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Martinsyde G-series (Elephant)

United Kingdom (1916)
Picture of Martinsyde G-series (Elephant) Biplane Light Bomber

Fewer than 300 of the Martinsyde G-series light bombers were produced in World War 1 - they were originally developed as fighters and escorts.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Martinsyde G-series (Elephant) Biplane Light Bomber.  Entry last updated on 10/18/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

When Britain committed to World War 1 (1914-1918) it held a stable of just 113 aircraft and six airships. This undoubtedly grew as the war quickly progressed and, by the end of it all, a myriad of designs had appeared and production of these units collectively totaled in the tens of thousands - such was the impact of the war on the local aero-industry.

Martinsyde, founded in 1908 by H.P. Martin and George Handasyde, made a name for itself in both aviation and motorcycle fields - the latter following only after the war in 1919. Early aircraft developments included a racer (the No.3) and a single-seat scout platform (the S.1). In the fall of 1915, as the war raged on, the Martinsyde G.100 was flown for the first time with an Austro-Daimler 120 horsepower engine. It was adopted by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) of Britain and the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) thereafter.

The G.100 was developed along the lines of single-seat fighter / escort aircraft. A biplane wing configuration, with parallel struts and twin bays, was used. The undercarriage was fixed and wheeled in the traditional way for the period and the pilot sat in an open-air cockpit under and aft of the upper wing assembly. The tail was conventional and featured a single vertical fin with mid-set horizontal planes. The engine, mounted in the nose, drove a two-bladed wooden propeller.

The G.100 initial production forms were fitted a Beardmore 6-cylinder engine of 120 horsepower. Armament was 1 x 0.303 Lewis Gun machine gun installed on the upper wing unit to clear the spinning propeller blades and the bombload totaled 260lb of externally-held stores. Total production of the mark was 100 aircraft. A second Lewis Gun was added only later and this set behind the cockpit along the portside fuselage (behind the pilot's left shoulder) - intended to fire rearwards as trailing, intercepting enemy aircraft. Performance included a maximum speed of 95 miles per hour, a range out to 450 miles and a service ceiling of 14,000 feet.

The G.100 began arriving in number for the summer of 1916 - it was named the "Elephant" by its operators because of its large size and lack of agility for a single-seat platform. This led to the RFC re-categorizing it as a light daytime bomber when the aircraft's limited usefulness as a fighter was realized. The deficiencies in the G.100 design led Martinsyde to develop the G.102 fitted with Beardmore engines of 160 horsepower. These, too, were taken into service with 171 delivered.

Despite not succeeding in its original fighter / escort role, the G-series did find some success as a light bomber owing to its good inherent operational range. It saw service into late-1917 before being overcome by more capable types. Squadron No.1 of the AFC operated the G-series in Egypt and Palestine while some fifteen RFC squadrons were formed with the type.

Any available statistics for the Martinsyde G-series (Elephant) Biplane Light Bomber are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (96mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Martinsyde G.100's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
271
271


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
National Origin: United Kingdom
Service Year: 1916
Classification Type: Biplane Light Bomber
Manufacturer(s): Martinsyde - United Kingdom
Production Units: 271
Global Operators:
Australia; United Kingdom
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Martinsyde G.100 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
26.25 ft


Meters
8 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
38.06 ft


Meters
11.6 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.68 ft


Meters
2.95 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,797 lb


Kilograms
815 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,425 lb


Kilograms
1,100 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Beardmore 6-cylinder engine developing 120 horsepower and driving two-bladed wooden propeller in nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
96 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
155 kph


Knots
84 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
450 mi


Kilometers
724 km


Nautical Miles
391 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
14,009 ft


Meters
4,270 m


Miles
2.65 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
625 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
190 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (6):

1 x 0.303 Lewis Gun machine gun over center wing section.
1 x 0.303 Lewis Gun machine gun in portside fuselage location facing rear.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 260lb of conventional drop stores.
Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Variants: Series Model Variants
• "Elephant" - Series Nickname
• G.100 - Original production model with Beardmore engines of 120 horsepower; 100 examples completed.
• G.102 - Fitted with Beardmore engines of 160 horsepower for slightly improved performance specifications; 171 examples completed.