This three-seater armed tractor biplane was constructed by Robey and Co under the design of J.A. Peters to carry the Admiralty-sponsored Davis recoiless gun. The more remarkable feature of this 240 hp Roll-Royce powered aircraft was its crew members disposition. The two gunners were located each in a nacelle faired into the upper wings where they manned their Davis guns, while the pilot was placed bizarrely in a cockpit towards the very rear of the fuselage just ahead of the fin. Two examples were ordered by the Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) in May 1916, but in the end all came to naught when the first prototype crashed in its very first flight in May 1917.
Poor little thing. The iconic Blériot XI looks so fragile here, it was certainly past its prime at that time and not well-suited for this metier anyway.
Sublime 1915 artwork of William L. Wyllie. (Defence Academy of the United Kingdom).
A gorgeously brand new Halberstadt D.II in all its serene cuteness. A deadly war machine it was though.
Photo: Peter M. Grosz’s collection (again).
It looks like a Fokker Eindecker, but it’s not. The resemblance is quite understandable: both the Pfalz and Fokker took the French Morane-Saulnier H monoplane as the basis from their own lines of “Einderckers”. Less well-known than Fokker’s, the Pfalz were very decent aircraft for its time, according to some sources better than its Fokker’s counterparts. Anthony Fokker was indeed a very gifted wheeler and dealer.
The one on this precious piece of advertisement is an E.IV, the more radical of the rotary-engined variants. With its armament doubled to two 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns placed on a lengthened fuselage designed to carry the stunning 160hp Oberursel U.III 14-cylinder double row rotary engine. Those teardrop-shaped air intakes and the Pfalz company medallion…..
Artist: Max Schammler.
The Type 2 of the Frederick Sage & Co wooden company was one of the loveliest try to produce an sort fighter aircraft before the availability of an effective, and safe, gun synchronising gear. Powered by the classic 100 hp Gnôme Monosoupape rotary, the main feature and attraction of the Sage Scout was that both its pilot and gunner sat in an fully glazed enclosed cabin placed between the fuselage and upper wing. A porthole placed in the upper wing was employed by the gunner handle his Lewis MG. Pretty neat all, but already too late. By the time of its first flight, in the summer of 1916, the synchronising gear was already there. Sadly too, the unique prototype was lost just before the end of that summer.
Lovingly “Hergé-esque” drawing. It was that pretty.
Even the docile and unglamorous B.E.2 in artistic hands could do wonders….twice, at least.