Armstrong Whitworth F.K.9 / F.K.10

1st Flight 1916

Military Users –

Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service

FK.10

The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.10 was a British two-seat quadruplane fighter aircraft built by Armstrong Whitworth during the First World War.

While it was ordered in small numbers for the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service, it was not used operationally.

It is one of the few quadruplane aircraft to reach production.

FK.10

The F.K.10 was designed in 1916 by Frederick Koolhoven, the chief designer of Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft as a single-engine two-seat fighter.

Koolhoven chose the novel quadruplane layout, also used by Pemberton-Billing for the P.B.29E and Supermarine Nighthawk anti-Zeppelin aircraft, and the contemporary Wight Quadruplane scout.

At roughly the same time, Sopwith were building the successful Sopwith Triplane fighter.

FK.10

The first prototype, the F.K.9 was built and first flown in the summer of 1916, powered by a 110 hp (80 kW) Clerget 9Z rotary engine.

It had a shallow fuselage, with the wings joined by plank-like interplane struts, similar to those used by the Sopwith Triplane.

After evaluation at the Central Flying School in late 1916, a production order for 50 was placed by the RFC for a modified version, the F.K.10.

FK.10

The production F.K.10 had a new, deeper fuselage, and a new tail, but retained the wing platform of the F.K.9.

The F.K.10 showed inferior performance to the Sopwith 1½ Strutter, which was already in service as a successful two-seat fighter, and only five were built of the RFC order, with a further three built for the RNAS.

They were not used operationally and the design was not developed further.

FK.9

Specifications-

Crew: Two

Length: 22 ft 3 in (6.78 m)

Wingspan: 27 ft 10 in (8.48 m)

Height: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)

Wing area: 390.4 sq ft (36.27 m2)

Empty weight: 1,236 lb (561 kg)

Gross weight: 2,019 lb (916 kg)

FK.10

Power plant: 1 × Clerget 9B nine-cylinder rotary engine, 130 hp (97 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed: 84 mph (135 km/h, 73 kn) at 6,500 ft (2,000 m)

Endurance: 2 hr 30 min

Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,000 m)

Time to altitude: 37 min 10 sec to 10,000 ft (3,000 m)

Armament

Guns: 1 × fixed, forward-firing .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun and 1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Gun in observer’s cockpit

FK.10

Credits-

Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913-Oliver Tapper.

Jane’s Encyclopedia of Aviation-Michael J. H Taylor.

Wikipedia.

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