The AD Seaplane Type 1000 also known as the Admiralty Type 1000 and the AD.1 (from Air Department) was a British seaplane of the First World War designed to attack German warships. When it first flew, it was the largest British aircraft yet to take to the air.
The design of the AD.1 was by Harris Booth of the Admiralty's Air Department just prior to World War I. It was the world's first aircraft designed from scratch as a torpedo bomber, one of the three planned versions of the plane. The other two were a bomber and a plane armed with a recoilless Davis 12-pounder gun (approximately 76 mm calibre).
The aircraft was a float-equipped biplane of pod-and-boom design, with engines mounted at the front of both booms, as well as at the rear of the crew pod. Development began in 1915; it was completed and flown for the first time during the summer of 1916. It was found that the Davis gun would project a blast rearwards so the weapon was changed for a conventional 12-pounder "Naval Landing Gun" though in practice a gun was never installed in the AD.1.
Initially the plane was to use Sunbeam Nubian engines, but this was delayed and Hispano-Suiza selected instead, though eventually the Sunbeam Nubian IIs of 150 hp were delivered in 1917.
Seven aircraft were ordered from J. Samuel White, but when the first one delivered was tested, it was found that its weight was higher than expected, its performance was unexpectedly poor and its undercarriage was not robust enough. Based on these findings, the contract for the remaining six aircraft was cancelled.
The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.5 and F.K.6 were experimental triplanes built as escort fighters by Armstrong Whitworth during the First World War. They carried two gunners in nacelles mounted on the center wing. One example of each type was built, with no further development or production following.
In early 1916, the British War Office drew up a specification for a multi-seat escort fighter to be powered by one of the new Rolls-Royce Eagle engines, with an endurance of at least seven hours, intended to protect formations of bombers from German fighters such as the Fokker E.I, with an additional role of destroying enemy airships. Orders were placed for prototypes from Armstrong Whitworth, Sopwith and Vickers, all of which were of unconventional design owing to the need to give their gunners a good field of fire in the absence of effective synchronisation gear to allow guns to be fired safely though the propeller disc.
Armstrong Whitworth's chief designer, Frederick Koolhoven's first design to meet this requirement, probably designated F.K.5, was a large, single engined tractor triplane with the middle wing having a much greater span than the upper and lower wings. The gunners were housed in two long nacelles mounted on top of the middle wing, allowing them to be sat ahead of the propeller disc, with the pilot's cockpit situated behind the wings in the slim central fuselage, giving a poor view. The undercarriage consisted of a sprung stut carrying two main wheels underneath the engine, with two stabilsing wheels at the wingtips of the lower wing, with a tail slid just aft of the trailing edge of the lower wing. This design never flew, with the head of Armstrong Whitworth's Aircraft department, I. Fairbairn-Crawford, forbidding test flights.
Koolhoven completely reworked the design to produce the F.K.6. While still a triplane with the middle wing of significantly greater span than the upper and lower wings, it was larger, with two-bay wings. This time, the gunner's nacelles were slung under the middle wing and were shorter, so that the gunners sat behind and outboard the propeller (and less than 2 ft (0.6 m) from the exhaust manifold). The fuselage was much deeper than the F.K.5, filling the gap between the middle and lower wings, giving a slightly better view, while the undercarriage had two pairs of wheels with a narrow track under the fuselage and a more conventional tail skid.
Four examples of the F.K.6 were ordered in April 1916, two of which were intended for the Royal Naval Air Service, but only one was built, this demonstrating poor performance when tested. As effective synchronising gears were now available, the type was abandoned, with none of the escort fighters being bought into production.
The Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.10 was a two-seat quadruplane built for fighting and bombing. Like its predecessor, the F.K.9, it was a poor performer with serious design flaws. Of the fifty aircraft ordered by the Royal Naval Air Service, only eight were delivered.
The Avro 523 Pike (the first Avro aircraft to receive a name) was a British multi-role combat aircraft of the First World War that did not progress past the prototype stage. It was intended to provide the Royal Naval Air Service with an anti-Zeppelin fighter that was also capable of long-range reconnaissance and light bombing.
The Avro Pike was a large, three-bay biplane of conventional layout driven by two pusher propellers. Three open cockpits were provided, the centre one for the pilot, and gunners fore and aft of him. The Admiralty evaluated the type, but rejected it. Avro then built a second prototype, changing the original's Sunbeam engines for Green E.6 engines instead and designating it the 523A.
The Admiralty evaluated this in November 1916, but found that the type was now obsolete and did not place an order. The two prototypes flew as testbeds with Avro for the remainder of the war.
