Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard

Arriving too late to contribute to World War I, the F.4 Buzzard was nevertheless a fine fighter plane in its day. Design began in 1917, but was slowed by engineering changes and the lack of available engines. Production for an order of 1,700 aircraft began in 1918, but only 52 had been delivered to the RAF by the Armistice. Left with about 200 surplus planes, Martinsyde exported many planes to Spain, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, the Soviet Union, Portugal, and Finland. They were used as trainers as late as 1939. A few planes were converted to civil variants, as well.

The Buzzard burns 11.2 gallons of aviation fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo costs $28.60.


Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard

Subassemblies: Recon Fighter chassis +2; Light Fighter wings with Biplane option +2; 2 fixed wheels +0.

Powertrain: 224-kW HP gasoline engine with 224-kW old prop and 43-gallon standard fuel tank [Body].

Occ.: 1 XCS Body

Cargo: 5 Body


Armor F RL B T U

Body: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C

Wings: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C

Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3



2xAircraft LMG/.303 Vickers [Body:F] (1,000 rounds each).*




Size: 25'x33'x10' Payload: 0.29 tons Lwt.: 1.14 tons

Volume: 96 Maint.: 108 hours Cost: $3,419

HT: 6. HPs: 15 Body, 68 each Wing, 3 each Wheel.

aSpeed: 145 aAccel: 2 aDecel: 21 aMR: 5.5 aSR: 1

Stall Speed: 37 mph. Take-Off Run: 124 yards. Landing Run: 137 yards.

gSpeed: 224 gAccel: 11 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure: Very High. 1/8 Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

Historical wing area was 320 sf. MG load out is a guess. The design purchases a 45-gallon fuel tank; the historical capacity is shown. The wing weight, cost, and HPs have been halved to lower design weight; design weight was then raised 1% to the historical. Design aSpeed was 136 mph. Performance calculations were based on historical values for wing area and loaded weight. The Body MGs are synchronized, lowering RoF by 10% (see p. W:MP8). Using the calculated gSpeed at 1/8 Off-Road speed (28 mph) gSpeed is still 76% of stall speed, so the plane could therefore potentially get airborne in a bumpy field, at the GM's discretion.



The F.1 was a two-seat reconnaissance plane with the pilot to the rear. It had a 186-kW engine. 2 built.

The F.2 reversed the crew positions and had a 149-kW engine. Only one was built.

The F.3 was a smaller version of the F.2, reduced to a single-seat fighter. It was powered by a 213-kW engine. 6 were built, and were essentially pre-production versions of the F.4.

The F.4A was a two-seat tourer conversion of the F.4 for civilian use.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic