Port Victoria P.V.2

The Port Victoria P.V.2 was a British prototype floatplane fighter of the First World War, designed and built at the Royal Naval Air Service's Port Victoria Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot on the Isle of Grain. Only a single aircraft was built, with the type not being chosen for production.

Role Floatplane Fighter
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Port Victoria Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot
First flight 16 June 1916
Status Prototype only
Number built 1

Design and development

The Port Victoria Depot's second design, designated Port Victoria P.V.2 was a floatplane fighter intended to intercept German Zeppelins. The P.V.2 was a small single engined biplane, powered by a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine driving a four blage propellor. It was of wood and fabric construction, and of sesquiplane configuration, i.e. with its lower wing much smaller than its upper wing (both of which used the high-lift wing sections pioneered by the P.V.1). Unusually, the aircraft's wing bracing struts also carried the aircraft's floats, forming a "W" shape when viewed from the front. The upper wing was attached directly to the top of the fuselage, giving a good field of fire for the intended armament of a single 2-lb Davis gun recoilless gun.[1]

The P.V.2 first flew on 16 June 1916, and demonstrated good performance and handling. The upper wing, however, while giving excellent upwards view to the pilot, gave a poor downwards view of the pilot, particularly during landing, while the Davis gun had lost favour with the Admiralty as an anti-Zeppelin weapon. The P.V.2 was therefore rebuilt as the P.V.2bis with a revised, longer span upper wing mounted 12 inches (0.30 m) above the fuselage and the Davis gun replaced by two Lewis guns mounted above the wing, firing over the propellor. The modified aircraft first flew in this form in early 1917.[2]

While the P.V.2bis again showed excellent handling, the RNAS's requirement for a floatplane anti-Zeppelin fighter had lapsed, and no production was ordered.[2]

Specifications (P.V.2bis)

Data from The British Fighter since 1912 [1]

General characteristics



See also

Related development


  1. Mason 1992, p.65.
  2. Collyer 1991, p.50.
  • Bruce, J.M. "The Sopwith Tabloid,Schneider and Baby: Historic Military Aircraft No.17 Part IV". Flight, 29 November 1957. pp. 845–848.
  • Collyer, David. "Babies Kittens and Griffons". Air Enthusiast, Number 43, 1991. Stamford, UK:Key Publishing. ISSN 0143-5450. pp. 50–55.
  • Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland:Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
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