The Beardmore W.B.V was a prototype British single-engine shipborne biplane fighter of World War I developed by Beardmore. It was not successful, only two being completed.
Development and design
At the same time as developing the Beardmore W.B.IV
, G Tilghman-Richards, the chief designer of Beardmore, designed a second aircraft to meet an Admiralty
requirement for a ship-borne fighter aircraft to be armed with a 37 mm Le-Puteaux quick firing gun in order to destroy airships. The resulting aircraft, the W.B.V, was a single seater two-bay tractor biplane
powered by a 200 hp (149 kW) Hispano-Suiza engine. The wings folded for storage onboard ship. The manually loaded Le-Puteaux gun was mounted between the cylinder banks of the V-8 engine, firing through a hollow propeller shaft. Unlike the W.B.V, the W.B.IV was not fitted with a buoyancy chamber, being instead fitted with inflatable flotation bags.
The first prototype flew on 3 December 1917. During testing, the Le Puteaux gun was considered dangerous by RNAS pilots, and the aircraft was re-armed with a more conventional synchronised Vickers machine gun together with a Lewis gun mounted on a tripod mounting. Development was abandoned shortly after the completion of a second prototype.
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- Mason, Francis K (1992). The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland US: Naval Institute Press.
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