The Farman F.20 was an early French reconnaissance aircraft and served as the basis for the later F variants from the Farman company.
Development and construction:
Since 1908, the brothers Henri and Maurice Farman developed lattice-tail planes with pusher propellers for civil use and recreational sports. This also included the F.20 aircraft, which were developed and built shortly before the beginning of the First World War.
Just like their predecessors, these were lattice-tail aircraft with the fuselage on the lower wing. In contrast to other European aircraft manufacturers, most aircraft in France were equipped with a pusher propeller in order to be able to guarantee a clear field of vision to the front.
The F.20 aircraft were equipped with such an engine, with the majority of engines being 85 HP Gnome rotary engines with which a speed of up to 110 kilometers per hour could be achieved.
Use in the First World War:
With the outbreak of World War I, most of the F.20 aircraft were accepted into the French Air Force and were to serve as reconnaissance aircraft on the Western Front. On the front part of the nacelle, a light machine gun was mounted on some models in order to be able to defend against enemy aircraft.
In addition to France, Belgium, Great Britain and Switzerland also use the F.20 aircraft, although these were mainly used there for the training of new pilots.
In addition to the low power, the only forward-pointing machine gun was a major disadvantage of the aircraft. Thus, the crew could not defend themselves against the emerging fighters and an attack from behind, so that the F.20 aircraft were withdrawn from the western front very early after the beginning of the war and were only used on secondary theaters of war.
Attempts to use the F.20 as a bomber were also made, but the additional weight often led to flight stability problems and crashes.
|360 kilograms empty
|an air-cooled 7-cylinder rotary engine Gnome, 85 HP (63 kW)
|110 kilometers per hour
|Max. 250 kilometers
|1 machine gun 7,7 mm