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Beardmore WB.26

 

beardmore_wb-26

 

In 1924, the Scottish shipbuilding company of William Beardmore and Company designed a two-seat fighter for Latvia, the W.B.XXVI. Beardmore's chief designer, W.S. Shackleton produced a wooden single-bay biplane, powered by a Rolls-Royce Eagle engine. The slab-sided fuselage was of hexagonal section, with the crew of two seated in separate cockpits. To reduce drag, the wings had no bracing wires, bracing being solely by means of struts, with a large inter-wing gap. A Lamblin radiator was installed in the leading edge of the lower wing. Instead of the normal Vickers and Lewis machine guns, the aircraft was armed by Beardmore's own gas-operated Beardmore-Farquhar machine guns.
 
 Beardmore-26-01
 
The prototype first flew some time in 1925. While it proved to be manoeuvrable, it was underpowered, and performance was poor, with the Latvians unwilling to pay for replacement of the Eagle with a more powerful Napier Lion engine. It was sent to Latvia for evaluation in 1926, but was only flown three times in Latvia before it was rejected, and was eventually sent back to Beardmore and scrapped. No more W.B.XXVIs were built.
 
Engine: 1 × Rolls-Royce Eagle IX, 360 hp (269 kW)
Wingspan: 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m)
Wing area: 356 sq ft (33.1 sq.m)
Length: 27 ft 10½ in (8.50 m)
Empty weight: 2,555 lb (1,162 kg)
Loaded weight: 3,980 lb (1,809 kg)
Maximum speed: 145 mph (233 km/h)
Endurance: 4 hr
Service ceiling: 20,000 ft (6,100 m)
Wing loading: 11.2 lb/sq ft (54.7 sq.m)
Power/mass: 0.09 hp/lb (0.15 kW/kg)
Climb to 15,000 ft: 20 min
Crew: 2
Guns: 2× fixed forward firing Beardmore-Farquhar machine guns and 1 or two flexibly mounted Beardmore-Farquhar machine guns on Scarff ring

 

beardwb26

 

 


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