Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Voisin Type 5 Bomber

The Type 5 was basically a revised Type 3, the Type 3 had proved a successful bomber, but its payload was limited by the air cooled Salmson M9 engine, which produced only 120-hp. The Aviation Militaire wished to obtain a more powerful airplane and it was decided to produce a Type 3 with a new engine.

A Voisin Type 3 airframe was fitted with a Salmson (Canton-Unne) 9-cyl. liquid-cooled radial, 150 hp engine, and the airframe was strengthened and the central nacelle streamlined. The new engine was placed on a raised platform to provide clearance for the larger propeller and was angled to provide downward thrust. The landing gear was strengthened and the wing chord was increased from the roots to the wing tips. Armament options of 1 machine gun or a Avion 37mm cannon.

The new aircraft was given the STAé designation Voisin Type 5, while the factory designation was LAS. The S stood for surélevé (raised) which indicated the raised engine mount.

The first Voisin Type 5 reached escadrille VB 101 in 1915 and soon replaced the Voisin Type 3 on the front lines. However, the Voisins 150hp (as they were referred to at the front) were held in low regard by their crews. Despite the more powerful engine, the Voisin Type 5s' payload was only marginally better and the maximum speed was only 13 km/h faster. Approximately 300 Voisin Type 5s were built, and these served alongside the Voisin Type 3s in front-line escadrilles during 1915 and well into 1916.

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