The Avro 528 was an unsuccessful large span single engined biplane built to an Admiralty contract in 1916. It carried a crew of two; only one was built.
Very little is known about the Avro 528 apart from a photograph and a general arrangement diagram. It was a two seat single engined biplane ordered by the Admiralty in 1915, and not even the task for which it was intended is recorded. It had some similarities with the Avro 519 (a single seater intended for the RFC) and the twin seat 519A, built for the RNAS, though neither of these were armed and both had 150 hp Sunbeam Nubian engines rather than the 225 hp Sunbeam of the 528. Both the 519s and the 528 had some shared features with the Naval Avro 504.
It was a large three bay biplane with unswept, unstaggered and constant chord wings of unequal span, the lower plane having a span 10 feet 0 inches (3.05 m) less than the upper. Ailerons were carried on the upper wings; both wings folded for storage. The fuselage had similarities with the Naval 504s though the overall length of the 528 was greater by about 4 feet (1.2 m): both had a generous fixed fin in contrast to the all moving, comma shaped rudder of the RFC's 504s. The vertical stabiliser was also close in size to that of the 504, but the rather rectangular horizontal tail was nearly 60% greater in span. Like the 519s, the top of the fuselage carried a raised decking that provided deeper cockpits for the pilot, placed under the trailing edge of the wing and the observer/gunner, in a separate cockpit close behind equipped with a ring mounted gun. The fixed single axle undercarriage had no central skid.
The Sunbeam engine drove a four bladed propeller and had a single, central and near vertical exhaust pipe. There were two radiators, mounted edge on (longitudinally) between the wings, rather than the single but similarly mounted radiators of the Avro 519s and the Avro 527. Two tank-like features are shown in both image and diagram on the lower wings just inboard of the innermost interplane struts; they may be fuel tanks.
The first flight was on 19 December 1916 at Avro's Hamble factory. The aircraft remained troublesome, with a variety of propellers being tried but the Admiralty lost interest and the 528 last flew in April 1917.
The Nieuport Triplane was an experimental design built by the French and tested by the British Royal Flying Corps. As with many of the attempts to build successful triplanes by aircraft manufactures, the design was doomed to failure. The design was never adopted as a production aircraft because of the poor handling characteristics due to the aircraft's unusual wing configuration.
During 1915, designer Gustave Delage of the Société Anonyme des Établissements Nieuport had fitted a Nieuport 10 fuselage with tri-plane wings of unusual fore-and-aft geometry for experimental purposes, the arrangement being patented on 10 January 1916. It was test flown from a field next to the factory at Issy-les-Moulineaux, just a few miles from the famous Eiffel Tower. This was the first of the extraordinary Nieuport tri-planes
There were several Nieuport triplane attempts. The first was based on a Nie. X 2-seater, the others on the Nie 17 airframe. This is a model of the 2nd triplane, which stayed with the French and differed from the later one that went to the RFC in having a Lewis gun and no cutout in the upper wing.
Progressive development of the first of the extraordinary Nieuport tri-planes led in 1916 to an even more unorthodox triplane arrangement in which the rniddle wing, attached to the forward ends of the upper fuselage longerons, was foremost and the upper wing rearmost.
Utilising a Nie 17 fuselage, powered by an Le Rhône 9J engine fitted with a large cône de pénétration ' (ie spinner) on the propeller and armed with a single synchronized Lewis gun, this triplane, designated Nie-11C (or 11.000) was officially tested by the S.T.Aé (Section Technique de l'Aéronautique) late in 1916, but the unusual configuration proved to offer poor handling and was not ordered for the Aviation Militaire.
Parnall and Sons of Bristol initiated work on the company's first original aircraft, a single-seat anti-airship fighter to the designs of A Camden Pratt, in 1916. Intended to meet a requirement formulated by the Admiralty, this aircraft, unofficially known as the Zeppelin Chaser, was a large, two-bay staggered biplane of wooden construction. It was powered by a 260hp (194 kW) Sunbeam Maori 12-cylinder water-cooled engine and armed with a single 0.303 in (7.7mm) gun offset to starboard and firing upward at an angle of 45°. Two prototypes were ordered, but the first of these proved appreciably overweight. Although the Scout reportedly flew twice, it was considered to possess unacceptably low safety factors and was returned to the manufacturer, development being abandoned.
On the designs of A. Camden-Pratt, Parnall began work on a single-seat anti-airship fighter aircraft in 1916, initially intended to meet an aircraft specification from the Admiralty. A large, wooden two-bay staggered biplane, it was finished and initially tested in late 1916.
