British Aircraft That Heavily Influenced Biplane design

The Avro aircraft company built a Type 504 aircraft series that, unbeknownst to them at the time, would turn into one of the most widely produced and highly influential biplane aircraft designs of the United Kingdom. The Type 504 first fielded in 1913 served the British Royal Air Force remarkably well up to the start of the 1930s. Its design originally marked it to be a two seater reconnaissance biplane to carry full armament; it was however soon adopted into a training role after the advent of newer, better performing fighter planes. Its new role as a trainer helped the Avro Type 504 to serve the RAF for several more decades.

Type 504 aircraft

Its biplane single-engine design accommodated a variety of crew configurations, mostly incorporating two crew members in tandem fore and aft positions. Armament consisted of a single forward swivel mounted fully automatic Lewis 7.62 mm calibre machine gun and fixed underwing bomb carriage positions. Avro went on to in later years developed two further models, the first model designated the 523 Pike and introduced in 1916, with two built to serve as a prototype aerial bomber testbed for the full duration of the First World War, with no further bomber aircraft ever completed. In 1917 the company introduced a further model 529 also offering up a bomber design with only two ever created.

The Bristol aviation assembly lines produced a model designate the F2, a plane intended as a reconnaissance aircraft received into service and tended the Royal Air Force needs faithfully throughout the British Empire for decades, began its service life at the start of the First World War continuing its long lifespan into the interwar period. Despite its initial role as a reconnaissance platform, it proved to be a quite viable fighter combat system, initially due to incorrect strategies employed as a fighter in combat it was thought to be a disastrous failure. The initial dogfight strategy placed too high an emphasis on the pilot providing a better firing arc for their rear gunners, the strategy was to create an impenetrable rear firing arc which proved to be flawed after four of a squadron of six F2 aeroplanes were lost to enemy gun fire during a single dogfight. The F2 pilots were later allowed new increasingly relaxed tactics, they then discovered by treating their planes as single seat fighters they could utilise its impressive manoeuvrability and airspeed as the pilot’s primary tool in conjunction with its forward firing gun, only relying on a rear gunners to contribute to opportunistic shots while mostly serving to care-take the aircraft’s rear defence.

Rolls Royce’s Falcon

Ditching its original Beardmore engine producing 120 hp in favour of Rolls Royce’s Falcon engines producing 190 hp to add some more horsepower to the already manoeuvrable airframe, together with its newfound successful strategy to deploy in dogfights, provided the Allied F2 armed forces with a sure-fire response to the increasingly lethal German aircraft types they were faced with over the European World War I theatre. This particular latter day package became one of the more accomplished fighters deployed during World War I.