Avro Pike

The Avro 523 Pike (the first Avro aircraft to receive a name) was a British multi-role combat aircraft of the First World War that did not progress past the prototype stage. It was intended to provide the Royal Naval Air Service with an anti-Zeppelin fighter that was also capable of long-range reconnaissance and light bombing.

Avro Pike
Class Aircraft
Type Reconnaissance
Manufacturer Avro
Production Period 1916 - 1918
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1916
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Avro 1916 1918 2 View
The Avro Pike was a large, three-bay biplane of conventional layout driven by two pusher propellers. Three open cockpits were provided, the centre one for the pilot, and gunners fore and aft of him. The Admiralty evaluated the type, but rejected it. Avro then built a second prototype, changing the original's Sunbeam engines for Green E.6 engines instead and designating it the 523A.

The Admiralty evaluated this in November 1916, but found that the type was now obsolete and did not place an order. The two prototypes flew as testbeds with Avro for the remainder of the war.

Role Multi-role military aircraft
Manufacturer Avro
Designer Roy Chadwick
First flight May 1916
Primary user Avro
Number built 2

General characteristics

  • Crew: three, pilot and two gunners
  • Length: 39 ft 1 in (11.92 m)
  • Wingspan: 60 ft in (18.30 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
  • Wing area: 815 ft (75.7 m)
  • Empty weight: 4,000 lb (1,814 kg)
  • Gross weight: 6,064 lb (2,756 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 x Sunbeam Nubian, 160 hp (121 kW)eacheach


  • Maximum speed: 97 mph (156 km/h)
  • Endurance: 7 hours
  • Rate of climb: 526 ft/min (2.67 m/s)


  • 1 x flexible .303 Lewis gun in nose
  • 1 x flexible .303 Lewis gun in rear fuselage
  • 2 x 112lb (51kg) bombs carried in internal bay

End notes