BAT Bantam

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F.K.23 Bantam
British Aerial Transport F.K.23 Bantam.jpg
Role Single-seat Fighter
Manufacturer British Aerial Transport Company Limited
Designer Frederick Koolhoven
First flight 1918
Introduction 1921
Primary user Royal Air Force
Number built 15

The BAT F.K.23 Bantam was a British single-seat fighter biplane produced by British Aerial Transport Company Limited of London during World War I.

Design and development[edit]

Frederick Koolhoven's first design for the British Aerial Transport Company (BAT) was the F.K.22 single-seat fighter. It was a two-bay biplane of wooden construction. It was planned to have a 120hp (90 kW) A.B.C Mosquito radial engine but the failure of this engine led to the installation of the 170hp (127kW) A.B.C.Wasp I in the first and third aircraft. The second machine was fitted with a 100hp (75kW) Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine and was the first to fly at Martlesham Heath in January 1918. The original contract called for six development aircraft but three aircraft were built as the F.K.23 Bantam I, the second prototype then being renamed the Bantam II. The Bantam I was the same wooden structure but was slightly smaller. Two further prototypes of the larger design were also built followed by at least 9 development aircraft. One aircraft was delivered to the Royal Aircraft Establishment on 26 July 1918, one was delivered to the French at Villacoublay and a further aircraft to the United States Army Air Corps at Wright Field in 1922.

The production Bantam had to be modified due to unsatisfactory spin characteristics of the prototypes. Continuous engine problems and downsizing of the Royal Air Force were factors in no more orders for the Bantam. Koolhoven returned to Netherlands with one aircraft where it was re-engined with a 200hp (149kW) Armstrong Siddeley Lynx radial engine. Several examples were operated as civil racing aircraft.

Variants[edit]

F.K.22 Bantam I
Prototypes and evaluation version, 2 built.
F.K.23 Bantam II
Production aircraft, 3 prototypes + 9 aircraft were built.

Operators[edit]

 France
 Netherlands
 United Kingdom
 United States

Survivors[edit]

Specifications (F.K.23 Bantam)[edit]

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1919[1]War Planes of the First World War: Fighters Volume One [2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 378 lb (171.46 kg) disposable load
  • Length: 18 ft 5 in (5.61 m)
  • Wingspan: 25 ft (7.6 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m)
  • Wing area: 185 sq ft (17.2 m2)
  • Empty weight: 830 lb (376 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,333 lb (605 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 22 imp gal (100.01 l; 26.42 US gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × ABC Wasp II 7-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engine, 200 hp (150 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed BAT tractor 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) pitch, 7 ft 10.5 in (2.400 m) diameter

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 138 mph (222 km/h; 120 kn) at sea level
  • 134 mph (216 km/h; 116 kn) at 10,000 ft (3,048.00 m)
  • 127 mph (204 km/h; 110 kn) at 15,000 ft (4,572.00 m)
  • 121 mph (195 km/h; 105 kn) at 20,000 ft (6,096.00 m)
  • Landingspeed: 50 mph (80 km/h; 43 kn)
  • Endurance: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Service ceiling: 20,000 ft (6,096 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,579 ft/min (8.02 m/s)
  • Time to altitude: 5,000 ft (1,524.00 m) in 3 minutes 10 seconds
  • 10,000 ft (3,048.00 m) in 7 minutes 12 seconds
  • 15,000 ft (4,572.00 m) in 21 minutes 29 seconds
  • Wing loading: 7.2 lb/sq ft (35 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.1274 hp/lb (0.21 kW/kg)

Armament

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Grey, C.G. (1969). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1919 (Facsimile ed.). David & Charles (Publishing) Limited. pp. 79a to 80a. ISBN 978-0-7153-4647-1. 
  2. ^ Bruce, J.M. (1965). War Planes of the First World War: Volume One: Fighters. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers). p. 63. 

References[edit]

  • Grey, C.G. (1969). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1919 (Facsimile ed.). David & Charles (Publishing) Limited. pp. 79a to 80a. ISBN 978-0-7153-4647-1. 
  • Bruce, J.M. (1965). War Planes of the First World War: Volume One: Fighters. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers). p. 63. 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 
  • Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 1. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10006-9. 

External links[edit]