Самолеты (сортировка по:)
Страна Конструктор Название Год Фото Текст

Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1916

Фронтовой самолет

Armstrong Whitworth - F.K.6 / F.K.12 - 1916 - Великобритания<– –>Armstrong Whitworth - F.K.9 - 1916 - Великобритания

В.Кондратьев Самолеты первой мировой войны


   В мае 1916 года, вслед за не совсем удачным F.K.3, Фредерик Кольховен спроектировал гораздо более перспективный аэроплан, обозначенный как и прежде инициалами конструктора - F.K.8. Сохранив аэродинамическую и конструктивную схему "Литтл Ака", Кольховен увеличил габариты машины и оснастил ее более мощным мотором. Новый самолет, сразу же прозванный "Большим Аком" ("Big Ack"), оказался гораздо лучше предшественника. Его летные данные полностью отвечали требованиям военных. Осенью 1916-го F.K.8 был принят на вооружение RFC и внедрен в серийное производство. Фирма Армстронг Уитворт выпускала эти машины до конца войны, построив в общем счете около 1500 экземпляров. В ходе серийного выпуска самолет неоднократно модернизировался: со 120 до 160 л.с повысилась мощность мотора, неуклюжие "шатровые" радиаторы заменили на более компактные, размещенные по бортам фюзеляжа, проще и рациональнее стала конструкция тележки шасси.
   Первый дивизион "Биг Аков" прибыл на западный фронт в январе 1917-го. С марта по ноябрь на эти машины пересели еще 4 дивизиона на Западе и 3 - на Ближнем востоке. В течение всего 1917 года экипажи F.K.8 оказывали неоценимую поддержку наземным войскам, доставляя разведданные о противнике и координаты целей для английской дальнобойной артиллерии. Самолет считался очень надежным, весьма живучим и достаточно хорошо вооруженным. Известен случай, когда экипаж "Биг Ака" вышел победителем из боя с восемью немецкими истребителями, сбив 4 из них! Даже появление на заключительном этапе войны более совершенных машин не привело к снятию "Биг Ака" с фронтовой службы. К началу ноября 1918-го на вооружении RAF состояло еще 694 экземпляра F.K.8.


   "Бердмор", 120 или 160 л.с.


   Стрелковое: 1 синхр. 7,7-мм "Виккерс", 1 турельный 7,7-мм "Льюис".
   Бомбовое: до 120 кг. бомб.


   Размах, м 13,26
   Длина, м 9,45
   Высота, м 3,33
   Площадь крыла, кв.м 37,60
   Сухой вес, кг 870
   Взлетный вес, кг 1275
   Скорость максимальная, км/ч 149
   Время набора высоты, м/мин 2000/10
   Потолок, м 3962
   Продолжительность полета, ч 3,5

O.Tapper Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913 (Putnam)


