Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8


Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8

infobox Aircraft
name = F.K.8
type = Bomber/reconnaissance aircraft
manufacturer = Armstrong Whitworth



caption = Late production F.K.8 with small radiators, streamlined nose, and improved undercarriage
designer = Frederick Koolhoven
first flight = May 1916
introduced =
retired =
status =
primary user = Royal Flying Corps
more users = Qantas
produced =
number built =
unit cost =
developed from = Armstrong Whitworth F.K.3
variants with their own articles =
The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 was a British two-seat general purpose aircraft built by Armstrong Whitworth during the First World War.

Design and development

The aircraft (nicknamed the "Big Ack") 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 designed as a sturdier aircraft with a larger fuselage, and a reliable water-cooled motor. It was a rival design to the Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8. The first aircraft flew in May 1916 and was delivered to the Royal Flying Corps' Central Flying School at Upavon. Although it was easier to fly than the R.E.8, and was sturdier, its performance was even more pedestrian, and it shared the inherent stability of the Royal Aircraft Factory types. Nonetheless, a total of 1,650 were built, and the type served alongside the R.E.8 until the end of the war, at which point 694 F.K.8s remained on RAF charge. Late production examples were better streamlined – the original crude undercarriage and large box radiators being replaced with tidier units (as in the illustration).

The type was unusual in having dual controls, enabling the observer to control the aircraft in the event of the pilot becoming incapacitated by enemy action. [Munson, Kenneth. "Aircraft of World War I". London: Ian Allan,1967. ISBN 0-7110-0356-4.

Operational history

The F.K.8 served with several squadrons on operations in France, Macedonia, Palestine and for home defence, proving more popular in service than its better known contemporary, the R.E.8. The first squadron was 35 Squadron. The F.K.8 was principally used for the corps reconnaissance role, but was also used for light bombing, being capable of carrying up to six 40 lb phosphorus smoke bombs, up to four 65 lb bombs or two 112 lb bombs on underwing racks.Mason, Francis K. "The British Bomber Since 1914". London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.

Two Victoria Crosses were won by pilots of F.K.8s; one by Second Lieutenant Alan Arnett McLeod of No. 2 Squadron RFC, on 27 March 1918; and the second by Captain Ferdinand Maurice Felix West of No. 8 Squadron RAF on 10 August 1918.

With the R.E.8, the F.K.8 was scheduled to be replaced in the corps reconnaissance role by a version of the Bristol Fighter with a Sunbeam Arab engine. Unfortunately the engine was unsatisfactory, and this version of the Bristol never saw service. Like the R.E.8, the F.K.8 was quickly discarded with the end of the war – the last squadron, No. 150 Squadron RAF, being disbanded at Kirec in Greece on 18 September 1919.

Civil service

Eight aircraft were civil-registered after the war with two aircraft being used in Australia by the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (later QANTAS, then Qantas Airways Ltd.).

Operators

Civil Operators

;AUS
*QANTAS

Military Operators

;UK
*Royal Flying Corps / Royal Air Force
**No. 2 Squadron RAF
**No. 8 Squadron RAF
**No. 10 Squadron RAF
**No. 17 Squadron RAF
**No. 31 Squadron RAF
**No. 35 Squadron RAF
**No. 39 Squadron RAF
**No. 47 Squadron RAF
**No. 50 Squadron RAF
**No. 55 Squadron RAF
**No. 82 Squadron RAF
**No. 98 Squadron RAF
**No. 142 Squadron RAF
**No. 143 Squadron RAF
**No. 150 Squadron RAF

pecifications (F.K.8)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
ref="The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft" [Donald, David and Jon Lake, eds. " The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft". London: Blitz, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.]
crew=2
capacity=
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 31 ft 5 in
length alt=9.58 m
span main=43 ft 6 in
span alt=13.26 m
height main=10 ft 11 in
height alt=3.33 m
area main=540 ft²
area alt= 50.17 m²
airfoil=
empty weight main= 1,916 lb
empty weight alt= 869 kg
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 2,811 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 1275 kg
more general=

engine (prop)=Beardmore
type of prop=6-cylinder inline piston engine
number of props=1
power main= 160 hp
power alt=112 kW

max speed main= 83 knots
max speed alt= 95 mph, 153 km/h
max speed more=at sea level
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
range main=
range alt=
ceiling main= 13,000 ft
ceiling alt= 3960 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
thrust/weight=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=
*Endurance: 3 hours
armament=

avionics=

ee also

aircontent
related=
* F.K.3

similar=
* Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 -
Royal Aircraft Factory_R.E.8 -
Rumpler C.I -
Breguet 14

References

Notes

Bibliography

* 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.

External links

* [http://www.theaerodrome.com/aircraft/gbritain/armstrong_fk8.php Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8]


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