ROD-425 1/48 Bristol F.2B WW1 RAF fighter model kitThe Bristol Fighter is easily one of the most outstanding aircraft to have seen combat during the First World War. It was so good that it formed the backbone of the RAF in overseas service policing for the far-flung frontier territories of the Empire throughout the interwar period until it was finally retired from service in 1934.
The versatile Brisfit - as it came to be known - was a maneuverable, heavily armed two-seater biplane designed by Frank S. Barnwell, who would later design the Blenheim, Beaufort and Beaufighter of the Second World War.
Design began in mid-1916, and took into account combat reports from the Western Front of the wretched B.E.2 series. Barnwell's design was for a 2-seater that could survive in a hostile sky. Pilot and gunner were placed back to back, where they could coordinate their efforts. The strange design, with the lower wing attached to the fuselage by struts, was done so that the upper wing could be lowered sufficiently to give the pilot excellent visibility and to allow the gunner to fire his weapons in a full 360 degrees, while maintaining sufficient separation of the biplane wings to maximize lift without increasing drag. Barnwell also chose the powerful and reliable new Rolls-Royce Falcon as the aircraft's powerplant, providing it with both good speed and lifting ability. The prototype F.2A flew in late 1916 and was soon ordered into production. The definitive F.2B differed from the original Fighter in having a smaller horizontal tail with larger elevators, thus improving maneuverability.