   It was presumably a coincidence that two types of aircraft designed in 1916 for corps-reconnaissance duties should both bear the number 8 as their type designation; certainly, in all other respects they could not have been more dissimilar. The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 and the R.E.8, designed by the Royal Aircraft Factory, were both intended as B.E.2c replacements, and it was unfortunate for the long-suffering reconnaissance pilots of the RFC that it was the inferior R.E.8 that was chosen for massive production at the expense of the more popular F.K.8. Nevertheless, the F.K.8 was produced in considerable numbers and played a significant, if unspectacular, part in the war from the beginning of 1917 until the Armistice, including actions which led to the award of two Victoria Crosses.
   Although designed for the same duties as its predecessor, the F.K.8 represented a considerable advance over the F.K. 3; it was planned from the start to accommodate internally all the various trappings of army cooperation, such as cameras, which, in previous types had been hung on outside with a noticeable effect on the aircraft's performance. The result, in the F.K.8, was a fuselage of ample proportions with comfortable separate cockpits for pilot and observer.
   In construction the F.K.8 was a conventional biplane with two-bay wings of equal span and greater dihedral on the top plane than on the bottom. The upper wing was built in two portions which met on the centre line at the apex of two inverted-V centre-section struts. The controls were conventional; ailerons were fitted to all four wings and the incidence of the tailplane was adjustable by means of a handwheel in the pilot's cockpit. The observer was provided with a rudimentary method of control in the shape of a side-mounted stick to operate the elevators, and hand grips on the rudder control cables where they passed through the observer's cockpit. There was no means of operating the ailerons from this position but, as was shown several times in practice, it was quite possible to fly the aircraft satisfactorily without the aid of the ailerons and there were a number of occasions on which the aircraft was brought back safely by the observer after the pilot had been incapacitated.
   The undercarriage was of similar design to that of the F.K.3, with oleo shock-absorbers mounted on the fuselage sides and with a central skid which, in the case of the F.K. 8, was truncated at the forward supporting struts. In April 1917 the RFC headquarters in France reported that the F.K.8's undercarriage was unsatisfactory and suggested that it should be replaced by a plain V-type specimen from a Bristol Fighter. This modification proved a big improvement and No.1 Aircraft Depot proceeded to convert a number of aircraft until, in the following July, the supply of Bristol Fighter undercarriages dried up and B.E.2c undercarriages had to be used instead. The gauge of tube used and the angle of the V was the same in both types, but the rear legs of the B.E. landing gear were shorter. This seems to have been of no great significance. Later, a modified type of undercarriage with a wider V appeared, and this may have been the production version fitted by the makers. The simpler type of landing gear improved the climb performance and raised the top speed by about 5 mph.
   There is a widely-held opinion that the first production F.K.8s were powered by the 120 hp Beardmore engine, but in the light of recent research this belief is now thought to have been due to a misunderstanding. As already mentioned, both Armstrong Whitworth and the Service authorities were unusually lax in differentiating between the F.K.3 and the F.K.8, and this seems to have led to some confusion over the powerplants as well as over production figures. The mistake probably arose in the first place because the small batch of F.K. 3s fitted with the 120 hp Beardmore engine, as described earlier, were loosely referred to as 'Armstrong Whitworth 120 hp biplanes' and, because this variant was little known, it was naturally assumed that this description applied to the F.K.8. Apart from a statement in Jane's All the World's Aircraft for 1918 which was repeated in the following year and which may well have been the original source of the misunderstanding, there is a marked absence of direct evidence in favour of the 120 hp engine, and all the indications are that the F.K.8 was powered by the 160 hp Beardmore from the start.
   During the course of production, other engines were tried out experimentally in the F.K.8. Two aircraft, B214 and B2l5, were fitted with variants of the twelve-cylinder air-cooled RAF 4 engine, the type which had, by its early unreliability, added to the unpopularity of the R.E.8. Another aircraft, A2696, was fitted with a Lorraine-Dietrich engine of 150 hp, but none of these engines bestowed any significant improvement on the F.K.8's performance and there was no move to adopt them as standard.
   As first produced, the F.K.8 had a somewhat angular form of engine cowling, which gave the aircraft a vaguely Germanic appearance, and a crude form of radiator consisting of honeycomb blocks mounted on the sides of the fuselage and extending upwards and inwards to meet at a point in front of the top wing. This radiator proved to be inefficient in service and, as a result of a flood of complaints from the Western Front, a new type was adopted. This new radiator, which consisted of two elements mounted one each side of the fuselage, proved more effective as a radiator as well as improving the view from the cockpit. With the new compact type of radiator, a more rounded form of cowling was introduced, changes which resulted in a marked improvement in the appearance of the machine.
   Another complaint voiced by Service pilots concerned the distortion of the view caused by the mirage effect of the fumes from the stub exhaust pipes. To overcome this, some enterprising officers of No. 10 Squadron in France devised and constructed a stack-type exhaust pipe which carried the fumes over the top wing. Permission was granted by RFC HQ in France for tests to be made with this exhaust system, but a warning was given that the large side area of the stack might affect the directional stability of the aircraft, and the advice was added that '... pilot ought to be warned not to do any short turns near the ground with it'. In fact, tests showed that there was no deterioration in directional stability, and the pilots of No. 10 Squadron were favourably impressed with the improvement in visibility and the fact that the after part of the aircraft was no longer smothered in oil: it was, however, noted that the design would have to be strengthened to withstand vibration. In the end this design was not adopted, but a modified system, consisting of a long exhaust pipe extending to a position aft of the observer's seat, was introduced.
   The first flight of the F.K.8 took place in May 1916, and in the middle of the following month an F.K.8 numbered A411, which was almost certainly the prototype, was flown by a Service pilot from Newcastle to the Central Flying School at Upavon for official tests. The journey took two days, 16 and 17 June, and the pilot reported favourably on the aircraft's handling qualities. The tests by the CFS pilots were carried out on 18 and 19 June, and the top speed of the aircraft, the average of six runs over a measured course, was recorded as 98·4 mph. In the official report the F.K.8's performance was compared with that called for in the specification; it achieved 93 mph at 8,000 ft, as against the 100 mph called for, and it climbed to that height in 20 min, 4 min longer than the specified time. A criticism was made that the tailskid was not strong enough; later this fault was the cause of numerous complaints from the Western Front and, in 1917, the rudder shape was modified to avoid damage to its base when the skid broke. The test pilot also noted that when the aircraft was trimmed to fly level at 70 mph, it glided fast at 90 mph when the throttle was closed and that it would be an advantage if this tendency could be corrected. To this rather naive comment was added the remark that the aircraft would be good for reconnaissance but poor for bombing. Later, a cut-out between the spars at the root of the lower wing was provided to improve the pilot's view directly downwards. After tests at Upavon the F.K.8, A411, was returned to the makers for experimental work.
