Concept

Bristol F.2 Fighter

Summary
The Bristol F.2 Fighter is a British First World War two-seat biplane fighter and reconnaissance aircraft developed by Frank Barnwell at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It is often simply called the Bristol Fighter, "Brisfit" or "Biff". Although the type was intended initially as a replacement for the pre-war Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c reconnaissance aircraft, the new Rolls-Royce Falcon V12 engine gave it the performance of a fighter. Despite a disastrous start to its career, the definitive F.2B version proved to be a manoeuvrable aircraft that was able to hold its own against single-seat fighters while its robust design ensured that it remained in military service into the early 1930s. Some surplus aircraft were registered for civilian use, and versions with passenger cabins were converted. In the Autumn of 1915, the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) needed a new aerial reconnaissance and artillery spotting aircraft to replace the pre-war Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c. Among other attributes and performance requirements, emphasis was placed upon the ability to defend itself in aerial combat. Several new types were developed; the Royal Aircraft Factory offered its R.E.8 design and Armstrong Whitworth produced the design that eventually emerged as the F.K.8. In March 1916, Frank Barnwell of the Bristol Aeroplane Company, commenced work on a replacement for the B.E.2. This initially took two forms, the Type 9 R.2A, to be powered by the 120 hp Beardmore engine and the similar Type 9A R.2B, powered by the 150 hp Hispano-Suiza. Both designs had the fuselage mounted between the wings, with a gap between the lower longerons and the wing, along with a substantial part of the fin beneath the fuselage. These features were intended to improve the field of fire for the observer; the positioning of the fuselage also resulted in the upper wing obscuring less of the pilot's field of view. The crew positions were placed as close together as possible, to help communication between the pilot and observer. Before either the R.2A or R.
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