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Vickers FB.5 (Gunbus)


Scout Biplane Aircraft


United Kingdom | 1915



"The Vickers type FB.5 armed biplane scount originally was unveiled through the Type 18 Destroyer at the London Aero Show in 1913."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/15/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The FB.5 (also known as the "Gunbus") was of a biplane type design for the scouting role. What set the system apart from earlier examples was that this aircraft was the first scout type to be armed. In that way alone, one could argue that the FB.5 was aviations first "real" fighter aircraft. The design proved solid by 1913 standards and evolved from the showcase Type 18 "Destroyer" (later redesignated to EFB.1 "Experimental Fighting Biplane No. 1") to the FB.5 and FB.9 models.

The FB.5 was powered by a rotary pusher Monosoupape engine of 100 horsepower mounted to the rear of the nacelle. The system was crewed by two personnel seated in tandem though interestingly enough arranged with the pilot in the middle of the design and the observer to the front (later aircraft would be of traditional front engine design with the observer/rear gunner seat behind the pilot who, in turn, sat behind the front-mounted engine). Naturally this forward positioning of the observer was necessitated by the placement of the engine but it also afforded the individual a grand view of happenings to the front of the aircraft, not to mention a great field of fire for his single or twin machine guns. Armament generally consisted of a single 7.7mm drum-fed Lewis machine gun though a dual 7.7mm machine gun array was also reportedly used.

The FB.5 was fielded with the No.11 Squadron stationed in France in mid 1915, effectively making them the world's first true "fighter" squadron. The system displayed a fair amount of success and lasted long enough to be unseated by the ever-advancing hordes of German fighter aircraft. The FB.9 was an attempt to improve the FB.5 model series to a new standard and featured rounded wingtips and tailplane along with a more aerodynamic nose design. Production consisted of 309 examples of both FB.5 and FB.9 types being produced in the United Kingdom while 99 further types were produced in France under license.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Vickers FB.5 (Gunbus) Scout Biplane Aircraft.
1 x Gnome Monosoupape 9-cylinder rotary engine developing 100 horsepower.
Propulsion
70 mph
113 kph | 61 kts
Max Speed
8,999 ft
2,743 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
249 miles
400 km | 216 nm
Operational Range
310 ft/min
94 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Vickers FB.5 (Gunbus) Scout Biplane Aircraft.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
27.2 ft
8.28 m
O/A Length
36.5 ft
(11.13 m)
O/A Width
11.5 ft
(3.51 m)
O/A Height
1,224 lb
(555 kg)
Empty Weight
2,050 lb
(930 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Vickers FB.5 (Gunbus) Scout Biplane Aircraft .
1 OR 2 x 7.7mm machine gun(s) in front observer's cockpit
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Vickers FB.5 (Gunbus) family line.
Type 18 "Destroyer" - Design as debuted in the 1913 Aero Show in London.
EFB.1 "Experimental Fighting Biplane No. 1) - Redesignation of the Type 18 model.
FB.5 "Gunbus" - Production Model Designation
FB.9 - "Improved FB.5" model variant; tailplane and wingtips rounded; redesigned nose section.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Vickers FB.5 (Gunbus). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 224 Units

Contractor(s): Vickers Limited - UK
National flag of Denmark National flag of France National flag of the United Kingdom

[ Denmark; France; United Kingdom ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (70mph).

Graph Average of 75 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
224
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Vickers FB.5 (Gunbus)
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2 / 2
Image of the Vickers FB.5 (Gunbus)
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
RECONNAISSANCE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Vickers FB.5 (Gunbus) Scout Biplane Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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