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.
[ 300 Units ] : Voisin - France
France; Imperial Russia; Switzerland
- Ground Attack
31.27 ft (9.53 m)
48.39 ft (14.75 m)
11.91 ft (3.63 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Voisin Type 5 production model)
1,433 lb (650 kg)
2,513 lb (1,140 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Voisin Type 5 production model)
1 x Salmson (Canton-Unne) 9-cylinder liquid-cooled radial engine developing 150hp.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Voisin Type 5 production model)
65 mph (105 kph; 57 kts)
11,483 feet (3,500 m; 2.17 miles)
186 miles (300 km; 162 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Voisin Type 5 production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
1 x 7.7mm machine gun OR 1 x 37mm cannon at nose.
Up to 132lb of externally-carried drop munitions.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Voisin Type 5 production model)
LAS - Formal Factory Designation
Type 5 - Base Series Designation
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