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. The type 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.

G.100/G.102 "Elephant"
Martinsyde g100.jpg
Role fighter/day bomber
Manufacturer Martinsyde
First flight 1915
Introduction 1916
Primary users Royal Flying Corps
Australian Flying Corps
Number built 271

Design and developmentEdit

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).[1]

Operational useEdit

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).


  • Martinsyde G.100 : Single-seat fighter-scout, bomber and reconnaissance biplane, powered by a 120 hp (89 kW) Beardmore piston engine. 100 built.[2]
  • Martinsyde G.102 : Single-seat fighter-scout, bomber and reconnaissance biplane, powered by a 160 hp (119 kW) Beardmore piston engine. 171 built.[2]


  United Kingdom

Specifications (G.100)Edit

Data from The British Fighter since 1912[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 0 in (11.58 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)
  • Wing area: 456 sq ft (42.4 m2) [1]
  • Empty weight: 1,795 lb (814 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,424 lb (1,100 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Beardmore 120 hp 6-cylinder water-cooled in-line piston engine, 120 hp (89 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller


  • Maximum speed: 96 mph (154 km/h, 83 kn)
  • Range: 450 mi (720 km, 390 nmi) [1]
  • Endurance: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4,300 m)
  • Time to altitude: 10,000 ft (3,048 m) in 16 minutes with Beardmore 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

See alsoEdit

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d Flight 1920 p641
  2. ^ a b c d Mason, Francis K. (1992). The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. pp. 44–45. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
  3. ^ Cutlack, F.M. (1941) [1923]. "Appendix 1 Types of Fighting Aeroplanes" (PDF). The Australian Flying Corps in the Western and Eastern Theatres of War 1914–1918. The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918. Vol. VIII (11th ed.). Sydney: Angus and Robertson. p. 404.
  4. ^ Mason, Francis K (1994). The British Bomber since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books. pp. 74–75. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.