Avro 504

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Avro 504
Role Reconnaissance/Trainer
Manufacturer Avro
First flight July 1913
Introduction Aug 1914 [1]
Primary user RAF Type A Roundel.svg U.K. (RFC/RAF)
Variants 504A, 504B, 504C, 504K
Wingspan 11.0 m (36 ft) [2]
Engine 80hp Gnome rotary
Armament usually none, up to 36 kg (80 lb) of bombs
Crew 2
Max Speed 132 km/h (82 mph) [3][2]
Climb 3,500 ft (1,100 m) in 7:00 [3][2]
Ceiling 12,000 ft (3,700 m)[2]

The first Avro 504 was put to demonstration use with good effect, because the War Office ordered twelve 504s in the summer of 1914 (and 7 from the RNAS), and others followed. A few of those early 504s made it to France with No.5 Squadron in August 1914, and they were used in ones and twos by most of the early squadrons. The RNAS received their first 504s in November 1914.

Occasionally their crews would try to jury-rig some type of gun mounting and they were greeted with rare successes, but generally the planes were flown unarmed with the pilot in the rear seat. More lasting effect was wrought by the RNAS Avros that attacked the zeppelin sheds at Friedrichshafen, damaging a zeppelin.

The RFC retired their Avro 504s with the arrival of the R.A.F. B.E.2c, but the RNAS continued to use them for several more months. [4]

In all, 8,340[note 1] Avro 504s of various types were produced; of which the vast majorities were trainers.[6]

A 504 had the misfortune of being the first British plane to be shot down in combat, on 22 August 1914.[5]

For more information, see Wikipedia:Avro 504.


  1. Angelucci says over 10,000 were produced, but this may include postwar production.[5]
  1. Lamberton, p.61.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Lamberton, pp.214-215.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bruce'69, p.52.
  4. Bruce, p.39.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Angelucci, p.27.
  6. Bruce, p.53.
  • Enzo Angelucci, ed. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. New York: The Military Press, 1983 edition. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
  • J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain, Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
  • W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962. ISBN 9780900435027