Bristol F2B Fighter, Old Warden 2009, ©Nigel Key
9 September 1916.
The Bristol F.2a Fighter was designed by Frank Barnwell around the Rolls-Royce Falcon I engine which produced 190 hp.
The F.2A was designed as a compact 2 seat fighter and it was armed with a synchronised 0.303" Vickers machine gun to shoot through the propeller and a 0.303" Lewis gun on a Scarff ring in the observer’s rear cockpit.
The lower wings are anchored to a frame rather than the fuselage giving an ‘open wing’.
During trials the aircraft was tried with both a four-bladed 9 ft. 2 in propeller and a two-bladed 9 ft. 8 in propeller, with the latter preferred.
The prototype’s column radiators on the side of the fuselage obscured the pilots view so this was changed to a circular shape and fitted within the engine cowl.
The Bristol F2 Fighter was produced from 1916 to 1927, with 5329 built.
Rolls Royce Falcon III engine, producing 275 hp.
1 x Vickers 0.303” machine gun
1 x Lewis 0.303” machine gun
12 x 20 lb Bombs
The F.2B, known as the 'Bristol Fighter', was flown by the Royal Flying Corps as a fighter and reconnaissance aircraft. It was able to take on single enemy fighters successfully often having a second 0.303" Lewis machine gun added to the rear cockpit.
Towards the final months of the conflict, the Bristol Fighter was used in a pioneering new capability in the form of radio communications; No. 11 Squadron was the first such squadron to be equipped.
The Fighter also participated in experiments held by the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) into the use of parachutes, resulting in several aircraft being modified to carry static-line parachutes within the underside of the fuselage; these trials continued following the signing of the Armistice.
In September and October 1917, orders for 1,600 F.2B Fighters were placed; by the end of the First World War, the Royal Air Force (RAF) had a total of 1,583 F.2Bs in squadron service.
|Crew - 2 in tandem|
|Wing Type - Bi-plane|
|Length - 25ft 10in (7.87m)|
|Wingspan - 39ft 3in (11.96m)|
|Height - 9ft 9in (2.97m)|
|Empty Weight - 1,930lb (875kg)|
|Max. Weight - 2,800lb (1,280kg)|
|Max. Speed - 125 mph (202 km/h)|
|Range - 369 miles (593 km)|