P.7 Bourges Mk.I, s/n F2903
Due to delays in delivery of the engines, F2903 was fitted with 230 hp Bentley BR2 rotary engines and flew in June 1918. In July the Dragonfly's were fitted and due to the clean, compact design, performance and manouverability were of an exceptionally high order. The undercarriage was of split-axle type, of very wide track and modern appearance.
Armament was two Scarff-mounted 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns, one in the nose and one in the dorsal position, and four 230 lb (105 kg) bombs could be carried. The unbalanced ailerons were replaced by balanced ones, increasing span from 54 ft (16.46 m) to 57 ft 3.6 in (17.47 m).
After the Armistice the aircraft came on the civil registry, initially as K-129, reregistered G-EACE on May 20, 1919. It was one of the first twin-engined aircraft on which aerobatics were performed, as demonstrated by F.T. Courtney at the first public demonstration at Hendon, June 1919. On this occasion the Bourges was repeatedly looped, rolled and spun. The registration was cancelled in May 1920 as the aircraft was scrapped.
Length: 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m)
Height: 12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)
Wing area: 738 sq.ft (68.56 sq.m)
Weight empty: 3,420 lb (1,551 kg)
Loaded weight: 6,320 lb (2,873 kg)
Max speed: 124 mph (200 kmh) at 10,000 ft (3,048 m)
Landing speed: 50 mph (80 kmh)
Service ceiling: 20,000 ft (6,096 m)
Climb: to 10,000 ft (3,048 m) 11 min
Endurance: 9 hr
P.7A Bourges Mk.IA, s/n F2904
This aircraft had a 'gulled' centre-section (i.e. the inner sections of the top main planes were swept down to join the fuselage), and the nacelles for the Dragonfly engines were lowered to the bottom wings, the undercarriage was heightened to maintain airscrew clearance. The tail plane had a sharp dihedral angle.
P.7B Bourges Mk.II, s/n F2905
Powered by two 450 hp Napier Lion twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled V-engines, mounted on the lower wings, F2905 was officially classed as a three-seat long-reconnaissance aircraft. It was probably the fastest twin-engined aircraft of its day, and it demonstrated its manoeuvrability in the RAF Pageant at Hendon in 1923, when it was pitted in mock combat against two Jupiter-engined Gloucestershire-built Nieuport Nighthawk fighters. On this occasion the Bourges was repeatedly looped, rolled and spun. The gross weight of the Bourges II was 6,800 lb (3,054 kg)."