Thursday, April 21, 2011

Britain - 1917 Beardmore W.B.IV

Another Strange Design

Beardmore W.B.IV-1917
Beardmore W.B.IV-1917

There have been numerous times when design specifications set by the Admiralty led to the construction of very odd aircraft. The Beardmore W.B.IV is a good example of this statement. It is a hybrid land or carrier based fighter and flying boat which looks like it was designed by committee. It did have interesting lines and a distinctive appearance making it a good subject for drawing. I was in luck, there are line drawings and photographs available for reference.

The Beardmore W.B.IV was a British single-engine biplane ship-based fighter of World War I developed by William Beardmore and Company. Only one was built.

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 permanent 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.

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