   For reasons already stated when dealing with the F.K.3, production figures for the F.K. 8 are not now readily obtainable. The first production order for the F.K.8 was apparently that placed at the beginning of August 1916 with Armstrong Whitworth under contract 87/A/508, and such records as are available indicate that this, and two other contracts placed with Armstrong Whitworth, covered a total of 701 aircraft, not including the prototype. The F.K.8 was also built in large numbers by Angus Sanderson & Co, another Newcastle firm which had previously cooperated with Armstrong Whitworth by building bodies for their motorcars. Orders for some 950 F.K.8s were placed with this firm, which brings the total number of F.K.8s ordered to at least 1,652. By the end of 1917 between eighty and one hundred F.K.8s a month were coming off the Armstrong Whitworth line at Gosforth, and the type continued in production there until July 1918, by which time arrangements had been made for Angus Sanderson to continue with F.K.8 production while Armstrong Whitworth turned their attention to building the Bristol Fighter.
   The first production F.K.8s were emerging from the Armstrong Whitworth factory at Gosforth at the end of 1916, and there are reports of individual aircraft being with the RFC in France before the year ended. However, the first squadron to be fully equipped with the type was No.35, which received its F.K.8s before proceeding to France in January 1917. Then came a gap until June, when No.2 Squadron, already in France, had its RE.s replaced by F.K.8s, which continued to be the squadron's equipment until the Armistice. Other squadrons in France which used the F.K.8 through to 1918 were Nos. 8, 10 and 82, while in the Near East the type, among others, was used by No.17 Squadron in Salonika and by No.142 in Palestine. The F.K.8 also formed part of the mixed equipment used in 1916 and 1917 for home defence by Nos. 36,47 and 50 Squadrons. It was an F.K.8 of No.50 Squadron, flown by 2nd Lieut F. A. D. Grace and 2nd Lieut G. Murray, that scored one of the few victories against a raiding Gotha, shot down in the North Sea on 7 July, 1917. The F.K.8 was also used quite extensively for training at home, particularly in the specialized arts of army co-operation, photography, map reading and reconnaissance.
   In France the F.K.8 undertook a multitude of duties including night and day bombing, reconnaissance, artillery spotting, photography, trench straffing and even the dropping of supplies to forward troops. It was, like the RE.s before it, a maid of all work, but, unlike them, it was capable of putting up a fair degree of resistance when attacked, and had relatively good performance. The observer, with a Scarff mounting for his Lewis gun, had a good field of fire, while the pilot could operate a forward-firing, synchronized Vickers machine-gun. This defensive armament was used to good effect on 29 November, 1917, when Lieuts Pattern and Leicester, after a prolonged fight with five enemy fighters, succeeded in shooting down the German 'Ace' Erwin Bohme.
   The battle-worthiness of the F.K.8 was demonstrated on two other occasions which, as already mentioned, resulted in the award of the Victoria Cross to two pilots. On 27 March, 1918, 2nd Lieut A. A. McLeod of No.2 Squadron with Lieut A. W. Hammond as his observer, flying in B5773, were attacked by eight Fokker Triplanes. In spite of being repeatedly wounded, between them the British pair accounted for four of the enemy before their aircraft, already severely damaged, caught fire. Lieut McLeod was forced by the flames to climb out of his cockpit but while standing on the wing managed to control the aircraft by manipulating the control column with one hand, side-slipping away from the flames and directing it towards the Allied lines; meanwhile Hammond, who had been wounded no less than six times, continued to hold the enemy at bay with his machine-gun. In spite of his wounds and the flames, McLeod Succeeded in bringing his aircraft to a comparatively soft crash landing in no-man's land from which both officers were rescued, still under heavy fire, by the infantry. The second F.K.8 pilot to be awarded the Victoria Cross was Captain (later Air Commodore) F. M. F. West of No.8 Squadron who, with his observer Lieut J. A. G. Haslam, was returning from a low-level bombing attack on German gun positions when his aircraft was attacked by six fighters. Although severely wounded in the legs, West managed to fly back to the Allied side of the lines and then refused to allow himself to be taken to hospital until he was able to pass on some important information about enemy troop concentrations.
   The sturdy F.K.8 continued to serve on the Western Front until the war ended. At that time there were 182 of them in France, with 320 aircraft in reserve or under repair at home. Outside Europe there were fifty-six F.K.8s in Egypt and Palestine, forty-four in Salonika and two in the North West Province of India. In Great Britain there were sixty-nine aircraft on home airfields, mostly with training units.
   After the war's end, the F.K.8 quickly faded from the scene in the RAF, and only eight found their way on to the British civil register; of these, three were sold abroad while the others were all crashed or otherwise written off before the end of 1920. The F.K.8's sole claim to fame in civil aviation is that of flying the first regular airmail service to be operated by a small Australian company, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd, later to become better known as QANTAS. Formed in 1920 by two ex Australian Flying Corps pilots, W. Hudson Fysh and P. J. M. McGinnis, the company had been operating a successful hire service from their base at Longreach using a mixed fleet consisting of an Avro 504K with a Sunbeam Dyak engine, a D.H.4, an Avro Triplane, and two F.K.8s bearing the registrations G-AUCF and G-AUDE.
   In 1922 the company was given a contract to operate a mail service between Charleville and Cloncurry with principal stops at Blackall, Longreach and Winton, railheads all connecting with the coast railway but not directly with each other. The route distance of 577 miles was scheduled to be flown in two days, with a night stop about half way at Longreach. The first service, which left Charieville at 5.30 a.m. on 2 November, 1922, was flown by McGinnis in the F.K.8 G-AUDE and carried a mail package containing 106 letters; it arrived at Longreach at 10.15 a.m., having averaged 82 mph excluding stops. The Longreach Cloncurry sector was scheduled to be flown on the following day by Hudson Fysh using the other F.K.8, G-AUCF, but, due to a slight drop in engine revolutions, this aircraft failed to take-off in the high temperature and G-AUDE was pressed into service again. This time the take-off was successful and the aircraft was soon on its way carrying the mail and one passenger, an 87-year-old settler named Alexander Kennedy.
   The F.K.8s gave good service to QANTAS despite the fact that the rate of climb seldom exceeded 500 feet a minute and was often considerably less in the full heat of the day. At first some trouble was experienced with engines overheating, but this was cured by the fitting of larger radiators and a header tank which served to condense the steam if the radiator water did boil.
   Thus, both in war and in peace, the F.K.8 carved for itself a positive niche in history for which it has received scant recognition, either in the annals of the time or since: perhaps it was its very qualities of stolid strength and reliability and its consistent but unspectacular performance which made everyone accept it and then forget about it.


