The AVRO 504K (shown in post-WWI Canadian colours) came in single-seat and double-seat forms, the two-seater was the most common. It was initially used as a bomber in France, but was quickly relegated to the role of fighter pilot trainer and Zeppelin interceptor when the Fokker E.III showed up on the front. The single-seat 504c and d models were relegated to Zeppelin interceptions with the Home Defence Force. The AVRO 504 had the distinction of being the first Allied aircraft shot down in battle, and it made the first bombing run over Germany. As a trainer it was sufficiently nimble to give the novice fighter pilot the idea of how "scout" aircraft operated. Many new fighter pilots found the AVRO to be a revelation in aerial dynamics, having flown previously in the fragile Farmans, and the ponderous BE2cs. The 504 first flew in 1913, and the last was made in 1933 (504n). It was used as England’s first-line trainer during and after WWI.
The AVRO 504K was powered by the 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape (single exhaust) engine. It’s top speed was 82 mph (132 km/h) and it had a ceiling of 13,000 ft (3960 m). The 504 was an acceptable trainer, it could climb to 10,000 ft in 19 minutes and it could stay aloft for 3 hours. It was armed with a 0.303 Lewis machine gun on the upper wing and it carried racks for four 20 lb bombs. The skid was used to prevent tipping onto the nose during rough landings, a useful feature for a trainer.
Canadian Aces Home Page
Image from: With permission of the Department of National Defence from their Canadian Air Force Picture Archives