FBA Type C

The FBA Type C was a further development of the FBA Type B and, as a flying boat, was intended to mainly fight German submarines.


Development and construction:

Due to the accumulated experience of the FBA Type B in military use in the first months of the First World War, work was carried out on a successor model shortly after its introduction in early 1915.

The basic principle was also retained with the Type C, this included both the occupants lying next to each other and the pusher propeller. The engine itself, on the other hand, was replaced by a 130 HP rotary engine from Clerget-Blin in order to increase the overall performance and thus also the speed. This should serve in particular to be able to escape the German fighter planes. For the defense this time, a mounted machine gun was used from the beginning, whereby the direction of fire could only be directed forwards and only slightly to the side due to the pressure propeller. A rear defense was still not possible because the engine was located there.

In addition to the reconnaissance, the fight against German submarines should also be added to the area of responsibility of these flying boats. In the first months of the war, the submarines were able to inflict heavy losses on ships for the Allies, which is why the developers wanted to identify combat from the air against surfaced submarines as a property of the flying boat.

The first prototypes flew in mid-1915 and could be presented to both the British and French navies. As with the previous model of the FBA Type B, the French Navy initially showed no interest in the Type C. So it came about that these were first used in Great Britain, Russia and Italy.


FBA Type C flying boat


An FBA Type C flying boat taking off from the water




Use in the First World War:

It was not until the beginning of 1916 that the French Navy realized that flying boats like the FBA Type C were needed to replace older models. The growing danger posed by German submarines also meant that the Navy placed an order with Franco-British Aviation for 180 flying boats for use and another 150 for training.

After delivery, the flying boats were used in the English Channel, North Sea, Atlantic and the Mediterranean for reconnaissance and for use against enemy submarines. From 1917 they began to be withdrawn from the front and partly exchanged for more modern aircraft.


An FBA Type C flying boat after a ditching is picked up by a transport ship




Technical specifications:

Description: FBA Type C
Country: France
Great Britain
Type: Reconnaissance flying boat
Flying boat for fighting submarines
Length: 9,14 meters
Span: 13,71 meters
Height: 2,92 meters
Weight: unknown
Crew: Max. 2
Engine: a rotary engine Clerget 9 B with 130 HP (96 kW)
Maximum speed: 110 kilometers per hour
Range: Max. 320 kilometers
Armament: 1 machine gun 7,7 mm
unknown kilograms of bomb load






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