Bristol Fighter F2 History
Captain Frank Barnwell designed the Bristol F.2 Fighter during the middle of WWI for the British RFC and Colonial Aeroplane Company, it was a two seat fighter aircraft intended to replace the RFC's obsolete Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 and Sopwith 1½ Strutter fighters. To facilitate the project Captain Barnwell was released from active service to take the position of chief designer at Bristol. The Bristol F2 Fighter was a relatively large and heavy wooden framed biplane aircraft, but was able to hold it's own with smaller single seat biplanes once the definitive Bristol F2b fighter variant was introduced.
Bristol Fighter F2b in WWI
The Bristol fighter F2a entered operational service in WW1 with the Royal Flying Corps in April 1917 but initially suffered heavy losses, partially due to the use of inappropriate strategy which had been developed for the older biplane aircraft it replaced, and partially due to engine reliability issues. Once tactical lessons had been learned and the Bristol fighter F2B with it's more powerful Rolls-Royce Falcon III liquid-cooled V12 engine the aircraft came into front line service the Bristol fighter F2B proved to be a very good WWI biplane fighter.
Bristol Fighter F2b Biplane Post WWI
A total in excess of 5,000 Bristol F2b fighter aircraft were produced and remained in production until 1927. The Bristol fighter, or "Brisfit" and "Biff" as it was popularly known, remained in service with the RAF in the British colonies until the early years of the 1930's. Many Bristol F2B fighters eventually ended up in civilian hands, many private owners coveting the aircraft for it's renowned rugged reliability.
Bristol Fighter F2b Specifications:
Wing Span: 39 ft 3 in (11.96 m)
Length: 25 ft 10 in (7.87 m)
Height: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
Power-plant: Rolls-Royce Falcon III, 12 cylinder, liquid cooled inline V, 270 hp
Weight: 2,779 lb (1,261 kg)
Maximum speed: 123 mph (198 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 21,500 ft (6,553 m)
Range: 3 hours maximum endurance
Bristol Fighter F2b Armament: 1 Vickers machine gun, synchronized, forward firing, 2-3 Lewis machine guns on a scarf ring in the rear cockpit, 240lb (108.9 kg) of bombs