1918 AVRO 504K
The Avro 504 series of aircraft is by any standards worthy of recognition alongside the Dakota, Spitfire and Mosquito for the multitude of roles they performed during their 28 years of service.
The aeroplane was of conventional design with a wooden airframe and most of the surfaces fabric covered.
The early series of Avro 504s was powered by various rotary engines including the 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape, the 110 hp Le Rhone, the 130 hp Clerget and the 150 hp Bentley BR-1, depending upon the power and reliability requirements for their differing roles in military and civilian use.
The prototype flew first in1913 and examples soon began to appear in civil flying, taking part in aerial pageants, races and air experience flights. However, it was during service use that the Avro 504s gained their greatest recognition in the role of observation for the army and as bombers but, especially, in the training field and, later, in communications, research and glider towing.
At the close of hostilities in 1918, over 8,000 aircraft had been produced for operations with the Royal Flying Corps, the Admiralty and the RAE at Farnborough.
The Avro 504 continued in post war RAF service until it was withdrawn in 1934 in favour of Avro Tutors and Tiger Moths for elementary flying training. Subsequently many passed into civilian use though some remained in the service for communications duties or as hacks.
THIS EXHIBIT: H5199 (Now E3273)
Built in 1918 as a K variant, the aircraft was converted to a radial engined N type while in RAF service. Later, it passed into civilian ownership and was registered as G-ADEV. In 1940 it was once again impressed into military service to take part in glider towing experiments. After WWII it was returned to civilian use and converted back to an original K variant by Avro apprentices for Reach For The Sky film then passed to Shuttleworth. The Avro 504k has recently undergone a total overhaul and a new fabric covering. This exhibit is now in a night fighter colour scheme, and has the serial number E3273 The aeroplane has also been fitted with a replica Lewis machine gun on the centre section of the upper wings. the colur scheme is known as N.I.V.O (Night Invisible Varnish Orfordness).