Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8

Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.8 - 1916
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 - 1916

The aircraft, originally designated the F.K.7, was designed by Dutch aircraft designer Frederick Koolhoven as a replacement for the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c and the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.3. It was a sturdier aircraft than the F.K.3, with a larger fuselage and wings and was powered by a 160 hp (110 kW) Beardmore water-cooled engine. The undercarriage used oleo shock absorbers. The undercarriage was unable to withstand rough use on the frontline airfields. The observer was equipped with a Scarff ring mounting for a 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis machine gun. No armament was initially provided for the pilot. The rudder featured a long, pointed horn-balance.

In service the F.K.8s (nicknamed the "Big Ack") proved to be effective and dependable. It proved to be fairly successful in performing reconnaissance, artillery spotting, ground-attack, contact-patrol and day and night bombing missions. It was easier to fly than the R.E.8 and was sturdier but its performance was even more mediocre and it shared the inherent stability that plagued many Royal Aircraft Factory types.
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Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8
  • Role: Bomber/Reconnaissance aircraft
  • First Flight: May 1916
  • Designed By: Frederick Koolhoven
  • Manufacturer: Armstrong Whitworth
  • Developed From: Armstrong Whitworth F.K.7
  • Primary Users: Royal Flying Corps
  • Powerplant: 1× Beardmore 120 hp 6-cylinder inline piston engine, 160 hp (112 kW)
  • Wingspan: 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m)
  • Wing Area: 540 ft (50.17 m)
  • Length: 31 ft 5 in (9.58 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 11 in (3.33 m)
  • Empty Weight: 1,916 lb (869 kg)
  • Max Takeoff Weight: 2,811 lb (1,275 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 83 kn (95 mph, 153 km/h) at sea level
  • Service Ceiling: 13,000 ft (3,960 m)
  • Endurance: 3 hours
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Gun - Pilot: 1 × fixed, forward firing .303 in (7.7 mm) forward-firing Vickers machine gun
    • Gun - Observer: 1 × flexibly mounted 0.303 in (7.7 mm) drum-fed Lewis gun
    • Bombs: up to 260 lb (118 kg) bombs

References

  1. From Wikipedia Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8
  2. Bruce, J.M. "The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing)." London: Putnam and Company, 1982. ISBN 0-370-30084-X.
  3. Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber Since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
  4. Munson, Kenneth. Aircraft of World War I. London: Ian Allan, 1967. ISBN 0-7110-0356-4.
  5. Tapper, Oliver. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-826-7.
  6. Taylor, John W.R. "Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8." Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.

RAF B.E.2

RAF BE.2 - 1914
Royal Aircraft Factory Blériot Experimental BE.2 - 1914

The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 (Blériot Experimental) was a British single-engine two-seat biplane in service with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) during World War One. The B.E.2 has always had a very bad press, and had become an unpopular aircraft by 1916. From 1917 onwards, the B.E.2 was mostly withdrawn from the front line but continued in use for submarine spotting and as a trainer. Before this it had already been the first effective night fighter. About 3,500 were built, used as fighters, interceptors, light bombers, trainers and reconnaissance aircraft.

In August 1912, the Blériot Experimental 2 earned the highest marks in aircraft trials at Larkhill. During the competition, the two-seater broke the British altitude record, climbing to 10,560 feet. Equipped with a more powerful engine, the unarmed B.E.2a was introduced in 1913. A Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2a of No.2 Squadron RFC was the first aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps to arrive in France on 26 August 1914, after the start of the First World War. In 1915, when air combat began in earnest, squadrons equipped with the B.E.2c suffered heavy losses to more maneuverable enemy.
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RAF B.E.2
  • Type: Reconnaissance
  • Manufacturers:
    • Royal Aircraft Factory
    • Vickers Limited (Aviation Department)
    • British & Colonial Aeroplane Company, Ltd.
  • First Flight: February 1912
  • Entered Service: August 1914
  • Number Built: 3,535
  • Powerplant:
    • 1× RAF 1a, air cooled V-8 engine, 90 hp (67 kW)
    • Other engines depending on manufacturers and variant.
  • Wing Span: 37 ft (11.28 m)
  • Length: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 1 in (3.4 m)
  • Wing area: 398 ft² (37 m²)
  • Empty Weight: 1 369lb (621kg)
  • Max Takeoff Weight: 2,138 lb (972 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 72 mph (116 km/h)
  • Service Ceiling: 10,560 ft 3,050 m
  • Rate of Climb: 1,066 ft/min (325 m/min)
  • Range: 200 miles (320 km)
  • Endurance: 3 hr 15 min
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 1 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun for observer
    • Bombs: 224 lb (102 kg) of bombs
    • (With full bomb load usually flown as a single-seater, without machine gun)

References

  1. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_B.E.2"
  2. Bruce, J.M. "The B.E.2 Series: Historic Military Aircraft No.7, Part 1". Flight, 2 April 1954, pp. 393-397.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "The B.E.2 Series: Historic Military Aircraft No.7,Part 2". Flight, 16 April 1954, pp. 478-482.
  4. Cheesman, E.F. (ed.). Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Letchworth: Harleyford, 1962.
  5. Gerdessen, Frits. "Estonian Air Power 1918-1945". Air Enthusiast No. 18, April-July 1982, pp. 61-76. ISSN 0143-5450.
  6. Munson, Kenneth. Bombers, Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft 1914-1919. London: Blandford, 1968.

RAF FE-2d

RAF FE-2d - 1915
Royal Aircraft Factory Farman Experimental 2

The Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 was a two-seat pusher biplane that was operated as a day and night bomber and as a fighter aircraft by the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Along with the single-seat D.H.2 pusher biplane and the Nieuport 11, the F.E.2 was instrumental in ending the Fokker Scourge that had seen the German Air Service establish a measure of air superiority on the Western Front from the late summer of 1915 to the following spring.
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RAF F.E.2d
  • Type: Fighter/Bomber
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • First Introduced: 1915
  • Number Built: About 1,000
  • Powerplant: Beardmore water cooled 6 cylinder in-line 160 hp (120 kW)
  • Wing Span: 47 ft 9 in (14.56m)
  • Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 7.5 in (3.84 m)
  • Empty Weight: 2 061lb (935kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 3,037 lb (1,378 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 91.5 mph (150 km/h)
  • Service Ceiling: 11,000 ft (3,300m)
  • Endurance: 2 hr 30 min
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament: 2 or 3 0.303 Lewis machine guns

References

  1. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_F.E.2"
  2. Andrews, C.F. and E.B. Morgan. Vickers Aircraft since 1908. London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0 85177 815 1.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "The F.E.2 Series: Historic Military Aircraft: No 3". Flight, 12 December 1952, pp. 724-728.
  4. Bruce, J.M. Warplanes of the First World War: Fighters, Volume Two. London: MacDonald & Co., 1968. ISBN 0-365-01473-8.
  5. Cheesman, E.F. (ed.) Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Letchworth: Harleyford, 1960
  6. Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber Since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
  7. Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter Since 1912. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
  8. Taylor, John W.R. "F.E.2b". Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the Present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.
  9. Winchester, Jim. "Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2." Biplanes, Triplanes and Seaplanes (Aviation Factfile). London: Grange Books plc, 2004. ISBN 1-84013-641-3.

Sopwith one and a Half Strutter

Sopwith one and a Half Strutter - 1916
Sopwith one and a Half Strutter - 1916

The Sopwith 1½ Strutter was a British one or two-seat biplane multi-role aircraft of the First World War. It is significant as the first British-designed two seater tractor fighter, and the first British aircraft to enter service with a synchronised machine gun. It also saw widespread but rather undistinguished service with the French Aéronautique Militaire.

The first British fighter equipped with a fixed, forward firing, synchronized machine gun, the Sopwith 1½ Strutter was built in both one and two-seater models. In the latter version, the gas tank was dangerously positioned between the pilot and observer.

This design flaw prompted some airmen to joke that the designer of the aircraft must surely have been German. Not long after its introduction, the 1½ Strutter was replaced by the Sopwith Pup.

Sopwith 1.5 Strutter
  • Type: Fighter; later used for reconaissance/bombing
  • Manufacturer: Sopwith Aviation Company
  • First Introduced: 1916
  • Number Built: About 6000
  • Powerplant: Clerget 9B rotary engine, 130 hp (97 kW)
  • Wing Span: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
  • Length: 25 ft 3 in (7.70 m)
  • Height: Height: 10 ft 3 in (3.12 m)
  • Empty Weight: 1,305 lb (593 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 2,149 lb (975 kg)
  • Max Speed: 161 kmh
  • Service Ceiling: 100 mph (87 knots, 161 km/h) at 6,500 ft (1,980 m)
  • Endurance: 3.75 hours
  • Crew: 1or 2
  • Armament:
    • Guns:
    • 1× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) forward-firing Vickers machine gun with Ross interrupter gear
    • 1× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun in observer's cockpit
    • Bombs: Up to 130 lb (60 kg) bombs

