Monday, August 8, 2011

Britain - 1918 Armstrong Whitworth Armadillo

Look! A Flying Armadillo!

Maybe it is just me, but the name Armadillo sounds like a good nickname for a tank, but for an aircraft, not so much. It was not a bad aircraft, it was just not as good as the competing models being produced. The lines are clean, although the box-like section housing the machine guns makes it look thicker than it really was.

The Armstrong Whitworth Armadillo was a British single-seat biplane fighter aircraft built by Armstrong Whitworth. The aircraft was a two-bay biplane with a square section fuselage. The engine in the nose was enclosed by a circular cowl with a deep hump above the cowl housing twin 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns.

The Armadillo was designed in early 1918 by Fred Murphy, who had succeeded F Koolhoven as chief designer to Armstrong Whitworth. The F.M.4 Armadillo was developed as a private venture single-seat fighter. The aircraft was powered by a Bentley BR2 rotary engine. The development program began construction of two prototypes.

By the time the Armadillo appeared, in summer 1918, the Sopwith Snipe had already entered large scale production. The Snipe's performance avantage won out and the Armadillo was abandoned. The project was canceled leaving the second prototype uncompleted.


  1. Armstrong Whitworth Armadillo. (2010, May 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:19, July 4, 2010, from
  2. Bruce, J.M. (1965). War Planes of the First World War Volume One Fighters London: Macdonald9.
  3. Mason, Francis K. (1992). British Fighters since 1912 Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press,. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
  4. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1990). Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I London: Studio Editions.


The Angry Lurker said...

It's a nice looking aircraft, apologies but your blog seems to have disappeared off my blogroll for some reason, apologies.

W. I. Boucher said...

thanks Fran. I agree. That is strange. I thought it might have been because I had posted at odd times recently. When I looked at your profile my blog was indeed gone from your follow list.