Martinsyde G.100

The Martinsyde G.100 "Elephant" and the G.102 were British fighter bomber aircraft of the First World War built by Martinsyde.

It gained the name "Elephant" from its relatively large size and lack of manoeuvrability. The G.102 differed from the G.100 only in having a more powerful engine.

An unusually large aircraft by contemporary standards for a single-seater, the Elephant two-bay equal span staggered biplane was designed by A A Fletcher of the Martinsyde Company, a prototype powered by a 120 hp Austro-Daimler engine entering test in the autumn of 1915.

The initial production version, the G.100, was powered by a 120h p six-cylinder Beardmore engine and was armed with a single 0.303 in drum-fed Lewis Gun mounted above the centre section. This was later augmented by a similar weapon bracket-mounted to the port fuselage side behind the cockpit).

The G.100 was gradually succeeded by the G.102 with a 160 hp Beardmore engine. Maximum speed of the 160 hp aircraft was 108 mph (174 km/h) at sea-level falling to 100 mph (160 km/h) at 10,000 ft; it had a maximum ceiling of 14,000 ft (4,300 m).

Martinsyde G.100
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Martinsyde
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1915
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Australia View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1916 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Martinsyde 271 View


  •     Martinsyde G.100 : Single-seat fighter-scout, bomber and reconnaissance biplane, powered by a 120 hp (89 kW) Beardmore piston engine. 100 built.
  •     Martinsyde G.102 : Single-seat fighter-scout, bomber and reconnaissance biplane, powered by a 160 hp (119 kW) Beardmore piston engine. 171 built.

The G.100 was built originally as a long range, single-seat fighter and escort machine but on the basis of its size and weight was reclassified as a day bomber.

Deliveries to the RFC commenced in mid 1916, a total of 270 being manufactured. The G.100 and G.102 Elephants were used in France and the Middle East, although only No. 27 Squadron, RFC was completely equipped with this type.

While not particularly successful as a fighter owing to its poor agility by comparison other fighters of the times, the Elephant performed a useful service in long-range bombing, carrying up to a 260 lb (120 kg) bomb load. It successfully performed this role from the summer of 1916 through to late 1917. It was also used for long-range photo reconnaissance, where stability and endurance were required (the type was capable of a five and a half hour flight).

Role fighter/day bomber
Manufacturer Martinsyde
First flight 1915
Introduction 1916
Primary users Royal Flying Corps
Australian Flying Corps
Number built 271

General characteristics

  • Crew: One, pilot
  • Length: 26 ft 6 in (8.07 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft (11.59 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)
  • Wing area: 456 ft²[1] ()
  • Empty weight: 1,795 lb (816 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2,424 lb (1,102 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Beardmore straight 6-cylinder engine, 120 hp (90 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 83 knots (96 mph, 155 km/h)
  • Range: 450 miles[1] ()
  • Endurance: 4.5 hours
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4,270 m)
  • Rate of climb: 16 minutes to 10,000 ft with 160 hp engine[1] ()


  • Guns:
    1 × 0.303 in Lewis gun mounted above upper wing centre section
    1 × Lewis gun mounted fixed aft of the cockpit pointing rearwards
  • Bombs: 260 lb (120 kg) bombload

End notes