Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle

Avro 504

Biplane Reconnaissance / Biplane Trainer Aircraft

The Avro Type 504 biplane became of the most remarkable airplane designs to come out of the fighting of World War 1.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 6/7/2017
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1913
Manufacturer(s): Avro (A.V. Roe) - UK
Production: 8,970
Capabilities: Reconnaissance (RECCE); Training;
Crew: 2
Length: 29.36 ft (8.95 m)
Width: 35.93 ft (10.95 m)
Height: 10.50 ft (3.2 m)
Weight (Empty): 1,235 lb (560 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 1,830 lb (830 kg)
Power: 1 x Le Rhone 9J air-cooled rotary engine developing 110 horsepower.
Speed: 90 mph (145 kph; 78 kts)
Ceiling: 15,994 feet (4,875 m; 3.03 miles)
Range: 249 miles (400 km; 216 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 700 ft/min (213 m/min)
Operators: Argentina; Australia; Belgium; Bolivia; Brazil; Canada; Chile; China; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; Greece; Guatemala; India; Iran; Ireland; Japan; Latvia; Malay; Mexico; Mongolia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Peru; Poland; Portugal; Imperial Russia; South Africa; Soviet Union; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan; Thailand (Siam); Turkey; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay
Without knowing it from the outset, the Avro Type 504 series of aircraft would become one of the most produced and influential biplane designs for the United Kingdom, being fielded from 1913 all the way through the early 1930s. The design originally started as an armed reconnaissance biplane but quickly was relegated to the training role with the advent of new and better performing fighter aircraft. This new role would help the Avro 504 to shine in Royal forces service for decades to come.

The Avro Type 504, at its core, was a single engine biplane design. Depending on the model series, crew accommodations amounted to one or two personnel. Armament was usually a forward flexible-mounted Lewis machine gun of 7.62mm caliber. Additional stores in the way of bombs could be affixed to underwing portions of the aircraft. Early models also contained a landing skid in addition to the fixed landing gears, though this skid would be removed in subsequent models.

The legacy of the Type 504 would begin as a further design of the Avro Type 500 basic trainer. With an order placed by the Royal Navy and Royal Army of Britain, the Type 504 was in service by 1913 with its Gnome Rotary engine generating a perceived 80hp which amounted to more like 60hp in practice. Early combat experience saw the Type 504 conduct limited strikes against ground targets with the more-than-occasional Zeppelin-busting sortie to boot. Though a success in these roles, the advancing technology of wartime research forces the Type 504 into training duties by 1914.

The Type 504 proved to be a versatile performer as proven by the myriad of variants produced featuring minor structural revisions, new designations for specialized roles and a plethora of engine fittings. The Type 504K model represented the two-seat version whilst the 504C amounted to a specialized anti-Zeppelin mount. Float pontoons would go on to produce the Type 504L floatplane while the Type 504M was relegated to transport duties. By the end of the war, the system was still seeing production and would see nearly 600 more added to the 10,000 plus total between the years of 1925 and 1932. These would be designated as the Type 504N models and be new production or converted models of existing Type 504s. Type 504s would eventually be superceded by the Avro Tutor aircraft series.

In the end, the remarkable Type 504 series would become one of the most endearing aircraft of its generation. Many a military pilot would owing his wings to having trained on the platform and many more civilian pilots would as well. The Type 504 would become a mainstay of the famous "barnstorming" touring groups as well as becoming a prized collector piece to the avid flyer.


1 x 7.62mm Lewis machine gun in a forward flexible mount.

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun

Variants / Models

• Type 504 - Initial Production Model developed from the Type 500 basic trainer; powered by a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine generating 80hp.
• Type 504A - Featured smaller ailerons; powered by a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine generating 80hp.
• Type 504B - Featured larger dorsal fin; powered by a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine generating 80hp.
• Type 504C - "Anti-Zeppelin" single seat fighter; powered by a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine generating 80hp.
• Type 504D - Powered by a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine generating 80hp.
• Type 504E - Re-engineered wings; powered by a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine generating 100hp.
• Type 504J - Powered by a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine generating 100hp.
• Type 504K - Standard RAF Two-Seat Trainer Model; universal engine mounting (inline, radial or rotary types).
• Type 504L - Floatplane Derivative
• Type 504M - Cabin Transport Aircraft
• Type 504N - Post-War Conversion Models featuring subtle modifications and redesigns to structure and landing systems; fitted with Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV radial engines.
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo