Beardmore WB.IV


The W.B.IV single-seat shipboard fighter was the first entirely original fighter to be developed by William Beardmore & Company. The 200hp 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 to provide the best possible view for the pilot, 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 The WB.IV was armed with a single synchronised 7.7mm Vickers gun and a 7.7mm Lewis gun 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, but the other prototypes were not completed.

Engine: 200hp Hispano-Suiza
Take-off weight: 1177 kg / 2595 lb
Empty weight: 932 kg / 2055 lb
Wingspan: 10.92 m / 35 ft 10 in
Length: 8.08 m / 26 ft 6 in
Height: 3.00 m / 9 ft 10 in
Wing area: 32.52 sq.m / 350.04 sq ft
Max. speed: 177 km/h / 110 mph