The Scout reportedly flew twice in late 1916 under Admiralty testing, however it was found to be heavy, slow and with few safety features. As such it was returned to Parnall in the same year and no further development progressed.
The Port Victoria P.V.2 was a British prototype floatplane fighter of the First World War, designed and built at the Royal Naval Air Service's Port Victoria Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot on the Isle of Grain. Only a single aircraft was built, with the type not being chosen for production.
The Port Victoria Depot's second design, designated Port Victoria P.V.2 was a floatplane fighter intended to intercept German Zeppelins. The P.V.2 was a small single engined biplane, powered by a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine driving a four blade propellor. It was of wood and fabric construction, and of sesquiplane configuration, i.e. with its lower wing much smaller than its upper wing (both of which used the high-lift wing sections pioneered by the P.V.1). Unusually, the aircraft's wing bracing struts also carried the aircraft's floats, forming a "W" shape when viewed from the front. The upper wing was attached directly to the top of the fuselage, giving a good field of fire for the intended armament of a single 2-lb Davis gun recoiless gun.
The P.V.2 first flew on 16 June 1916, and demonstrated good performance and handling. The upper wing, however, while giving excellent upwards view to the pilot, gave a poor downwards view of the pilot, particularly during landing, while the Davis gun had lost favor with the Admiralty as an anti-Zeppelin weapon. The P.V.2 was therefore rebuilt as the P.V.2bis with a revised, longer span upper wing mounted 12 inches (0.30 m) above the fuselage and the Davis gun replaced by two Lewis guns mounted above the wing, firing over the propellor. The modified aircraft first flew in this form in early 1917.
While the P.V.2bis again showed excellent handling, the RNAS's requirement for a floatplane anti-Zeppelin fighter had lapsed, and no production was ordered.
The Sopwith Long Range Tractor Triplane (L.R.T.Tr) was a prototype British long-range three seat triplane escort fighter of the First World War. Of unusual layout, with a small gunner's nacelle mounted on the upper wing to give an all-round field of fire. Only a single example was built, other, smaller, fighters proving more practicable.
In early 1916, the British War Office drew up a specification for a multi-seat escort fighter to be powered by one of the new Rolls-Royce Eagle engines, intended to protect formations of bombers from German fighters, with an additional role of destroying enemy airships. While the specification did not require high speed, a good field of fire for its guns was essential, while the secondary anti-Zeppelin role demanded an endurance of at least seven hours.
Orders were placed for prototypes from Armstrong Whitworth (the F.K.6), Sopwith and Vickers (the F.B.11). All three designs were driven by the need to provide wide fields of fire in the absence of effective synchronisation gear that would allow safe firing of guns through the propeller disc.
The Sopwith proposal was modified from an existing design for a two-seat triplane, with a nacelle for a gunner added to the upper wing. It had three-bay, narrow chord wings, with the streamlined nacelle housing the upper gunner who was armed with a 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun built around the center section of the upper wing. Ailerons were fitted to all wings, with air brakes fitted to the lower wing. The deep fuselage housed the pilot and a second gunner armed with a 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun to guard the aircraft's tail. Power was provided by a 250hp Rolls-Royce Mk I (Eagle I) 12-cylinder water-cooled engine. Balancing wheels were fitted well ahead of the aircraft's mainwheels in order to prevent the aircraft overturning, as the upper gunner would be extremely vulnerable if this occurred.
The prototype, which was nicknamed "Egg-Box" flew late in 1916. It was not developed further, with smaller fighters fitted with synchronisation gear such as Sopwith's own 1½ Strutter now available, with all of the proposed three-seat escort fighters abandoned.
The Vickers E.S.1 was an early British Fighter aircraft of the First World War. A single engined biplane, only three E.S.1s were built, although at least one was used by a home defence squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.
In late 1914, Harold Barnwell, chief test pilot with Vickers Limited, designed a single seat "scout" or fast reconnaissance aircraft, and had it built without the knowledge or approval of his employers, "borrowing" a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine from Vickers' stores to power the aircraft. Barnwell attempted a first flight of his design, named the "Barnwell Bullet" in early 1915, but the aircraft crashed and was wrecked, possibly due to a miscalculated Center of gravity. Now aware of Barnwell's design, Vickers instructed their junior designer Rex Pierson to redesign the Bullet.
The redesigned aircraft, the Vickers E.S.1 (Experimental Scout), was a single-engined tractor biplane of fabric covered wooden construction. It had single-bay unstaggered wings with ailerons on both the upper and lower wings. Like the Barnwell Bullet, the E.S.1 was powered by a Monosoupape engine, closely cowled into a circular section fuselage. The pilot's cockpit was situated under the trailing edge of the upper wing, from which the view both downwards and upwards was poor.
