|FLYING BOAT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / Felixstowe|
In 1914 Lieut J. G. Porte, Royal Navy, went to America to take part in the development of the Curtiss America flying-boat, in which an attempt at crossing the Atlantic was to be made. However, although the America had been completed, Porte returned to England in August following the outbreak of World War I, where he joined the RNAS. Porte began to develop the Curtiss type of flying-boat at the Felixstowe station for possible use by the RNAS, concentrating mainly on improving the hydrodynamic qualities of the hull.
The first Felixstowe type was the F.1 (based on the Curtiss H.4), four of which were produced. The F.2 followed (designed around the Curtiss H.12) with a Porte hull and Curtiss wings and tail unit. Superior in every way to the H.12, it was produced in 1917 as the F.2A. It was one of the finest aircraft of the war and was widely operated as an anti-submarine patrol flying-boat until the Armistice. Armament comprised typically a Scarff ring mounting in the nose for one or two Lewis guns; a single Lewis gun on a pillar mounting at each of two beam positions; and one or two Lewis guns in a dorsal position aft of the wings. In addition two 104kg bombs could be carried under the lower wings. Nearly 100 F.2As were completed before the Armistice and the aircraft's fine performance and manoeuvrability also made it an effective multi-seat attack and anti-Zeppelin type.
Gerrit Jan Bon, e-mail, 06.09.2020 Ewoud Bon
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