Bristol F.2B Fighter

The Bristol Fighter was one of a new generation of British aircraft deployed on the Western Front in 1917, Designed by Captain Frank Barnwell, it was a solid, versatile, two-seater fighter-reconnaissance aeroplane with excellent all-round performance. The first version, the F.2A, made its maiden flight on 9 September 1916; the faster F.2B followed shortly after.
When the Bristol Fighter first entered service with the Royal Flying Corps it was flown sedately, like a reconnaissance aeroplane. This resulted in a disastrous baptism of fire on 5 April 1917, when four out
of six Bristol Fighters were shot down in an encounter with German Albatroses. Airmen soon learned to handle the machine, however, making aggressive use of t he forward-firing gun, and working out formal formation tactics.
Used correctly, the aircraft proved a potent fighting machine. In the later stages of the war the F.2B was increasingly used as a ground-attack and bomber aircraft – it could carry up to a dozen 25lb bombs on racks beneath its fuselage and lower wing. By the end of October 1918 a total of 1,754 Bristol Fighters had been delivered. The type
remained in service into the early 1930s.