The Murometz was the world’s first 4-engine bomber. It was also (in some configurations) the world’s first aircraft with a toilet. So, if ever an aircraft were made for ‘bombs away’ this was it.
Designed by the brilliant Igor Sikorskyi, who would go on to become a world leader in helicopter deign, the Murometz was truly in a class of its own. It set all kinds of records. A demonstration flight in early 1914 carried 16 people, a world record. In addition to the toilet, for the first time in aviation history it boasted an insulated passenger saloon, comfortable wicker chairs, a bedroom, a lounge, heating and electric lights. In fact, it was intended to be the first commercial airliner but the Great War got in the way and instead the Russian Empire ended up with the world’s first bomber group. And for a long time, the enormous Murometz’s were unassailable by the comparatively tiny fighters of the Germans and Austro-Hungarians.
Each Murometz was capable of carrying over 400lbs worth of bombs and so important was that payload to the attack on the Ark, that Carrington Xerxes was forced to delay the assault by over day when the four huge Russian bombers didn’t make it to the muster point in Spain in time. Xerxes and his Russian counterpart, Prince Vronsky, had never seen eye to eye (such was the word among the British Commander Knights), so there might have been something else going on there too.