Avro 523 Pike Short-Range Biplane Bomber Aircraft
Only two Avro Pike bombers were ever completed, these prototypes serving as testbeds for the duration of World War 1.
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Avro (A.V. Roe and Company) was founded in 1910 and based out of Manchester. The firm played a large role from World War 1 into the Cold War and preceded to release such well-known products as the Avro 504 trainer of World War 1 fame, the Avro Lancaster from World War 2 and the Avro Vulcan of the Cold War years. The Avro 523 "Pike" became a lesser-known development to most and, in any event, only two airframes were ever completed and these two never moved on beyond the prototype stage. The Avro 523 was in fact the first Avro company product to be officially designated with a name (Pike). Until now, the aircraft produced by the company were known simply by their in-house model numbers.
Design of the 523 was attributed to engineer Roy Chadwick of Avro, one of the original key members of the firm when joining the company in September of 1911 at age eighteen. The type was conventional by historical standards and consisted of a traditional fuselage frame with a biplane wing arrangement. The biplane wings were set ahead of amidships and featured three bays with parallel support struts. The undercarriage was fixed in place and centered around a wheel pairing under the bulk of the airframe weight forward. The empennage was supported with a simple skid. The tail unit was also conventional. The aircraft was crewed by three personnel that included the pilot and two dedicated gunners - the latter pair in a forward and rear cockpit gun position. All positions were "open air" providing for excellent unobstructed views but exposing the crew to the elements.