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Avro 504N

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Manufacturer : Avro
Number Built : 8970
Production Began : 1913
Retired : 1933
Type :

Small numbers of early aircraft were purchased both by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) prior to the start of World War I, and were taken to France when the war started. One of the RFC aircraft was the first British aircraft to be shot down by the Germans, on 22 August 1914. The pilot was 2nd Lt. Vincent Waterfall and his navigator Lt Charles George Gordon Bayly (both of 5 Sqn RFC) The RNAS used four 504s to form a special flight in order to bomb the Zeppelin works at Friedrichshafen on the shores of Lake Constance. Three set out from Belfort in north-eastern France on 21 November 1914, carrying four 20 lb (9 kg) bombs each. While one aircraft was shot down, the raid was successful, with several direct hits on the airship sheds and the destruction of the hydrogen generating plant. n the winter of 1917–18 it was decided to use converted 504Js and 504Ks to equip Home Defence squadrons of the RFC, replacing ageing B.E.2cs, which had poor altitude performance. These aircraft were modified as single-seaters, armed with a Lewis gun above the wing on a Foster mounting, and powered by 100 hp (75 kW) Gnome or 110 hp (80 kW) Le Rhône engines. 274 converted Avro 504Js and Ks were issued to eight home defence squadrons in 1918, with 226 still being used as fighters at the end of World War I. Following the end of the war, while the type continued in service as the standard trainer of the RAF, large numbers of surplus aircraft were available for sale, both for civil and military use. More than 300 504Ks were placed on the civil register in Britain. Used for training, pleasure flying, banner towing and even barnstorming exhibitions (as was ongoing in North America following World War I with the similar-role, surplus Curtiss JN-4s and Standard J-1s); civil 504s continued flying in large numbers until well into the 1930s. Soon obsolete as a frontline aircraft, it came into its own as a trainer, with thousands being built during the war, with the major production types being the 504J and the mass production 504K, designed with modified engine bearers to accommodate a range of engines in order to cope with engine shortages. 8,340 Avro 504s had been produced by the end of 1918. The improved, redesigned and radial-engined 504N with a new undercarriage was produced by Avro in 1925. After evaluation of two prototypes, one powered by the Bristol Lucifer and the other by the Armstrong-Siddeley Lynx, the Lynx-powered aircraft was selected by the RAF to replace the 504K. 592 were built between 1925 and 1932, equipping the RAF's five flying training schools, while also being used as communication aircraft. The 504N was also exported to the armed forces of Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Greece, Thailand and South Africa, with licensed production taking place in Denmark, Belgium, Canada and Japan. The RAF's 504Ns were finally replaced in 1933 by the Avro Tutor, with small numbers continuing in civilian use until 1940, when seven were impressed into RAF service, where they were used for target- and glider-towing.

Avro 504N

Avro 504N Artwork Collection

Chasing the Flying Scotsman by John Young

Squadrons for : Avro 504N
A list of all squadrons from known to have used this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.

No.54 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th May 1916

Audax omnia perpeti - Boldness to endure anything

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.54 Sqn RAF

No.54 Sqn RAF

No. 54 Squadron was formed on the 5th of May 1916 at Castle Bromwich. The squadron was equipped with BE2C's and Avro 504's and was part of the home defence force. Shortly after 54 squadron changed to day fighter duties and moved to France then equipped with Sopwith Pups. Their role was to escort bombers and attack observation balloons. Near the end of the great war 54 squadron was re -quipped with Sopwith Camels and tasked with ground attack as well as fighter sorties. In February 1919, the squadron returned to RAF Yatesbury and on 2nd October 1919 54 squadron was disbanded. On the 15th of January 1930, 54 squadron was reformed at RAF Hornchurch as a fighter squadron equipped initially with Siskin aircraft. The Siskins were subsequently replaced with Bulldog fighters and in September 1936 54 squadron was re-equipped with Gloster Gauntlets and in April 1937, they recieved Gloster Gladiators. In March 1939 the squadron recieved the new Supermarine Spitfire. After the outbreak of world war two, 54 Squadron was given the duties of patrolling the Kent coast, until having to support and give air cover to the evacuation of Dunkirk in May and June 1940. The squadron was heavily involved during the Battle of Britain until November 1940 and after the Battle of Britain had ceased the squadron moved in November 1940 to RAF Castletown where its duties were coastal patrols. In June 1942 the squadron moved to RAF Wellingore to prepare for the squadron moving to Australia. In January 1943 54 squadron joined No.1 Wing of the Royal Australian Air Force. The Spitfires of the squadron were given the role of air defence duties against Japanese air attacks in the Darwin area. After the war had ended 54 squadron was disbanded in Melbourne on the 31st of October 1945, although the squadron name continued when on the 15th of November 1945 No.183 Squadron was renumbered 54 Squadron and flew initially Hawker Tempests. Taking up jet aircraft, the squadron subsequently used Vampires, Meteors, Hunters, Phantom and Jaguars before disbanding on 11th March 2005. 54 Squadron reformed on 5th September 2005 as an ISTAR (Intelligence Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance ) unit equipped with Sentry, Nimrod and Sentinel aircraft.

No.603 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 14th October 1925
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
City of Edinburgh (Auxiliary)

Gin ye daur - If you dare

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.603 Sqn RAF

No.603 Sqn RAF

No 603 Squadron was formed on 14 October 1925 at Turnhouse as a day bomber unit of the Auxiliary Air Force. Originally equipped with DH9As and using Avro 504Ks for flying training, the squadron re-equipped with Wapitis in March 1930, these being replaced by Harts in February 1934. On 24 October 1938, No 603 was redesignated a fighter unit and flew Hinds until the arrival of Gladiators at the end of March 1939. Within two weeks of the outbreak of war in September 1939, the squadron began to receive Spitfires and passed on its Gladiators to other squadrons during October. It was operational with Spitfires in time to intercept the first German air raid on the British Isles on 16 October, when it destroyed the first enemy aircraft to be shot down over Britain in the Second World War. It remained on defensive duties in Scotland until the end of August 1940, when it moved to southern England for the remaining months of the Battle of Britain, returning to Scotland at the end of December. In May 1941, the squadron moved south again to take part in sweeps over France until the end of the year. After a further spell in Scotland, No.603 left in April 1942 for the Middle East where its ground echelon arrived early in June. The squadron's aircraft were embarked on the US carrier 'Wasp' and flown off to Malta on 20 April to reinforce the fighter defences of the beleaguered island. After nearly four months defending Malta, the remaining pilots and aircraft were absorbed by No.229 Squadron on 3 August 1942.

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