Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6

1916

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Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6

In 1915, Frederick Koolhoven, the chief designer of Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, initiated work on a highly unorthodox three-seat triplane powered by a 250hp Rolls-Royce 12-cylinder water-cooled engine. It was intended to accommodate two gunners each with a 7.7mm machine gun in shallow nacelles mounted above the centre wing on each side of the fuselage, the gunners being seated ahead of the propeller plane of the tractor engine. Although a prototype was completed and allegedly designated F.K.5, this was never flown, being extensively damaged as a result of a ground loop during its first take-off attempt. The design, was extensively revised early in 1916 to meet an RFC requirement for an airship interceptor and long-range escort fighter. The revised design is believed to have been designated F.K.6 (and certainly not F.K.12 as has sometimes been stated) and four examples were ordered, two of these being intended for the RNAS. In the event, only one F.K.6 was built. The gunners' nacelles were underslung on the central mainplane, armament remained two 7.7mm Lewis guns and the 250hp Rolls-Royce engine was retained. It is believed that relatively limited flight testing was undertaken.

FACTS AND FIGURES

The pilot of the original F.K.6 is unlikely to have been able to see much in any direction. The completely revised second example was only a marginal improvement.

The nacelles were intended to give the gunners a good field of fire but a better solution might have been a single gunner in the rear fuselage. No armament was actually fitted.

The middle wing was much longer than the others, but it is hard to know quite why. The other wings were equal span.

3-View 
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6A three-view drawing (1620 x 977)

Specification 
 CREW3
 ENGINE1 x 250hp Rolls-Royce piston engine
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan19.14 m63 ft 10 in
  Length11.29 m37 ft 0 in
  Height5.18 m17 ft 0 in
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed160 km/h99 mph

Comments
napo, 18.06.2011 08:38

My wife is of Whitworth decent out of England and any information you could send me regards the Whitworth name as connected to Sir W.G. Armstrong partnership would be greatly appreciated for its geneagolicical value to my wife's research.

reply

Bruno, e-mail, 03.02.2008 10:47

Hello
From several sources the plane on photo is not a F.K.6 but a F.K.12
go and see this site: www.koolhoven.com /history /airplanes /aw /

Cordialement
Bruno

reply

Ray Larson, e-mail, 03.02.2007 22:24

I am very interested in any information as to the origin of the Whitworth part of the the W.G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Ltd. airplane manufacturing firm.
My wife is of Whitworth decent out of England and any information you could send me regards the Whitworth name as connected to Sir W.G. Armstrong partnership would be greatly appreciated for its geneagolicical value to my wife's research.
Thank you,
Ray Larson
rglarson@oregontrail.net

reply

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