Vickers EFB8

A twin-engine biplane fighter prototype of late 1915.
Vickers EFB8 port front The Vickers EFB8 photographed at Brooklands in late 1915.
 
The Vickers EFB8 was a twin engine tractor biplane, carrying a spigot-mounted 0.303in machine gun fired from a gunner’s cockpit in the extreme nose. The pilot’s cockpit was behind and below the trailing edge of the upper wing.
 
The type was powered by two opposite-handed 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape engines. These were partially cowled by circular rings, which served to protect the gunner’s cockpit from the hot castor oil lubricant liberally sprayed from the engines. The wings were of near-equal span with rounded wing tips and the wide-track undercarriage had a central skid to prevent the aircraft nosing over on soft ground.
 
Designed by Rex Pierson, the EFB8 bore a passing resemblance to a smaller version of the same designer’s later and much larger, Vickers Vimy.
 
The sole example of the Vickers EFB8 was flown for the first time in November 1915.
 
The EFB8 was overtaken as faster, more manoeuvrable single-seat tractor biplanes featuring synchronised, forward-firing machine guns became available.
 
It was soon outmoded by aircraft such as the Sopwith Pup which had been taken into service by February 1916).
 

Variants & Numbers

 
One prototype only.
 

Specification

 
Powerplant
Two 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape
Span
38 ft 4 in
Maximum Weight
2,700 lb
Capacity and Armament
Pilot and gunner; one spigot-mounted Lewis gun fired from the front cockpit
Maximum Speed
98 mph at sea level
Endurance
3 hr
 

Survivors

No examples of the Vickers EFB8 survive.

Other information