Bristol F.2b Fighter

The Bristol F.2 Fighter is a British First World War two-seat biplane fighter and reconnaissance aircraft developed by Frank Barnwell at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It is often simply called the Bristol Fighter, “Brisfit” or “Biff”.

Although the type was intended initially as a replacement for the pre-war Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c reconnaissance aircraft, the new Rolls-Royce Falcon V12 engine gave it the performance of a fighter.

This particular example has been re-built to represent the aircraft flown by Captain W.F.J. Harvey and Captain D.E. Waight, No.22 Squadron, from Agincourt on 1 July 1918. The aircraft was modified, by the squadron, to take an extra Lewis machine gun on the centre section of the top mainplane.

Despite a disastrous start to its career, the definitive F.2B version proved to be a manoeuvrable aircraft that was able to hold its own against single-seat fighters while its robust design ensured that it remained in military service into the early 1930s. Some surplus aircraft were registered for civilian use, and versions with passenger cabins were converted.

There was also a Bristol F.2b Fighter at Duxford.