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1

Vickers Wellington

The twin-engined Wellington, affectionately known the “Wimpy”. was the RAF’s most advanced bomber aircraft going into World War II. It boasted a “geodetic” construction patented by inventor Barnes Wallis, its fuselage and wings being formed from a latticework of intersecting aluminium units, but could only be fabric-covered, a major disadvantage. However, the resulting airframe was light, damage-resistant, and easily repaired. This was extremely fortunate, […]

2

Vickers Vimy

Designed late in World War I as a strategic bomber, the Vickers FB.27 Vimy had excellent handling and impressive lifting capacity for its size, carrying a 2,476lb bombload. It entered service with the RAF too late for active participation in the war, but was rescued from obscurity by two record-breaking long-distance flights in 1919. On 14-15 June 1919 pilot Captain […]

3

Vickers Viscount

The world’s first turboprop airliner, the Vickers Viscount was one of the Pew British aircraft to make an impact on the American market. Hugely popular with passengers, it offered a distinctly more comfortable, quieter, and faster ride than its piston-engined equivalents, as well as giving travellers an excellent view from its relatively large windows. The Viscount took time to find its market. The first […]

4

Vickers Gunbus

While it did not remotely resemble the modern idea of a fighter aircraft, the Vickers F.B.5 Gunbus(F.B. stood lor Fighting Biplane) was nevertheless one of the first machines to be purpose-built for air-to-air combat. Initially ordered by the British Admiralty, the biplane eventually served with both the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. Viekcrs needed to find a way of […]

5

Short Empire Flying Boat

Air travel was never more romantic than in the era of the large flying boats. The magnificent Short S.23s that travelled Britain’s imperial routes in Ihe late 1930s offered their privileged passengers an unforgettable experience. The principal mission, however, of the “Empire” flying boats was the transportation of mail. Il was in order to fulfil the terms of its Empire Air Mail Scheme […]

6

Sopwith Camel

The famous Sopwith F.1 Camel destroyed more German aircraft than any other World War I fighter, although it also had an unfortunate reputation for killing its own pilots. It was named for the “hump” over the two Vickers machine guns mounted in front of the cockpit. The aircraft was powered hy a rotary engine, and engine, armament, and pilot were all concentrated at the […]

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Airco D.H.9A

The Airco D.H.9 was designed as an improvement upon the same company’s successfuI day bomber,  the D.H.4. In particular, the pilot’s and observer’s cockpits were moved closer together, improving in- fligh communication between the  two crew members. Unfortunately when first introduced in 1917, the D.H.9’s performance proved inferior to the earlier machine. This was rectified by replacing its problematic Siddeley engine with the American […]

8

Staaken E.4/20 Monoplane

The E.4/20 was the first large all-metal aircraft and the true forerunner of the modern airliner. This ambitious aeroplane was masterminded by 30-year-old German engineer Dr Adolf Rohrbach, chief designer at the Zeppelin company’s plant at Staaken, near Berlin. A four-engine passenger aircraft, it was initially intended for a commercial service between Friedrichshafen, Zeppelin’s main site in southern Germany and Berlin. Astonishingly advanced, the […]

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Boeing 314

The Boeing 314 “Clipper” flying boat was probably the most luxurious passenger aeroplane ever built, This stately giant was created for Pan American, who wanted an aircraft to carry wealthy passengers in comfort and style on transoceanic routes. Boeing married the wings and tailplane of their prototype XB-15 long-range bomber with a massive whale-shaped hull to make a flying boat of breathtaking […]

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Airco D.H.4

Designed by Geoffrey dc Havilland, the Airco D.H.4 is regarded as the best single-engine day bomber of World War I. It outpaced all but the fastest German fighters and defended itself effectively; the pilot operated a fixed forward-firing Vickers gun and there was a moveable Lewis gun on the observer’s gun ring. The one major design drawback was the distance between […]