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Vickers Mk. II
Machine Gun
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A Sopwith Camel with twin-mounted Vickers.

    The first British airplane specially designed to carry a machine-gun, the Vickers F.B.5 pusher biplane, made its appearance in 1913. The gunner sat in front of the pilot and operated a belt-fed .303 inch Maxim gun. The Vickers company had manufactured this gun for the British Government since 1888, so it was the obvious choice. However, the belt feed interfered with its flexible mount. Replacement of the Maxim by the lighter Vickers/Maxim (Vickers) brought no improvement. The Vickers guns were prone to jamming.1 Meanwhile, the .303 inch caliber Lewis gun had been tested and accepted by the Royal Flying Corps. It was installed in the Vickers pusher and proved so successful that rather reluctantly the type was ordered by the British Government in July 1914.
Other Armaments:
M1919 30 Cal.MG
Browning .303 Cal. MG
Browning M2 50 Cal. MG
Foster Mount
Lewis MG
Vickers MG
Mg 151/20 Cannon
M4 37 mm Cannon
Mk 108 Cannon


1. Francis K. Mason. Aircraft in Profile; Volume 5, The Gloster Gladiator. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1969. 3.

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©Larry Dwyer. The Aviation History On-Line Museum. All rights reserved.
Created May 2, 2011. Updated December 30, 2013.