×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Scale (2024) Special Forces

Avro Bison


Carrier-Based Artillery Spotting / Reconnaissance Aircraft


United Kingdom | 1922



"The Avro Bison was one of the few naval aircraft produced by the Avro concern for British navy service."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Avro Bison II Carrier-Based Artillery Spotting / Reconnaissance Aircraft.
1 x Napier Lion II engine developing 480 horsepower.
Propulsion
109 mph
175 kph | 94 kts
Max Speed
12,008 ft
3,660 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
360 miles
580 km | 313 nm
Operational Range
450 ft/min
137 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Avro Bison II Carrier-Based Artillery Spotting / Reconnaissance Aircraft.
4
(MANNED)
Crew
36.0 ft
10.98 m
O/A Length
46.0 ft
(14.02 m)
O/A Width
14.2 ft
(4.32 m)
O/A Height
4,123 lb
(1,870 kg)
Empty Weight
6,140 lb
(2,785 kg)
MTOW
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Avro Bison Carrier-Based Artillery Spotting / Reconnaissance Aircraft .
STANDARD:
1 x .303 Vickers machine gun in fixed, forward-firing position.
1 x .303 Lewis machine gun on trainable ring mounting

OPTIONAL:
Conventional drop bombs carried under the wings.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Avro Bison family line.
Avro Bison - Base Series Designation
Avro 555 Bison - Prototypes; three examples
Avro 555 Bison I - Fitted with Lion II engine; twelve examples; later revised to Bison IA standard.
Avro 555 Bison IA - Dorsal fin added; biplane gap wings
Avro 555A Bison II - Improved variant; 23 examples
Avro 555B Bison I - Amphibian conversion model; single example not adopted for service.


Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/21/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

When the aircraft carrier was proven a viable sea-going warship in World War 1 (1914-1918), military powers who could afford such ships moved on developing dedicated naval aircraft like fighters and reconnaissance types. Avro (A.V. Roe), an aviation company known primarily for its Royal Air Force (RAF) contributions, sold a rare naval aircraft product to the Royal Navy as the "Bison". This ugly aircraft held a short service life from 1922 to 1929 and saw initial use under the Royal Air Force (RAF) banner. The aircraft - along with the competing Blackburn R-1 (44 examples) - were used to fulfill Specification 3/21 calling for a "naval fleet spotter/reconnaissance aircraft". The Avro design took on the model name of "Type 555".

Both Avro and Blackburn were commissioned to provide three. The Avro design became an awkward-looking creature retaining the typical biplane wing configuration common to many 1920s aircraft. The wings included an upper and lower wing plane with dihedral (upward angle) seen on the upper wing span. The engine was mounted at front in typical fashion with a fixed, wheeled undercarriage set under the aircraft (a tail skid was used under the tail). The pilot's position was of note, seated immediately aft of the engine installation yet ahead of the upper wing section for a commanding view of the action ahead from his open-air placement (just a forward windscreen was featured). The fuselage was given a very deep look which allowed for the occupants within to stand. This cabin crew numbered three and included a navigator, radioman, and machine gunner. Each side of the fuselage featured a large rectangular-shaped window for observation and the machine gunner manned his post along the dorsal spine of the aircraft, just above the cabin area. His weapon - a single .303 Lewis machine gun - was mounted to a Scarff ring which allowed for trainable fire against any approaching enemy aircraft. The tail unit of the aircraft was largely conventional save for the vertical fin which was given a rather oblong, strange shape.

Power for the Bison was through a Napier "Lion II" series engine developing 480 horsepower while driving a two-blade propeller. Maximum speed was 108 miles per hour with cruising speeds near 90 miles per hour. Operational range was out to 360 miles with a service ceiling reaching 12,000 feet and a rate-of-climb of 450 feet per minute.

Beyond the sole .303 machine gun, the aircraft was given provision to carry bombs under the wings.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.


The Type 555 prototype first flew in 1921 and was quick to showcase handling issues related to its unconventional looks. The dihedral design feature of the upper wing element was removed and its center area raised by two full feet to compensate. Three Type 555 prototypes were completed while twelve production examples were ordered under the "Bison" name. Despite their intended use by the Royal Navy, first examples were actually operated by the RAF in 1922. The FAA would ultimately field the Bison across squadrons 421, 423, 447, and 448 and these served into 1929 before being succeeded themselves by the Fairey IIIF biplane.

A few variants dotted the short history of the Bison: The Bison I designation was used to signify the original batch of twelve aircraft and Bison IA followed as rebuilt Bison I aircraft with a gap introduced in the biplane arrangement and changes to the tail. Bison II (Type 555A) was an improved form with modified wings and twenty-three of this type were built. Bison I (Type 555B) became a "one-off" example modified as a prototype amphibious aircraft but not adopted for service.

A total of 55 Bison aircraft were realized. Due to their particular appearance during the 1920s, the type never recorded any combat action during its service tenure aloft. It was also never exported.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Avro Bison. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 55 Units

Contractor(s): Avro - UK
National flag of the United Kingdom

[ United Kingdom ]
1 / 1
Image of the Avro Bison
Image from the Public Domain.

Going Further...
The Avro Bison Carrier-Based Artillery Spotting / Reconnaissance Aircraft appears in the following collections:
HOME
AVIATION INDEX
AIRCRAFT BY COUNTRY
AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE AIRCRAFT
AIRCRAFT BY CONFLICT
AIRCRAFT BY TYPE
AIRCRAFT BY DECADE
GOLDEN AGE AIRCRAFT
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks of the World U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols Breakdown U.S. 5-Star Generals List WWII Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com 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 gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)