The Beardmore W.B.IV was a British single-engine biplane ship-based fighter of World War I developed by Beardmore. Only one was built.
Development and design
The W.B.IV was designed to meet Admiralty
Specification N.1A for a naval land or ship based fighter aircraft. The design was dominated by the demands of safely ditching and remaining afloat, with a large permament flotation chamber built into the fuselage under the nose. The pilot was in a watertight cockpit over the propeller shaft, with the Hispano-Suiza V-8 engine behind him over the center of gravity of the aircraft. The entire undercarriage could be released from the plane for water landings. The wing tips were fitted with additional floats, while the aircraft's two-bay wings could fold for storage on board ship.
The single prototype first flew at Beardmore's Dalmuir factory on 12 December 1917, being delivered for evaluation at Martlesham Heath in July 1918. The W.B.IV had poorer performance than the much simpler and smaller Sopwith 2F.1 Camel and was not developed further. The sole prototype was lost when it sank during ditching.
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