Avro 504 K (Trainer, 1924-1929)
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Swedish Navy Aviation Trainer Aircraft  Avro 504K

Avro 504 was a simple and reliable design that was built in large number during WWI. It was used for many different duties, both at sea and at shore.

The Swedish Navy Aviation ordered in 1923 and 1924 totally five Avro 504 K in England. They were used as trainers in the winter at the flying school at Hägernäs near Stockholm. The five aircraft got the Navy numbers 6-10.

The Avros of the Swedish Navy were fitted with rotating 130 hp Clerget engines. All five airframes were transferred to the new Air Force in 1926. The new designation was Sk 3. Sk = ”Skolflygplan” (Trainer).

Length: 10,97 m. Span:8,81 m. MTOW 828 kg. Max. speed: 137 km/h.

Photo above: Navy numbers 6 and 7 at Malmslätt in the middle of the twenties.


Stamp issued by South Africa 1933. Depicts an Avro 504K from 1921. Scanning www.avrosys.nu
  After WWI, the British government decided to transfer surplus aircraft to establish Air Force squadrons in all Dominions. This act was to become known as the Imperial Gift. South Africa received 100 aircraft from the British Government as well as from other sources (13 aircraft). The first batch of aircraft were delivered to the Aircraft and Artillery Depot at Roberts Heights in Pretoria in September 1919. On 1 February 1920 the South African Air Force was formally established.

Not all of the aircraft which had been received were assembled immediately and two of the Avro 504K's were sold to the South African Aerial Transport Company. The assembled aircraft were moved to a site at Swartkop, three kilometres east of what was then Roberts Heights which had been converted from a farm to the first air force aerodrome. No. 1 Flight was established on 26 April 1921, and was joined by No. 2 flight in 1922. These two flights formed the first South African Air Force squadron. At the start, it was equipped with 3 DH.9's, 2 Avro 504's and one SE.5a.

The South African postage stamp above (issued 1993) stamp depicts an Avro 504K when the South African Air Force was young.

Nationality roundel used by South Africa 1921-1927. www.avrosys.nu In December 1920 the South African Air Force national insignia was added to aircraft for the first time. An Orange, Green, Red and Blue roundel was added to an Avro 504K for trial purposes but the colours were found to be unsuitable and were replaced with a Green, Red, Lemon, Yellow and Blue roundel in December 1921. These colours remained until 1927 when they were replaced with the Orange, White and Blue roundels.  1947 - 1958, the roundel was white with a blue border. Inside the border a springbok antelope was painted in orange.  

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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2013-04-28