   Dimensions: Span 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m); length 31 ft 5 in (9.58 m); height 10 ft 11 in (3.33 m); wing area 540sq ft (50.17 sq m).

   160 hp Beardmore 150 hp Lorraine Dietrich 150 hp RAF 4A
Max weight: 2,811 lb(1,275kg) 2,816 lb(1,277kg) 2,827 lb (1,282 kg)
Empty weight: 1,916 lb(869kg) 1,936 lb(878 kg) 1,980 lb (898kg)
Max speed
   Sea level: 95 mph (153km/hr) - -
   6,500 ft(1.981 m): - 89 mph (143 km/hr) 94mph(151 km/hr)
   8.000 ft(2,438 m): 88 mph (142 km/hr) - -
   10,000 ft(3,048 m): - 83 mph (134 km/hr) 89 mph (143 km/hr)
Climb to
   6.500 ft(1.981 m): 15.4 min 16.5min 16.4min
   8,000 ft(2,438 m): 20 min - -
   10,000 ft(3.048 m): 27.8 min 33.2 min 32 min
Service ceiling: 13,000 ft. (3,962 m) 11,000 ft (3.353 m) 12,000 ft. (3.658 m)
Fuel capacity: 50 Imp gal (227 lt) 50 Imp gal (227 lt) 50 Imp gal (227 lt)
Endurance: 3 hr 4 hr 3 hr

O.Thetford Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 (Putnam)

Armstrong Whitworth FK 8

   The FK 8 two-seat Corps reconnaissance aircraft was serving with Nos 2, 8, 10, 35 and 82 Squadrons of the RAF in April 1918, with Nos 17, 47 and 142 Squadrons overseas, and with Nos 39, 50 and 143 Home Defence Squadrons in 1918. Last in service with No 47 Squadron, supporting White Russian Forces in June 1919. Powered by one 160hp Beardmore engine; loaded weight, 2,811lb; span, 43ft 4in; length
31 ft 5in; max speed, 95mph at 6,500ft; initial climb, 330ft/min; endurance,
3hr; service ceiling, 13,000ft.

