The Bristol Aeroplane Company Bristol Scout F was designed as a high performance fighter that used a conventional, rather than rotary, engine. It was a single-seat fighter with excellent handling qualities. Sadly, that potential did not come to fruition due to the lack of suitable engines and a severely reduced requirement after the end of the First World War.
The Scout was a biplane of unequal span and the initial design by Frank Barnwell had been based upon the 200 hp Hispano Suiza engine. Unfortunately for Bristol Aeroplane Company, and despite government promises, these were not avialable due to the need to fulfil SE5A production. As a result, the first aircraft appeared with the Sunbeam Arab liquid-cooled engine which proved to be an unsatisfactory compromise in terms of performance, vibration and reliability.
The Scout F was eventually tested in March 1918, followed by a 2nd aircraft which was also flown with the Arab engine.
A third aircraft, designated Scout F.1, was flown with the Cosmos Mercury radial engine on 4th September 1918 and it demonstrated a promising performance and high top speed. Sadly however, this was the final and last Scout to fly as although a 4th airframe had been constructed, the Armistice bought an end to wartime production and the type was abandoned.
|Scout F||Scout F.1|
|Powerplant||200 hp Sunbeam Arab||315 hp Cosmos Mercury|
|Span||29 ft 7 in|
|Maximum Weight||2,200 lb||2,260 lb|
|Capacity & Armament||Two seat, one forward firing 0.303 Vickers machine gun and one Scarff-mounted 0.303 Lewis gun|
|Maximum Speed||138 mph at sea level, 128 mph at 10,000 ft||145 mph|
|4 aircraft||One aircraft not flown and used for structural test|
No aircraft survive