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Voisin Type 5

France (1915)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Voisin Type 5 Light Biplane Bomber Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 12/1/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Voisin Type 5  
Picture of Voisin Type 5 Light Biplane Bomber Aircraft

The Voisin 5 could mount a single 7.7mm machine gun or a 37mm cannon in the bow gun position.

The French Voisin Type 5 bomber was developed from the proven Voisin III series and saw action in the First World War. Though the III series accomplished what was expected from it, it soon became apparent that aircraft with larger bomb loads were more appropriate for the changing face of the fronts. The III series was used as the basis of a new class of bomber featuring a stronger airframe and more powerful engines among other subtle engineering changes. This new development was now classified as the Voisin Type 5 and served for a time alongside the III models eventually replacing them on the production lines. Valued for a short time, the Type 5 was eventually relegated to bomber training and limited bombing sorties.

On the whole, the Voisin Type 5 (or simply "Voisin 5" or "Type 5") was a single engine aircraft powered by a "pusher-type" propeller arrangement mounted to the rear of a central nacelle. Wings were of the biplane variety - with the top assembly shifted forward - and stemmed from the rear of the nacelle over and under the engine placement. The empennage consisted of Vee-shaped cable-and-strut arrangement leading to the extreme rear where a single vertical tail fin was located, crossing an elongated elevator. The undercarriage was of a quadruple type and remained static in flight, one wheel to a landing gear strut. Seating consisted of a single pilot/gunner/bombardier seated in the forward portion of the nacelle just forward of the engine mounting. This forward position - offering up unparalleled views - held the standard primary armament that consisted of a single 7.7mm machine gun or a 1 x 37mm cannon. Up to 132 pounds of external stores in the form of bombs could be carried. Aside from this base Type 5 model, other developments included an experimental twin engine model appearing for a short time. This particular airframe was used to test a "pusher-puller" engine design layout approach (one engine pulling the aircraft whilst the other pushed it along) to the existing airframe but apparently came to naught.

In action, the Type 5 held its own for the most part but were not very highly sought after by pilots as the weapon she was marketed to be. Despite the beneficial additions and changes to the III series design, the Type 5 was not that much better than the design it replaced. Performance gains were minimal and the increase in power led only to a small increase in overall payload capacity. In the end, yet another attempt at a pusher-type aircraft produced very little operational fruit for the system proved to have some very serious inherent drawbacks including susceptibility to rear attack (no defensive armament was afforded the rear as the engine took up this space) and a single crewmember was expected to fill three onboard roles at once. Other operators of quantitative note included Russia.
Any available statistics for the Voisin Type 5 Light Biplane Bomber Aircraft 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).
Voisin Type 5 Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 1915
Type: Light Biplane Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Voisin - France
Production: 300
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 1
Length: 31.27 ft (9.53 m)
Width: 48.39 ft (14.75 m)
Height: 11.91 ft (3.63 m)
Empty Weight: 1,433 lb (650 kg)
MTOW: 2,513 lb (1,140 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Salmson (Canton-Unne) 9-cylinder liquid-cooled radial engine developing 150hp.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 65 mph (105 kph; 57 kts)
Maximum Range: 186 mi (300 km; 162 nm)
Service Ceiling: 11,483 ft (3,500 m; 2.17 mi)

1 x 7.7mm machine gun OR 1 x 37mm cannon at nose.

Up to 132lb of externally-carried drop munitions.

Operators List
France; Imperial Russia; Switzerland

Series Model Variants
• LAS - Formal Factory Designation
• Type 5 - Base Series Designation