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Avro 508


The Avro 508 was a two-seat biplane built at the Manchester works in December 1913 and delivered at Brooklands for assembly and test a month later.
It was a twin boom, three bay pusher biplane of fabric covered wooden construction having equal span mainplanes structurally similar to those of the Avro 504 prototype. A wide center section carried the first pair of interplane struts at its extremities, the dihedral commencing at this point as on the Avro 503. Ailerons were used for lateral control and the machine was noteworthy as the first Avro type to have aileron cables located inside the wing leading edge and running over buried pulleys.
A square-section nacelle, built up from four ash longerons and spruce cross struts, accommodated two crew in tandem. The observer/gunner sat in the nose for maximum field of vision with the pilot behind. Fuel and oil tanks were located behind the pilot's seat and just ahead of an 80 hp Gnome rotary engine mounted on steel tube bearers.
Tail booms were of steel tubing braced by streamline section spruce struts, the rear extremities of which were built into the tailplane structure. For ease of dismantling, the booms were jointed just ahead of the tailplane leading edge. The rudder was an elongated version of the comma type.


The Avro 508 was not adopted for the Royal Flying Corps and the single machine built made but two public appearances. The airframe was shown without covering at an exhibition at Belle Vue Gardens, Manchester on January 1-3, 1914 and the complete aircraft was shown on the Avro stand at the Olympia Aero Show, London on March 16-25, 1914.

Engine: One 80 hp Gnome
Wingspan: 44 ft. 0in
Wing area: 468 sq. ft
Length: 26 ft. 9 in
Height: 10 ft. 0in
Empty weight: 1,000 lb
All-up weight: 1,680 lb
Maximum speed: 65 mph
Endurance: 4.5 h




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