The E.S.1 first flew in August 1915, and was found to be extremly fast (a speed of 118 mph (190 km/h) was claimed by Vickers), and being capable of gaining height while looping. Following operational trials in France, it was fitted with a modified cowling to allow fuel to drain away from the engine, and was fitted with a forward firing Vickers machine gun with the Vickers-Challenger gun-synchronising gear allowing the gun to fire through the propeller disc. A further two aircraft were built with a modified fuselage and a large cut-out in the upper wing to improve the view for the pilot, and powered by a 110 hp Clerget or Le Rhône engine. These were designated Vickers E.S.1 Mark II. (Also sometimes called Vickers E.S.2, although contemporary reports all refer to these aircraft as E.S.1s.) No further production followed, with the aircraft being noted as being tiring to fly and difficult to land, although it did form the basis for the Vickers F.B.19.
The unarmed E.S.1 was sent to France for operational trials at Saint-Omer in France in 1916, where it was criticised for the poor view for the pilot and for the fact that if the engine was mishandled, petrol could collect in the cowling and catch fire, and was finally badly damaged in a crash when flown by Captain Patrick Playfair. After rebuilding and arming with a synchronised Vickers gun, the modified E.F.1 Mk I was sent to No. 50 (Home Defence) Squadron.
The Vickers F.B.11 was a prototype British three-seat escort fighter of the First World War. A large single engined biplane, it carried one gunner in a nacelle mounted on the upper wing to give an all-round field of fire. Only a single example was completed.
In early 1916, the British War Office drew up a specification for a multi-seat escort fighter to be powered by one of the new Rolls-Royce Eagle engines, intended to protect formations of bombers from German fighters such as the Fokker E.I, with an additional role of destroying enemy airships. While the specification did not require high speed, a good field of fire for its guns was essential, while the secondary anti-Zeppelin role demanded an endurance of at least seven hours.
Orders were placed for prototypes from Armstrong Whitworth (the F.K.6), Sopwith (the L.R.T.Tr.) and Vickers. All three designs were driven by the need to provide wide fields of fire in the absence of effective synchronisation gear that would allow safe firing of guns through the propeller disc.
The Vickers response, the F.B.11, designed by R.L. Howard-Flanders, was a large, single-bay, biplane of tractor layout. Pilot and one gunner sat in separate but closely spaced cockpits under the trailing edge of the upper wing, while a second gunner sat in a nacelle, or "fighting top", attached to, and extending forward of the upper wing. The Eagle engine was mounted in a clean cowling, with the radiator fitted behind the engine in the fuselage.
Two prototypes were ordered, with the first flying in September-October 1916, being tested at RNAS Eastchurch in November that year. It proved to have poor lateral control and performance, and was destroyed in a crash. The second prototype was not completed, and as effective synchronising gears were now available (including Vickers own Vickers-Challenger gear), none of the escort fighters were developed further.
The slow, low flying and fragile Vickers F.B.12 marks the last gasp for British pusher-type fightercraft development. The introduction of the Sopwith Pup, and Triplane, which were both far superior aircraft in terms of handling characteristics, maximum speed, and operational celings killed chances for the F.B.12 before it could enter into production.
At the start of the First World War, Vickers entered into a partnership with the Hart Engine Company to develop a 150 hp (110 kW) nine-cyliner radial engine designed by Hart. This engine was planned to power a number of new designs by Vickers, the first of which was a small single-engine pusher biplane fighter, the F.B.12.
The F.B.12 resembled the D.H.2 and F.E.8; wood and fabric wings with rounded tips. The circular nacelle was framed in steel tubing, with the engine directly behind the cockpit, driving a wooden propeller. The tail was at the end of an open steel boom. A .303 in (7.7 mm) machine gun was placed inside the front of the nacelle, with only the barrel protruding.
The first FB.12 flew in June 1916, powered by a 80 hp (60 kW) Le Rhêne rotary engine as the Hart was not yet available. With this engine, it proved to be underpowered and was re-fitted with a 100 hp (75 kW) Gnome Monosoupape engine. It was then rebuilt with increased wing span and area, becoming the F.B.12A. In December 1916 it was sent to France for operational testing, where it was deemed as good as the D.H.2 and F.E.8, but still outclassed by the German aircraft.
