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Illustration of Vickers F.B. 5 plane.

Caudron G4 & Vickers F.B. 5 WW1 Plane Postcards

By Collections blog

Caudron G4

The Caudron G4 came into service during the spring of 1915 as a bombing reconnaissance airplane with a good useful load of about 220lbs, an extraordinary rate of climb and even equipped with a wireless set. G4s were assigned to 38 escadrilles of the French Air force and used extensively throughout the war. At first they operated on reconnaissance duties then, in November 1915, they undertook daytime bombing sorties attacking targets beyond the Rhine. By the autumn of 1916 they were withdrawn from this duty because of the greatly improved German fighter defences. The RNAS used the Caudron G4. 43 were imported from France and 12 were built in the British Caudron plant. They were used to raid the German Zeppelin, submarine and seaplane bases along the Belgian coast. The G4 was also built in Italy and used by the Italian Air Force while 10, acquired by the American Army Air Force, were used as training aircraft.

Vickers F.B 5

Vickers Ltd were one of the first companies to design fighter aircraft. Their Type 18 ‘Destroyer’ was featured at the 1913 Aero show at Olympia armed with a belt-fed Maxim gun. The production aircraft, the FB 5, was bought by the RFC armed with a drum-fed Lewis Gun. No.11 Squadron RFC was the first specialised fighter Squadron to be formed with FB 5s in February 1915 and was soon in action with its ‘Gunbus’ used as a fighter, ground-strafer and sometimes a bomber. On 7th November 1915, 2nd Lieutenant G.S.M. Insall of No.11 Squadron RFC won the Victoria Cross for an action in a Vickers FB 5. This slow airplane, with a meagre performance, remained in service until July 1916, by then being no match at all for the German Fokker monoplanes.

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