F.Manson British Bomber Since 1914 (Putnam)

Armstrong, Whitworth F.K.7 and F.K.8

   The role of corps reconnaissance must have been one o f the least popular of the duties undertaken by RFC flying personnel during the First World War, and on account of the appalling casualties suffered by the B.E. aircraft over a period of two years, Service pilots tended to be extremely critical of the aeroplanes they were obliged to fly. This was particularly true of the B.E.s themselves, as well as the R.E.8 which was intended to replace them. Frederick Koolhoven, aircraft designer with Sir W G Armstrong, Whitworth Aircraft Ltd, having produced what he considered to be 'an improved version of the B.E.2C with his F.K.3, went further with his bigger and more powerful F.K.8 - predictably known as the 'Big Ack'. As such, the latter was seen to be comparable with the Factory's R.E.8. In terms of performance it was found to be inferior, but this was more than balanced by it being fairly free of handling vices. Moreover, in contrast to the apparent unwillingness to effect improvements in the R.E.8 (for a number of possibly valid reasons), the makers of the F.K.8 went to some effort to improve the features that attracted criticism in their aeroplane.
   Design of the F.K.8 was orthodox and incorporated the increased strength factors being recommended by the Factory on behalf of the War Office by 1916. Like its predecessor, it was a two bay staggered biplane with ailerons on upper and lower, equal-span wings. Contrary to suggestions that persisted for years, the F.K.8 was powered from the outset by the 160hp Beardmore engine, a powerplant of approximately the same power/weight ratio as the R.E.8's 140hp R.A.F.4A. However the installation of the straight-six, watercooled Beardmore was untidy, with angular cow ling panels and large vertical radiator blocks attached to each side of the nose and angled inwards to meet at a point on the aircraft's centreline above the engine; the provision of cumbersome exhaust manifolds and the triple V-strut undercarriage with oleo struts on the sides of the fuselage all conspired to limit the F.K.8's speed performance. Indeed, the maximum speed of 95 mph at sea level was 5 mph below that considered essential for corps reconnaissance machines, and 8 mph slower than the R.E.8.
   Despite these shortcomings, Koolhoven's aeroplane probably became more popular among its pilots, being straightforward and relatively simple to fly, as well as possessing a robust airframe capable of withstanding battle damage.
   The prototype, F.K.7 A411, first flew in May 1916, and acceptance tests were flown at Upavon the following month. The first production orders were placed with Armstrong, Whitworth in August, and the first deliveries were made from Gosforth before the year's end, several aircraft joining No 55 Training Squadron at Lilbourne in December. The first examples to fly with a front-line squadron were delivered to No 35 Squadron, which took a full complement to St Omer in France on 25 January 1917. By the end of that fateful April No 35 had been joined by No 2 Squadron, as demands for improvements in the aircraft were already being received by the manufacturers.
   Apart from severely restricting the pilot's forward vision, the long, angled radiator honeycomb blocks were inefficient and were replaced by much smaller blocks attached lower on the sides o f the nose. At about the same time the nose cowling was improved in shape, the angular panels giving place to a more rounded profile in side elevation. The crude engine exhaust manifold, whose efflux was found to distort the crew's field of vision through mirage effect, was eventually changed to a conventional pipe which extended aft of the cockpits.
   The undercarriage was also criticized as unsatisfactory, and the RFC suggested using components of the Bristol Fighter's plain V-strut gear, a proposal adopted by No 1 Aircraft Depot, where several such conversions were undertaken - until stocks of the Bristol components ran out and resort was made to the use of B.E.2C parts! In due course Armstrong, Whitworth came up with its own improved plain-Y design, still retaining the oleos located in the fuselage sides, but significantly improving the aircraft's performance.
   The F.K.8 was ordered in large numbers. Oliver Tapper suggests that the total production amounted to at least 1,652 aircraft, but explains that the exact number may never be known owing to the absence of differentiation between F.K.3s and F.K.8s in some contract documents. Yet, despite this relatively large number of aircraft, the F.K.8 only served on a total of six squadrons in France, and three in the Balkans and Palestine. Three squadrons, based in the United Kingdom, flew the aircraft on home defence and training duties.
   Like the R.E.8, the F.K.8 also undertook bombing raids on the Western Front, commencing in September 1917, and later in Macedonia. The aircraft was capable of carrying up to four 65 lb bombs, but more frequently mounted six 40 lb Bourdillon phosphorus weapons, especially when required to lay smokescreens in support of ground forces.
   It was while the Big Acks were engaged in bombing operations that two pilots won Victoria Crosses. On 27 March 1918, while returning in the F.K.8 B5773 from a raid during the German offensive on the Western Front, 2/Lieut Alan A McLeod was attacked by a Fokker Dr I triplane, which was quickly shot down by his observer, Lt A W Hammond MC. They were then attacked by seven more Fokkers, of which four were shot down two by McLeod with his front gun. Both crew members were badly wounded, the pilot being hit five times and severely burned when his fuel tank was set on fire. Despite great pain, McLeod climbed out on to the port wing but managed to retain his hold on the control column and, by sideslipping, kept the flames away from the cockpit as he crash landed in No Man's Land, where the two airmen were rescued by British troops. Both miraculously survived, although Hammond lost a leg; McLeod, who was only eighteen years of age, was awarded the Victoria Cross, and Hammond a Bar to his Military Cross.
   During a period in the summer of 1918, when F.K.8s were taking part in trials with No 8 Squadron in co-operation with the Army's tanks on the Western Front, the second Victoria Cross was won by a Big Ack pilot. On 10 August, as Capt Ferdinand Maurice Felix West Mc and Lt J A G Haslam (later Gp Capt, MC, DFC) were returning from a bombing raid on German gun batteries, their F.K.8 was attacked at low level by six enemy fighters. Despite Heine hit in both legs, one of which was almost severed, and scarcely conscious owing to excruciating pain and loss of blood, the 22-year-old pilot managed to land in the British lines, yet refused to be taken to hospital until he had passed his vital report to the local tank commander. West's Victoria Cross was gazetted three days before the Armistice, and this officer continued to serve in the RAF until his retirement in March 1946 as an Air Commodore.
   The F.K.8 survived in service for a few months after the War, the last Squadron, No 150, being disbanded at Kirec in Greece on 18 September 1919.

