1- 7.7 mm
27 ft. 2 in.
36 ft. 6 in.
The Vickers FB5, called the Gunbus, was the world’s first operational dedicated pure fighter plane. In fact, F.B. stands for Fighting Biplane.
In 1912 the British government issued a request for a fighter aircraft armed with a machine gun. The Vickers FB5 was the answer to the request. It became the first British aircraft to have a machine gun as part of its armament. This was mounted directly in front of the aircraft. It had a forward field of fire unencumbered by a propeller, due to the fact that the aircraft used a pusher prop. An observer/gunner operated the machine gun from the aircraft’s front seat while the aircraft was piloted from the rear cockpit,
The Vickers FB5 was deployed to the Western Front in February of 1915, but did not see action until the end of July. That was when an entire squadron comprised solely of the aircraft was formed in France.
While the Vickers FB5 proved well built, it did not have the speed to engage many other aircraft of its day. The British government soon realized this and withdrew the Vickers Gunbus from the front lines. It was thereafter used as a trainer. Vickers produced a total of 224 of the aircraft..
The RC Vickers FB5 built by Ray Williams has a wingspan of 144 1/2″ in. with a fuselage length of 107 1/2 in.