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The Vickers F.B.12 was a biplane pusher aircraft developed during the First World War by Vickers Limited

Development and design

At the start of the First World War, Vickers entered into a partnership with the Hart Engine Company to develop a 150 hp (110 kW) nine-cyliner radial engine designed by Hart. This engine was planned to power a number of new designs by Vickers, the first of which was a small single-engine pusher biplane fighter, the F.B.12.

The F.B.12 resembled the D.H.2 and F.E.8; wood and fabric wings with rounded tips. The circular nacelle was framed in steel tubing, with the engine directly behind the cockpit, driving a wooden propeller. The tail was at the end of an open steel boom. A .303 in (7.7 mm) machine gun was placed inside the front of the nacelle, with only the barrel protruding.

The first FB.12 flew in June 1916, powered by a 80 hp (60 kW) Le Rhône rotary engine as the Hart was not yet available. With this engine, it proved to be underpowered and was re-fitted with a 100 hp (75 kW) Gnome Monosoupape engine. It was then rebuilt with increased wing span and area, becoming the F.B.12A. In December 1916 it was sent to France for operational testing, where it was deemed as good as the D.H.2 and F.E.8, but still outclassed by the German aircraft.

The F.B.12B was similar to the F.B.12A, but fitted with the originally intended Hart engine, flying early in 1917. In November 1916, meanwhile, the War Officemarker placed an order for 50 Hart powered aircraft, designated the F.B.12C for the RFC. The F.B.12B crashed during tests in early 1917, leading to Vickers abandoning the Hart. Only 18 of the order were built, being fitted with a number of different engines including a 110 hp (80 kW) Le Rhône and a 100 hp (75 kW) Anzani radial. Tested between May and July 1917, only 1 F.B.12C was delivered, to the Home Defense unit.

The F.B.12D was the final variation, only 1 prototype was produced with a larger 110 hp (80 kW) Le Rhone engine.

Operators



Variants

F.B.12
F.B.12a
Mono-Gnome engine
F.B.12b
150 hp (110 kW) Hart radial engine
F.B.12c
flat-sided nacelle, larger fin and rudder. 18 production aircraft built.
F.B.12d
110 hp (80 kW) Le Rhone or 100 hp (75 kW) Gnome Monosoupape engine


Specifications (F.B.12)

See also

References

Bibliography

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