   Type: Single-engine, two-seat, two-bay tractor biplane for ground support and short-range bombing.
   Manufacturers: Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co, Ltd., Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Type; Angus Sanderson & Co, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
   Powerplant: One 160hp Beardmore six-cylinder water-cooled inline engine driving two-blade propeller. Experimental installations: 150hp R.A.F.4A and 150hp Lorraine Dietrich.
   Structure: All-wood wire-braced construction with partial dual flying controls and oleo-sprung undercarriage.
   Dimensions: Span, 43ft 6in; length, 31ft 0in; height, 10ft 11in; wing area. 540 sq ft.
   Weights: Tare, 1,916 lb; all-up, 2,811 lb.
   Performance: Max speed, 94 mph at sea level; climb to 5,000ft, 11 min.; service ceiling, 13,000ft; endurance, 3 hr.
   Armament: One forward-firing, synchronized 0.303in Vickers machine gun, and one Lewis or Vickers machine gun on Scarff ring on rear cockpit; provision for bomb load, normally comprising up to six 40 lb, four 65 lb or two 112 lb bombs on underwing racks.
   Prototype: One F.K.7 prototype, A411, first flown in May 1916.
   Production: Total of 1,652 F.K.8s stated as being delivered to the RFC and RAF prior to 1st September 1918, including 210 probably in component form only. Armstrong, Whitworth, 650 (A2683-A2372, A9980-A9999, B201-B330, B3301-B34OO, B5751-B5850 and C8401-C8650). Angus Sanderson, 600 (C3507-C3706, F7347-F7546 and H4425-H4624). 330 further aircraft were ordered (D5001-D5200, F616-F645 and H4625-H4724) but not all are known to have been completed, and their manufacturers have not been confirmed. Upwards of 40 aircraft were repaired and rebuilt, being re-allocated various isolated B, F, and H-prefixed numbers.
   Summary of Service: F.K.8s served operationally with Nos 2, 10, 35, 55 and 82 Squadrons, RFC and RAF, and on tank co-operation trials with No 8 Squadron on the Western Front; with Nos 17, 47 and 150 Squadrons in Macedonia; and with No 142 Squadron in Palestine. They also served with Nos 31, 39 and 98 (Training) Squadrons, No 50 (Home Defence) Squadron, Schools of Army Cooperation, School of Photography, Air Observer and Air Gunnery Schools and other training units.

P.Lewis British Bomber since 1914 (Putnam)

May, 1916, saw the first flight of a new two-seat bomber and reconnaissance biplane, the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 designed by Koolhoven. A compact, clean design, it was to remain relatively little publicized and yet performed well and reliably on active service. A neatly-cowled 120 h.p. Beardmore, flanked by upright radiators which slanted inwards to meet at the upper centre-section, was installed in early F.K.8s, but greater power was available from the 160 h.p. Beardmore which was fitted subsequently. Stagger was built into the equal-span two-bay wings, and the undercarriage at first followed the style of the F.K.3 with a central skid. In the course of its production career various alterations were made, including the adoption of a simpler main undercarriage unit. No. 35 Squadron, R.F.C., was the first to go into action with the F.K.8, popularly called the Big Ack, taking them to France on 24th January, 1917.

