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Avro 504K

In July 1913, the British A.V. Roe (Avro) Co. tested its first model 504 aircraft, and numerous variants followed -- based upon the type of engine installed. The 504K version had adapters, which allowed the installation of several different types of rotary engines. This aircraft had an undistinguished combat career, but it proved to be an excellent trainer.

After America entered World War I, it took many months to build the training facilities needed by the U.S. Army Air Service. Meanwhile, many American student pilots went overseas for flight training. Those sent to Great Britain learned on the Avro 504K trainer before advancing to combat aircraft. The U.S. Army Air Service eventually established its main training center at Issoudun, France, and in July 1918, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) commanders ordered 52 Avro 504K aircraft for teaching aerobatics at Issoudun. After the war, the Army Air Service brought a few Avro 504K aircraft back to the United States, and they remained in training service for a few years.

Using original parts, the Royal Canadian Air Force's Aircraft Maintenance & Development Unit built the aircraft on display in 1966-1967 with a 110-hp Le Rhone J rotary engine. It arrived at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in May 2003, and it is painted to represent one of the 52 Avro 504K aerobatic trainers used at the AEF No. 3 Instruction Center, Issoudun, France, in 1918.

Maximum speed:
95 mph
Ceiling: 13,000 ft.
Weight: 1,830 lbs.

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