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Martin & Handasyde G.100 / G.102 Elephant

Martinsyde Elephant


An unusually large aircraft by contemporary standards for a single-seater, the Elephant two-bay equi-span staggered biplane was designed by A A Fletcher of the Martinsyde Company, a prototype powered by a 120 hp Austro-Daimler engine entering test in the autumn of 1915. The G.100 featured two spar wings and wooden fuselage. The entire airframe is fabric covered, except for plywood side panels on the fuselage between the wings. Conventional control surfaces with ailerons on all four wings.
The initial production version, the G.100, was powered by a 120 hp six ­cylinder Beardmore engine and was armed with a single 0.303-in (7,7-mm) Lewis gun mounted above the centre section (this later being augmented by a similar weapon bracket-mounted to port behind the cockpit), deliveries to the RFC commencing in 1916.

The G.100 was succeeded by the G.102 version which differed in having a 160 hp Beardmore engine doubling the bombload and replaced the lower-powered model progressively.


The G.100 and G.102 Elephant was used in both France and the Middle East, although only 27 Squadron RFC squadron was completely equipped with this type, a total of 271 being manufactured. They flew G.100/102s from March 1916 until December 1917 on operations in France, and the squadron's unique equipment is per-petuated today in 27 Squadron's official badge motif of an elephant. Many other individual 'Elephants' saw active service in Palestine and Macedonia with 14, 30, 63, 67 and 72 Squadrons of the RFC. Larger than most contemporary single-seaters, the 'Elephant' was renowned for good flying characteristics, while its endurance of approximately 4.5 hours, fully-loaded, was considered excellent for what were then regarded as reconnaissance and bombing sorties. Although not particularly successful as a fighter owing to its poor agility by comparison with its smaller contemporaries, the Elephant performed a useful service as a bomber, carrying up to 230 lb (104 kg).



The Martinsyde G.100 was operated as bomber and escort machine by the Australian 1 AFC in the Middle East, and was the type flown by Lt F.H. McNamara when he was awarded the VC.



 1 AFC in Palestine


Only a very few survived beyond 1918.



Engine: Beardmore, 120 hp
Wingspan: 38 ft
Wingbarea: 410 sq.ft
Length: 26 ft 6 in
Height: 9 ft 8 in
Empty weight: 1759 lb
MTOW: 2424 lb
Max speed: 95 mph at 6000 ft
Service ceiling: 14,000 ft
Endurance: 5 hr 30 min
Armament: 2 x Lewis mg
Bombload: 112 lb

G. 102

Max speed, 103 mph (166 km/h) at sea level
Time to 3,000 ft (915 m), 3.5 min.
Endurance 4.5 hrs
Empty weight, 1,793 lb (813 kg)
Loaded weight, 2,458 lb (1115 kg)
Span, 38 ft 0 in (11,58 m)
Length, 26 ft 6 in (8,08 m)
Height, 9 ft 8 in (2,95 m)
Wing area, 410 sq ft (38,09 sq.m)
Armament: 2 machine-guns, 118kg of bombs


Martinsyde G.100 / G.102 Elephant



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