B.A.T. F.K.23 (Bantam I)
|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / B.A.T.|
The first prototype F.K.23 was originally ordered as the fourth of a batch of six development F.K.22s, and while retaining the wooden structure with monocoque fuselage, it embodied extensive redesign. Overall span and wing area were reduced to 6.09m and 14.86m2 respectively, and the tail surfaces were redesigned. Armament comprised two synchronised 7.7mm Vickers guns and power was provided by a 170hp A.B.C. Wasp I, flight testing being initiated in May 1918. Two further prototypes (originally ordered as the fifth and sixth F.K.22s) were similarly powered, but dimensionally larger, and after further redesign resulting from initial flight trials, a batch of 12 F.K.23 Bantam Is was ordered, the first of these being delivered to the RAE at Farnborough on 26 July 1918. At least nine Bantam Is were completed, one of these being sent to France and evaluated at Villacoublay in the late summer of 1918. One example was sent to the USA for evaluation at Wright Field, but this fighter's principal shortcoming was the poor reliability of its Wasp I engine.