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Grahame-White Type XV / Bi-Rudder 'Bus / Box-Kite / G.W.15 / Admiralty Type 1600
GW XV, c.1916
The Grahame-White Type XV (sometimes called "Bi-Rudder 'Bus" or "Box-Kite" of 1915 was directly derived from the Type XII.
The aircraft itself was a pod-and-boom configuration biplane with three-bay un-staggered wings. In early models, two seats were fitted on the leading edge of the lower wing for the instructor and the trainee pilot; in later models, space was provided for them in tandem in an open-topped nacelle, with the engine mounted pusher-fashion behind them. The empennage was carried on four parallel beams extending two each from the top and bottom wings, and consisted of twin rudders and a horizontal stabiliser and elevator that were carried on the top two beams. Early production aircraft had wings of equal span, but later examples had long extensions fitted to increase the span of the upper wing. The landing gear comprised two separate, wing-mounted, 'two-wheel plus skid' assemblies and a tail-skid.
This military trainer biplane was built in quantity for the RNAS (as the Admiralty "Type 1600") and later the RFC, for a total of 135 aircraft. It was known as the Admiralty Type 1600, since the first aircraft of the type purchased for the Royal Naval Air Service was given that serial number, and contemporary practice was to assign type numbers based on the serial number of the first example in service.
First flying in 1913, there were notable differences between the early and late examples produced, but they retained the same designation. They were made in a variety of forms from 1912 - 17, undergoing a gradual evolution, losing the front elevator and having a cockpit nacelle, aileron balance cables, top wing extensions and dual controls fitted. The Type XV can also be found as the "G.W.15" in some sources.
60hp Le Rhone, 70 & 80hp Gnome and 60hp Green engines were among those used to power the huge variation of types built under the general umbrella name of GW XV.
The Type XV was extensively used as a trainer by both the RNAS and RFC, with 135 machines being purchased for this purpose. In November 1913, one RFC Type XV was employed in the first British trials of firing a machine gun (a Lewis gun) from an aircraft at targets on the ground. Despite the number of aircraft produced, little documentation on the type has survived.
The XV trainers were the type used by No. 65 Squadron RFC, and 48 Reserve Sqn at Waddington from November 1916 to June 1917, as they were established for 18 machines, and A1700 was definitely on their charge. Along with Farman Shorthorns they were the first aircraft based here.
The Type XV was also operated by the Australian Flying Corps at Central Flying School, Point Cook, Victoria, Australia.
GW XV, c.1916
Three Type XVs survived the First World War to become civil aircraft, being some of the first aircraft to bear British aircraft registrations once civil flying was permitted in 1919.
GW XV development, 1913

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