion of a second prototype.


Data from Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I.[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 26 ft 7 in ( m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft 10 in ( m)
  • Height: 11 ft 10 in ( m)
  • Wing area: 394 ft2 (36.6 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,860 lb (845 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,500 lb (1,136 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 8, 200 hp (149 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 112 mph (180 km/h)
  • Stall speed: <45 mph ( km/h)
  • Endurance: 2 hours  30 min
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 [5] ft (4,270 m)


See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b Taylor 1990, p.57.
  2. ^ a b Bruce 1965, p.74.
  3. ^ Mason 1992, pp.127-128.
  4. ^ a b Bruce 1965, p.76.
  5. ^ Mason 1992, p.128.
  • Bruce, J.M. (1965). War Planes of the First World War: Volume 1 Fighters. London: Macdonald. 
  • Mason, Francis K (1992). The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland US: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-082-7. 
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (editor) (1990). Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I. London: Studio Editions. p. 57.