The F.B.12B was similar to the F.B.12A, but fitted with the originally intended Hart engine, flying early in 1917. In November 1916, meanwhile, the War Office placed an order for 50 Hart powered aircraft, designated the F.B.12C for the RFC. The F.B.12B crashed during tests in early 1917, leading to Vickers abandoning the Hart. Only 18 of the order were built, being fitted with a number of different engines including a 110 hp (80 kW) Le Rhône and a 100 hp (75 kW) Anzani radial. Tested between May and July 1917, only 1 F.B.12C was delivered, to the Home Defense unit.
The F.B.12D was the final variation, only 1 prototype was produced with a larger 110 hp (80 kW) Le Rhone engine.
The F.B.16 was a single-bay staggered biplane with an elliptical cross section, designed by Rex K Pierson, to utilise the 150 hp Hart engine. The initial F.B.16 was completed and flown in the summer of 1916. The fuselage was fully faired out, and the Hart engine was partly cowled. Armament consisting of a single centrally-mounted synchronised 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun. During the course of testing, the part-cowling was removed from the engine to improve cooling. The decking aft of the cockpit was cut down and new vertical tail surfaces were fitted. With the suspension development of the Hart engine, the basic F.B.16 underwent a major redesign.
The redesigned aircraft was designated the F.B.16A. It was powered with a 150 hp Hispano-Suiza water-cooled V-eight engine. This aircraft was destroyed in a crash on 20 December 1916, but a second identical aircraft was completed in the following month. The F.B.16A had flat fuselage sides and the single synchronised 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun was supplemented by a 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis machine gun mounted above the center section.
After receiving favorable reports during Martlesham Heath trials, the F.B.16A was once again redesigned. Several design changes were tried. The powerplant was upgraded from the 150 hp Hispano-Suiza to a 200 hp Hispano-Suiza engine. A wider-chord wing was fitted, with an increase in both gap and stagger. The F.B.16D was also fitted with a larger vertical tail. The synchronised 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun was replaced by a 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis machine gun firing through the hollow propeller shaft. Because large contracts for the contemporary S.E.5a had been placed, particularly with Vickers, and because Martlesham Heath evaluation contained numerous design criticisms which would have been time consuming to address, the F.B.16D was not ordered into production.
The design team was not deterred by the setback. Work on a new improved variant continued. The F.B.16E was powered by a 275 hp Lorraine-Dietrich 8Bd r, water-cooled V-eight-cylinder engine. Armament consisted of two forward firing, synchronised 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns totally enclosed in elongated blisters between the cylinder block fairings.
The F.B.16E was tested at Villacoublay by the French authorities, who were encouraged by the manufacturer's performance claims, including a speed of and the ability to climb to that altitude within 7.85 min. During Villacoublay trials, the F.B.16E allegedly returned performance figures unsurpassed by any of its contemporaries. In spite of the successful tests no production order was placed. Development on this aircraft ended on 29 July 1918, when the prototype crashed after its propeller disintegrated.
Confusingly, aircraft of original design produced by the J S White company bore the appellation Wight, to link them with the location of the works at Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The last of some eight types developed under the direction of Howard T Wright as chief designer was the only Wight aircraft in the fighter category.
This was a quadruplane of most unusual layout, in which the fuselage filled the gap between the two middle wings, with the upper and lower mainplanes carried above and below it on struts. At first, single wide-chord struts were used for the cabane and for the single wing bays between the upper, mid-upper and mid-lower wings, all of which had ailerons. The bottom wing, of shorter span, was carried on pairs of struts under the fuselage, and from the mid lower wing. The main wheels were carried on single struts each side and were notched into the bottom wing, with which the axle was in line. Construction was of wood, with mixed fabric and plywood covering.
As first flown the wheels were recessed into the bottom wing and a large tailskid was needed to prevent the trailing edge scraping the ground. This was replaced by a more conventional arrangement.
The engine was a 110hp Clerget 9Z nine-cylinder rotary, but there is no record of the planned armament. Early flight testing, in mid-1916, led to a complete redesign and rebuild, by Howard T Wright and his team, with a fuselage of increased cross-section area and changed profile in side elevation, an enlarged tail unit and a new set of wings of varying chord. The original broad-chord struts gave way to pairs of narrow struts throughout and the undercarriage was lengthened.
Possibly first tested at Martlesham Heath in February 1917, the Quadruplane acquired a third set of wings, with span progressively decreasing from top to bottom and ailerons on the two upper sets only. Further tests in July 1917 were unsatisfactory and the Quadruplane was written off in February 1918.
The wing section was an original and very inefficient design by designer Howard Wright. There w camber at the leading and trailing edges but a flat middle section. The Quadruplane's wingspan was less than the fuselage length, which by the time it appeared was the reverse of the established practice.