AVRO 504K DYAK
When the Avro 504 came onto the market in the autumn of 1913, the aircraft type quickly became a success. Both the Army and the Royal Navy in Great Britain used the new aircraft in several different roles. Having been a great success as a bomber at the start of World War I, the aircraft was gradually withdrawn from the front line and developed as a training aircraft. By the ceasefire in 1918, 10,694 Avro 504s had been produced.
The Avro 504K, which was specifically intended to be a trainer and flying school aircraft, came onto the market in 1918. The aircraft was used by almost all flying training establishments in the RAF. It could be fitted with many types of engine: axial, radial or rotating radial. A variant of the 504K model was fitted with a water-cooled 6-cylinder Sunbeam Dyak axial engine of 100 hp. The reason was a shortage of the more efficient and reliable radial engines.
In Norway the Army Air Force had a total of five Avro 504s. The first two aircraft were the Avro 504A type and were procured in 1917. In May 1920 the Army bought two Avro 504Ks. In addition the service received one aircraft as a gift in 1922. The aircraft type was withdrawn from service in 1928.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum’s Avro 504K Dyak, was assembled at the Kjeller aircraft factory and delivered to the Sønnenfjeldske Flying Unit in July 1921. The aircraft was in service as a school and training aircraft until 1928. In winter it was fitted with skis. The engine was a Sunbeam Dyak. It was heavier than alternative rotary radial engines, resulting in lower maximum speed, and less range and ceiling compared with K-models fitted with radial engines.
After the aircraft was taken out of service it was stored at the Norwegian Technical Museum until 1976. It was then delivered back to the armed forces for inclusion in a future aircraft museum. Since 1995 it has been part of the Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum’s exhibition in the Norwegian Aviation Museum, Bodø.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum’s Avro 504K Dyak is painted dark olive green with a light grey underside. It has stripes in national flag colours on the top and bottom of the wings, and the rudder. The aircraft is marked with registration number 103 in black on the sides of the fuselage. The number was “inherited” from an Avro 504A that crashed in 1919.
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