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Avro 523 Pike


Short-Range Biplane Bomber Aircraft


United Kingdom | 1916



"Only two Avro Pike bombers were ever completed, these prototypes serving as testbeds for the duration of World War 1."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/07/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Avro (A.V. Roe and Company) was founded in 1910 and based out of Manchester. The firm played a large role from World War 1 into the Cold War and preceded to release such well-known products as the Avro 504 trainer of World War 1 fame, the Avro Lancaster from World War 2 and the Avro Vulcan of the Cold War years. The Avro 523 "Pike" became a lesser-known development to most and, in any event, only two airframes were ever completed and these two never moved on beyond the prototype stage. The Avro 523 was in fact the first Avro company product to be officially designated with a name (Pike). Until now, the aircraft produced by the company were known simply by their in-house model numbers.

Design of the 523 was attributed to engineer Roy Chadwick of Avro, one of the original key members of the firm when joining the company in September of 1911 at age eighteen. The type was conventional by historical standards and consisted of a traditional fuselage frame with a biplane wing arrangement. The biplane wings were set ahead of amidships and featured three bays with parallel support struts. The undercarriage was fixed in place and centered around a wheel pairing under the bulk of the airframe weight forward. The empennage was supported with a simple skid. The tail unit was also conventional. The aircraft was crewed by three personnel that included the pilot and two dedicated gunners - the latter pair in a forward and rear cockpit gun position. All positions were "open air" providing for excellent unobstructed views but exposing the crew to the elements.

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Engines were fitted between the upper and lower wing spar and set up in a "pusher" type fashion with the propellers facing rear. Each power plant was a single fitting of a Sunbeam Nubian engine delivering up to 160 horsepower. This supplied the 523 with a given endurance time of about seven hours and a top speed of 97 miles per hour. Empty weight was listed at 4,000lbs with a gross weight equal to 6,064. The 523 managed a wingspan of exactly 60 feet with a running length of just over 39 feet and a height nearing 11 feet, 8 inches.

Standard armament consisted of a 7.7mm Lewis machine gun in a flexible mounting at the forward gunnery cockpit. Similarly, there was a 7.7mm Lewis machine gun in a flexible mount at the rear gunner's compartment, aft of the wings but ahead of the empennage. An optional bombload of 2 x 112lb bombs could be held in an internal bomb bay.

The 523 was developed in response to a British Royal Flying Corps (RFC) requirement for an airframe capable of scouting duties as primary with the role of bombing as secondary. The type would have also stocked the stables of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). The primary role would counter the usefulness of German Zeppelins providing vital reconnaissance report by engaging and destroying such targets. The secondary role opened up a tactical advantage for the RFC that could see the 523 engaging enemy land targets and surface ships as needed. First flight of the original Avro 523 prototype occurred in May of 1916 and this was followed by a second version fitting a pair of Green E.6 water-cooled engines. The difference in engines meant that the second prototype received the formal designation of "523A".

The British Admiralty took the Avro prototype under evaluation in November of 1916 and thought the type was already an outdated design when compared to the up and coming contemporaries available elsewhere. As such, the RNAS did not set in motion a procurement contract and the Avro design floundered before being more or less forgotten to history. At the very least, the Avro firm found some use for the two prototypes as aerial testbeds to evaluated various engine and aerodynamic concepts for the rest of the war. The British Admiralty was interested enough in the 523, however, that it ordered two prototypes of a larger version as a long-range bomber - this would become the Avro 529 model.

The RFC went on to procure the Handley-Page O/100 series bombers instead while the RNAS elected to order the Short Bomber for its inventory.

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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 Avro 523 Pike Short-Range Biplane Bomber Aircraft.
2 x Sunbeam Nubian engines developing 160 horsepower each.
Propulsion
97 mph
156 kph | 84 kts
Max Speed
13,123 ft
4,000 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
466 miles
750 km | 405 nm
Operational Range
526 ft/min
160 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 Avro 523 Pike Short-Range Biplane Bomber Aircraft.
3
(MANNED)
Crew
39.1 ft
11.92 m
O/A Length
60.0 ft
(18.30 m)
O/A Width
11.7 ft
(3.56 m)
O/A Height
3,999 lb
(1,814 kg)
Empty Weight
6,076 lb
(2,756 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 Avro 523 Pike Short-Range Biplane Bomber Aircraft .
STANDARD:
1 x 7.7mm Lewis machine gun in flexible mounting in nose.
1 x 7.7mm Lewis machine gun in flexible mounting in rear cockpit.

OPTIONAL:
2 x 112lb bombs in internal bomb bay
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Avro 523 Pike family line.
523 - Original Prototype fitting 2 x Sunbeam Nubian engines of 160 horsepower each.
523A - Second prototype fitting 2 x Green E.6 engines.
529 - Enlarged version for long-range bomber role; two prototypes completed.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Avro 523 Pike. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 2 Units

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

[ United Kingdom ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (97mph).

Graph Average of 75 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
2
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
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Avro 523 Pike
Rear left side view of the Avro 523 Pike light bomber and reconnaissance plane

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
RECONNAISSANCE
X-PLANE
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 Avro 523 Pike Short-Range Biplane Bomber Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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