References

  1. From Wikipedia Sopwith 1½ Strutter "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_1%C2%BD_Strutter"
  2. Bruce, J.M. "The Sopwith 1½ Strutter: Historic Military Aircraft No. 14 Part I." Flight, 28 September 1956, pp. 542-546.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "The Sopwith 1½ Strutter: Historic Military Aircraft No. 14 Part II." Flight, 5 October 1956, pp. 586-591.
  4. Bruce J.M. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. London:Putnam, 1957.
  5. Bruce, J.M. The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing). London: Putnam, 1982. ISBN 0 370 30084 x.
  6. Gerdessen, F. "Estonian Air Power 1918-1945". Air Enthusiast No 18, April -July 1982, pp. 61-76. ISSN 0143-5450.
  7. Jarrett, Philip. "Database:The Sopwith 1½ Strutter". Aeroplane, December 2009, Vol 37 No 12, Issue No 440. London:IPC. ISSN 0143-7240. pp.55-70.
  8. Kopan'ski, Tomasz Jan. Samoloty brytyjskie w lotnictwie polskim 1918-1930 (British aircraft in the Polish air force 1918-1930) (in Polish). Warsaw: Bellona, 2001. ISBN 83-11-09315-6.
  9. Lake, Jon. The Great Book of Bombers: The World's Most Important Bombers from World War I to the Present Day. St. Paul, MN: MBI Publishing Company, 2002. ISBN 0-7603-1347-4.
  10. Swanborough, F.G. and Peter Bowers. United States Military Aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam, 1963.
  11. Swanborough Gordon and Peter Bowers. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London: Putnam, Second edition 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.
  12. Taylor, John W.R. "Sopwith 1½ Strutter". Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the Present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.
  13. Thetford, Owen. British Naval Aircraft since 1912. London: Putnam, Fourth edition 1978. ISBN 0-370-30021-1.
  14. Visatkas, C. "The Annals of Lithuanian Aviation". Air Enthusiast, Number Twenty-nine, November 1985-February 1986, pp. 61-66. Bromley, UK:Fine Scroll. ISSN 0143-5450.

Bristol F.2 Fighter

Bristol Fighter  F.2b - 1917
Bristol Fighter F.2b - 1917

The versatile Bristol Fighter was a maneuverable, heavily armed two-seater biplane designed by Frank S. Barnwell. One of the most successful fighters of the war, it got off to a poor start during "Bloody April" when it was introduced to the Western Front by the inexperienced pilots and observers of 48 Squadron.

The Bristol Fighter was a rugged and dangerous adversery for any German plane that came in contact with it. Some were fitted with twin 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Guns on a swivel mount, as well as a well protected 0.303 in (7.7 mm) forward-firing Vickers machine gun. This plane's career lasted many years after the conclusion of world war.
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Bristol F.2 Fighter
  • Type: Fighter
  • Manufacturer: British & Colonial Aeroplane Co. Ltd.
  • Powerplant: Rolls-Royce Falcon-III, water cooled in-line 275 hp. (205 kW)
  • Wingspan: 39 ft 3 in (11.96 m)
  • Length: 25 ft 10 in (7.87 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
  • Empty Weight: 2,145 lb (975 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 3,243 lb (1,474 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 123 mph (107 kn, 198 km/h) at 5,000 ft (1,500 m)
  • Service Ceiling: 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
  • Range: 369 mi (593 km)
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 1× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) forward-firing Vickers machine gun in the upper fuselage
    • 1 or 2× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Guns in the observer's cockpit
    • Bombs: 240 lb (110 kg)

References

  1. From Wikipedia Bristol F.2 Fighter, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_F.2_Fighter"
  2. Barnes, C.H. Bristol Aircraft since 1910. London: Putnam, 1964.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "The Bristol Fighter". Flight, 7 November 1952, pp. 587-591.
  4. Bruce, J.M. Warplanes of the First World War, Vol. 1. London: Macdonald, 1965.
  5. Cheesman, E.F., ed. Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Letchworth, Harleyford, UK: Aero Publishers, Inc., 1960.
  6. Gutman, J. Bristol F2 Fighter Aces of World War 1. London: Osprey Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-84603-201-1.
  7. Kopan'ski, Tomasz Jan. Samoloty Brytyjskie w Lotnictwie Polskim 1918-1930 (British Aircraft in the Polish Air Force 1918-1930) (in Polish). Bellona, Warsaw: 2001. ISBN 83-11-09315-6.

Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8

RAF RE.8 - 1916
Royal Aircraft Factory Reconnaissance Experimental 8 - 1916

During World War I, the R.E.8 was the most widely used British two-seater biplane on the Western Front. A descendant of the R.E.7, it was initially developed for reconnaissance work but also saw service as a bomber and ground attack aircraft. Nicknamed "Harry Tate," it provided a stable platform for photographic missions but suffered from poor maneuverability, leaving it vulnerable to attack by enemy fighters.

The Royal Aircraft Factory Reconnaissance Experimental 8 (R.E.8) was a lumbering British two-seat biplane reconnaissance and bomber aircraft of the First World War. Intended as a replacement for the vulnerable B.E.2, the R.E.8 was much more difficult to fly, and was regarded with great suspicion at first in the Royal Flying Corps.
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Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8
  • Type: Reconnaissance, Bomber
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • Entered Service: 1916
  • Number Built: 4,077
  • Length: 27 ft 10 in (8.5 m)
  • Wingspan: 42 ft 7 in (12.98 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 4 in (3.47 m)
  • Empty Weight: 1,577 lb (717 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 2,862 lb (1,301 kg)
  • Powerplant:RAF 4a air-cooled 12-cylinder inline engine, 150 hp (110 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 102 mph (164 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 13,500 ft (4,115 m)
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 1× 0.303 (7.7 mm) forward-firing Vickers gun
    • 1 or 2× 0.303 (7.7 mm) Lewis guns in rear cockpit
    • Bombs: up to 224 lb (102 kg)

References

  1. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_R.E.8"
  2. Bruce, J.M. "The R.E.8: Historic Military Aircraft: No. 8". Flight. 15 October 1954, pp. 575-581.
  3. Cheesman, E.F. (ed.) Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Letchworth, UK: Harleyford, 1962.
  4. Gerdessen, F. "Estonian Air Power 1918-1945". Air Enthusiast No 18, April -July 1982, pp. 61-76. ISSN 0143-5450.
  5. Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London:Putnam, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
  6. Munson, Kenneth. Bombers, Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft 1914-1919. London: Blandford, 1968. ISBN 0-71370-484-5.
  7. Taylor, John W.R. "Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8." Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.

Vickers F.B.5 Gun Bus

Vickers F.B.5 - 1915
Vickers Fighting Biplane 5 Gun Bus - 1915

The Vickers F.B.5 (Fighting Biplane 5) was the first aircraft specifically designed for air-to-air combat to see service as a fighter for the Royal Flying Corps, making it the world's first operational fighter aircraft.. With its engine mounted behind the cockpit, it the first pusher to enter service during World War I. Commonly referred to as the "Gunbus," it was armed with a moveable, forward firing 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Gun operated by the observer in the front of the nacelle. Vulnerable to attack from the rear, the Gunbus was soon replaced by more advanced single-seat fighter aircraft. Lionel Rees scored more victories with this aircraft than any other ace. In 1915, he and his gunner downed six enemy planes while flying the F.B.5.
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Vickers F.B.5 Gun Bus
  • Type: Fighter
  • Manufacturer: Vickers Ltd (Aviation Department)
  • Entered Service: 5 February 1915
  • Number Built: 224
  • Powerplant: 1× Gnome Monosoupape air cooled 9-cylinder rotary engine, 100 hp (75 kW)
  • Wing Span: 36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)
  • Length: 27 ft 2 in (8.28 m)
  • Height: 11 ft (3.35 m)
  • Wing Area: 382 ft² (35.5 m²)
  • Empty Weight: 1,220 lb (555 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 2,050 lb (930 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 70 mph (61 knots, 113 km/h) at 5,000 ft (1,520 m)
  • Service Ceiling: 9,000 ft (2,743 m)
  • Climb: to 5,000 ft (1,520 m): 16 min
  • Wing Loading: 5.4 lb/ft² (26 kg/m²)
  • Power/Mass: 0.05 hp/lb (0.08 kW/kg)
  • Range: 250 mi (403 km)
  • Endurance: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament: 1 or 2 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) drum-fed Lewis gun in observer's cockpit

References

  1. From Wikipedia Vickers F.B.5, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickers_F.B.5"
  2. Andrews, C.F. and Morgan, E.B. Vickers Aircraft since 1908. London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0 85177 815 1.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "Vickers' First Fighters". Air Enthusiast No 12, April -July 1980. pp.54-70. ISSN 0143-5450.
  4. Gutmann, Jon and Dempsey, Harry. Pusher Aces of World War 1. Osprey Pub Co, 2009. ISBN 1846034175, 9781846034176.