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Avro 503 / Type H

Gotha WD.1


Avro 503 / Type H


The Avro 503 was a development of the earleir Avro 501, powered by a 100 h.p. Gnome and was initially known as the Type H. it was a slightly larger version of the Avro 501 and featured less of a overhang on the mainplane and no inclined struts. Designated as the Avro Type H. 501, the seaplane was designed for simple and fast dismantling of the aircraft.

The prototype of the Avro 503 first flew from Avro's facility at Shoreham on the River Adur on 28 May 1913. On the following day led Avro test pilot FP Raynham made the first landing on the sea near Brighton. The floats were damaged and were reinforced at the front. On 12 June 1913 was a one hour demonstration flight over Brighton, followed by Raynham taking a passenger. Following a demonstration flight in front of the Inspector of Naval Aircraft an order for three was placed for the RNAS. All machines from September 1914 were converted into land planes.


The Avro 503 was built under licence by Gotha as the WD.1.


Avro 503


Another 503 was ordered by the Peruvian government, however the delivery did not take place due to the outbreak of the First World War.

A 503 crashed on 11  August 1915 and another on 7 April 1917

The prototype, now called the Avro 503, was bought by the German government in late June 1913 and became the first aircraft to fly almost 40 miles (64km) across the North Sea from Wilhelmshaven to Heligoland. It had been test flown in England by a German Naval Officer named Captain Schultz in June 1913.


Engine: Gnome, 74.6 kW (100 hp)
Span (upper) 50ft 0in / 15.24m
Span (lower) 47in 0in / 14.33m
Length 33ft 6in / 10.24 m
Height 12ft 9in / 3.89m
Wing Area 567 sq ft / 43.4 sq.m
Max take off weight: 2,200lb / 998 kg
Maximum Speed: 50 mph / 80.5 km / h
Initial climb rate: 225ft/min / 67 m / min
Seats: 2


Accident Report
Date: 07-APR-1917
Time: 11am
Type: Avro 503
Operator: Royal Air Force
Registration: A533
Fatalities: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities: 2
Airplane damage:    Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: Walsall, West Midlands, England
Phase: En route
Nature: Military
Departure airport:    Tern Hill
Destination airport: Castle Bromwich
An RAF Avro 503 of 43 Reserve Squadron was flying over the West Midlands on the 7th April 1917. The engine of the aircraft failed forcing the crew to made a forced landing. But the landing went wrong while over the town of Walsall the plane crashed into a house then into the garden on Brewer Street, Walsall killing two people on the ground, Frances Ann North (65) and her grand-daughter Edna May Vass (only 10 months old) of 5 Brewer Street, Walsall. The pilot (Second Lieutenant Mann RFC) and one person on the ground were injured in the crash.

The pilot was too ill to attend the inquest.


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