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Today in History

Designed in 1913, the Avro 504 was fairly sturdy, easy to fly and one of the best British aircraft of the period. In addition to reconnaissance duties, it was used by the Royal Naval Air Service to conduct bombing raids into German territory at the beginning of the war. The Avro 504 was the first plane to strafe troops on the ground and it was also the first British plane to be shot down by enemy ground fire. Better aircraft soon replaced the Avro 504 in combat but it remained the standard British trainer for the duration of the war.

The characteristic that made the Avro 504 biplane instantly identifiable was the skid between its wheels. The purpose of the skid was to protect the propellor if the plane landed with its tail too high.
Avro 504 Units
Australian Flying Corps: 5, 6, 7, 8
Royal Flying Corps: 33, 47
Avro 504 Specifications
Country: Great Britain
Manufacturer: Avro
Type: Bomber/Fighter/Reconnaissance/Trainer
First Introduced: July 1913
Number Built: 8340
Engine(s): Gnôme Monosoupape, rotary, 100 hp
Le Rhône, rotary x 1, 110 hp
Clerget 9B, 130 hp
Wing Span: 36 ft
Length: 29 ft 6 in
Height: 10 ft 5 in
Empty Weight: 1,231 lb
Gross Weight: 1829 lb
Max Speed: 82 mph (Gnôme)
95 mph (Le Rhône)
94 mph (Clerget 9B)
Ceiling: 16,000 (Le Rhône)
13,000 ft (Gnôme)
Endurance: 3 hours
Crew: 2
Armament: 1 Lewis .303 machine gun
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