H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)

F.K. 8. Superior to the F.K. 3 in power and armament, the F.K. 8 of 1916 was used not only for the duties named for the earlier type but for Home Defence work as a fighter. The pilot had a Vickers gun mounted under the cowling and firing through a port in the nose. This was synchronised by Constantinesco gear, a fact that was proclaimed by the 'box' type generator projecting from the cowling of late-production aircraft. The generator was bracketed to the crankcase so that a gear wheel, fastened to the generator coupling flange, could be driven at twice airscrew speed, by a gear ring bolted to the rear face of the airscrew boss. The rear Lewis gun was on a Scarff ring-mounting, set considerably below the top decking of the fuselage. A twin-gun installation has been identified. Bombs included 20-lb H.E. and 40-lb Phosphorus types.
   Just as the much-maligned B.Es achieved the destruction of Zeppelins, so was the 'Big Ack' credited with bringing down a Gotha. (In the sea off the North Foreland. Crew, 2nd-Lieuts F. A. D. Grace and G. Murray.)

Журнал Flight

Flight, April 3, 1919.



The 160 h.p. Biplane, Type F.K. 8, 1916

   Towards the end of 1916 a larger and improved type of two-seater tractor biplane was designed. This machine, the F.K. 8, was fitted with a 160 h.p. Beardmore engine, and had two machine guns and a wireless installation. It proved a great success, and was built in great quantities, both by the original designers and by other firms. Squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps were equipped with it and used it on all the fighting fronts, its duties including night and day bombing, artillery spotting and reconnaissance, trench fighting, dropping of food to advanced troops, etc. Towards the end of 1917 the output of complete machines of this type in the A.W. works had reached between 80 and 100 machines per month. Construction was continued until July, 1918, when the machine was superseded by the Bristol Fighter. The illustrations will give a good idea of the general fines of the F.K. 8, which, owing to being fitted with a vertical engine, has a certain similarity to German aeroplanes, an impression that is furthered by the fact that there is no centre section, the two halves of the top plane meeting at and being attached to the top of a cabane of steel tubes. The earlier machines were fitted with an oleo type of undercarriage, somewhat similar to that of the F.K. 3, but with the central skid cut short in front of the front under carriage struts. This is the machine shown in the accompanying scale diagrams. One of our photographs shows a somewhat modified form, in which the oleo chassis has been supplanted by one of the ordinary Vee type. There is otherwise so little difference between the two types that we have not thought it necessary to publish scale diagrams of the second type. The outward appearance is the same in both cases, with the exception of the undercarriage. The F.K. 8 is greatly liked by pilots, and is generally considered very safe and strong, while being very easy to fly. If desired for peace purposes, the machine can be adapted to take 120 h.p. Beardmore, 200 Hispano-Suiza, or 250 h.p. Siddeley Puma engines.

