Vickers FB24

A two-seat two-bay biplane reconnaissance fighter that did not gain a production order.
Vickers FB24 prototype The Vickers FB24 as first flown with Hispano-Suiza engine and long dorsal fin.
 
The Vickers FB24, was similar in concept to the Bristol F2b Fighter. It was originally designed with a 150 hp Hart radial engine, but the first example to fly (designated Vickers FB24A) was powered by a 150 hp Hispano Suiza engine (later replaced by a 200 hp Hispano-Suiza). The FB24B was similarly powered by the 200 hp Hispano-Suiza.
 
The FB24 was a two-bay biplane of unequal span, with the pilot sat directly below the upper wing. Clear panels provided a limited upwards view and the position of the wing close to the fuselage must have made entry to the cockpit rather difficult. The rear cockpit was provided with a Scarff-mounted Lewis gun and there was also a single fixed forward-firing Vickers gun. The proximity of the wing trailing edge to the rear cockpit restricted the field of fire of the Lewis gun.
 
Hispano-Suiza engines were required for SE5 production and the FB24B proved to have only modest performance with this engine. Consequently, the next development, the Vickers FB24C was powered by a 275 hp Lorraine-Dietrich 8Bd engine, fitted in France by SA Darraq.
 
Vickers FB24C stbd side view The Vickers FB24C with 275 hp Lorraine-Dietrich engine and reduced dorsal fin.
 
The type was still considered to have unsatisfactory locations for the crew and two further variants were built as the FB24E and FB24G. These types had the upper-wing lowered and attached directly to the top longerons of the fuselage, with the lower-wing position dropped to pass below the fuselage, like the Bristol F2b.
 
Vickers FB24E rear view The Vickers FB24E showing the revised wing layout adopted to improve the field of view from the cockpits.
 
The FB24E used the 200 hp Hispano-Suiza engine but the FB24G had the significantly more powerful 375 hp Lorraine-Dietrich 13 engine.
 
No British production orders were ever placed for the Vickers FB24 but the FB24G, which did not fly until 26th May 1919, was built under-licence by Darraq in France although it is not clear how many were completed (possibly only a single example).
 

Variants & Numbers

FB24A
Prototype initially with 150 hp Hispano-Suiza
FB24B
One aircraft, 200 hp Hispano-Suiza
FB24C
One aircraft, 275 hp Lorraine-Dietrich
FB24D
FB24A re-engined with 200 hp Hispano-Suiza
FB24E
One aircraft, 200 hp Hispano-Suiza, revised wing configuration
FB24G
At least one aircraft built in France by SA Darraq. 375 hp Lorraine Dietrich. Wing configuration as FB24E,

 

Specifications

 
Types as noted in brackets
Powerplant
(FB24B, FB24D, FB24E) one 200 hp Hispano-Suiza engine; (FB24C) one 275 hp Lorraine-Dietrich 8Bd; (FB24G) one 375 hp Lorraine-Dietrich 13
Span
(FB24C) 37 ft 6 in; (FB24E) 35 ft 6 in
Maximum Weight
(FB24C) 2,650 lb; (FB24E) 2610 lb; (FB24G) 3,680 lb
Capacity
Single pilot; one fixed forward-firing Vickers gun, one Scarff-mounted Lewis gun in rear cockpit
Maximum Speed
(FB24C) 133 mph at sea level; (FB24E) 122 mph at 5,000 ft; (FB24G) 140 mph at sea level
Endurance
3 hours
 
 

Survivors

No examples of the Vickers FB24 series survive.

Other information