1917 Avro 504K


Early Aeroplanes 1907-1918

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Avro was founded in January 1910 by Alliott Verdon Roe at Brownsfield Mill in Manchester. It remained in Lancashire throughout its 53 years. The Avro 504 was a World War I biplane. Wartime production was 8,970. First flown in September 1913 it was powered by an 80 hp (60 kW) Gnome Lambda seven-cylinder rotary engine. A development of the earlier Avro 500 designed for training and private flying it was a two-bay all-wooden biplane with a square-section fuselage. A few were purchased by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) before the War and taken to France when it started. An RFC aircraft was the first British plane shot down on 22 August 1914. The RNAS used four Avro 504s to form a special flight that bombed the Zeppelin works at Friedrichshafen. Soon obsolete as a front-line aircraft, it came into its own as a trainer. In the winter of 1917-18 converted Avro 504Js and Avro 504Ks were used to equip Home Defence squadrons of the RFC, replacing ageing B.E.2cs that had poor altitude performance. These aircraft were modified as single-seaters, armed with a Lewis gun above the wing on a Foster mounting and powered by 100 hp (75 kW) Gnôme or 110 hp (80 kW) Le Rhône engines. 274 converted Avro 504Js and Avro 504Ks were issued to eight home defence squadrons in 1918, with 226 still being used as fighters at the end of World War I. [The Skytamer Archive]

Additional information

Dimensions 47.5 × 34.5 cm