В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 2-й дивизион RFC, 1917г.
В.Обухович, А.Никифоров - Самолеты Первой Мировой войны
Армстронг-Уитворт F.K.8
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
The F.K.8 Type Armstrong-Whitworth Biplane. With 120 h.p. Beardmore engine.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
The A.W. Biplane, Type F.K. 8, with 160 h.p. Beardmore engine.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
An F.K.8, A2696, fitted experimentally with a 150 hp Lorraine-Dietrich engine.
O.Tapper - Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913 /Putnam/
An early production Armstrong, Whitworth-built F.K.8, A2725, displaying the triple V-strut undercarriage, long vertical radiator blocks, angular nose cowling and short engine exhaust manifold.
В.Обухович, А.Никифоров - Самолеты Первой Мировой войны
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
Although it looked somewhat ungainly, the FK8's performance was average for reconnaissance-bomber aircraft of the period - but far below that of the fighters, making it vulnerable if not escorted.
F.K.8 with 150 h.p. R.A.F. 4a engine and R.E.8-type exhausts.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
F.K.8 with R.A.F 4a engine and B.E.12-type exhausts
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8. Beardmore engine with early type of cowling
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Armstrong Whitworth FK8 B3312 preparing for a photographic flight
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8. Late production version with vee undercarriage and small radiators
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8. Beardmore engine in improwed cowling
В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
F.K.8, приобретенный после войны газетой "Ивнинг стандард"
O.Tapper - Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913 /Putnam/
An F.K.8 with the improved type of engine cowling, and, on the right, an experimental exhaust system devised by No.10 Squadron, RFC, in France to eliminate the distorting mirage effect from lhe open exhaust pipes.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
An observer in an FK8 of an unknown unit
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
Checking out the aircraft ready for another sortie - an FK8 crew; good view of the Lewis gun with its simple ring-and-bead sight.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Armstrong Whitworth FK8 machines with the rounded cowling
Журнал - Flight за 1918 г.
The German Offensive on the Western Front in France. - Fixing bombs to drop on massed Germans.
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
The FK8 had reasonable handling qualities and entered operational service in France with 35 Squadron in January 1917. The RFC prided itself on the determination with which it achieved its reconnaissance task - regardless ol the air opposition - and the FK8 played a leading role in this.
O.Thetford - Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 /Putnam/
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
FK8 C8550 of 2 Squadron, a unit that operated the type from April 1917 to beyond the end of the war. It was while flying one ef these aircraft that Capt. F. West became involved in a dramatic air battle with German fighters and won the Victoria Cross.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
Three Armstrong-Whitworths - Two of the F.K.10 Type Quadruplanes and an FK.8 with a Sunbeam-Coataien "Arab" Engine. Eight F.K 10s went to the RNAS for fighting and bombing.
O.Tapper - Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913 /Putnam/
Two F.K.I0 quadruplanes and an F.K.8 biplane, with a Lorraine-Dietrich engine, at Duke's Meadow aerodrome at Gosforth.
В.Обухович, А.Никифоров - Самолеты Первой Мировой войны
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
Один из последних экземпляров машины, произведенной по лицензии компанией "Ангус Сандерсон", с бортовыми радиаторами, длинной выхлопной трубой и упрощенной тележкой шасси. (Late production F.K.8 with modified vee undercarriage and long exhaust pipe)
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
A.W. 160 H.P. BIPLANE. - This machine is similar to the F.K. 8, but has a Vee undercarriage.
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
The Armstrong Whitworth FK 8 was a contemporary of the Royal Aircraft Factory's RE 8, being generally considered as the better of the pair. First flown in May 1916, the two-seat FK 8 reconnaissance bomber was initially powered by a 120hp Beardmore, soon replaced by its larger 160hp brother. Top level speed of the FK 8 was 98.4mph at sea level, decreasing to 88mph at 10,000 feet. Besides the standard .303-inch Vickers and Lewis gun combination, the FK 8 could haul a bomb load of up to 160lb. The type made its operational debut with No 35 Squadron, RFC, on 24 January 1917, with deliveries flowing to another four French-based RFC squadrons, two in the Balkans, one in Palestine and to home defence units. Two pilots were to win the Victoria Cross flying the FK 8, while an FK 8 of Kent-based No 50 Squadron, RFC, is credited with downing a Gotha off the North Foreland on 7 July 1917. Some 1.000 or so FK 8s had been built when production ended in July 1918.
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
The Armstrong Whitworth FK8 was designed as a two-seat reconnaissance-bomber. Powered by a 160hp Beardmore, the type had a speed ol just under 100mph (160kph) and a ceiling of 13.000ft (4.000m).
F.Manson - British Bomber since 1914 /Putnam/
A late production F.K.8, built by Angus Sanderson, F7546. with compact radiators, long exhaust pipe, rounded nose contours and AW-designed plain-V undercarriage.
O.Tapper - Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913 /Putnam/
The F.K.8 used by Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd, later Qantas Empire Airways Ltd, to fiy Australia's first air mail service. The flight took place on 2 and 3 November, 1922, between Charleville and Cloncurry.
O.Tapper - Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913 /Putnam/
The F.K.8. G-AUDE. arrives with the mail at Winton on 3 November. 1922. The pilot was Wilmot Hudson Fysh, later Sir Wilmot. The date on the photograph is wrong.
J.Herris - DFW Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Late-production DFW C.V 4482/18 captured in the Middle East has printed camouflage fabric on all flying surfaces with the exception of the white-painted rudder. It was from the same production batch as 4475/18; both were ordered in June 1918. An F.K.8 is in the background.
O.Tapper - Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913 /Putnam/
F.K.8 biplanes under construction in the Newcastle factory of Angus Sanderson and Co. The site is now occupied by Durham University.
O.Tapper - Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913 /Putnam/
The prototype F.K.8, A411, undergoes a test to destruction at the Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough. The load was applied with loose sand heaped on the underside of the mainplanes.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
At the R.A.F. "War in the Air" Exhibition at the Grafton Galleries:- "Wind Up!" - A British fighting machine chasing a Hun
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Front and side elevations of the Armstrong-Whitworth machines.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Plan views of the Armstrong-Whitworth machines.
O.Tapper - Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913 /Putnam/
F.Manson - British Bomber since 1914 /Putnam/
Armstrong, Whitworth F.K.8
В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8