|Role||Military flying boat|
|Manufacturer||Seaplane Experimental Station (1)
Short Brothers (23)
Dick, Kerr & Co. (2)
Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Company (17)
Gosport Aircraft Company (10)
|Designer||John Cyril Porte|
|First flight||May 1918|
US Navy (F5L)
|Number built||53 (F.5); 227 (F5L)|
|Developed from||Felixstowe F.2|
Design and development
Porte had designed a better hull for the larger Curtiss H12 flying boat, giving the Felixstowe F.2a, which was greatly superior to the original Curtiss boat. This entered production and service as a patrol aircraft. In February 1917, the first prototype of the Felixstowe F3 was flown. This was larger and heavier than the F2, giving it greater range and a heavier bomb load, but poorer agility. The Felixstowe F5 was intended to combine the good qualities of the F2 and F3, with the prototype first flying in May 1918. The prototype showed superior qualities to its predecessors but the production version was modified to make extensive use of components from the F.3, in order to ease production, giving a lower performance than either the F.2a or F.3.
The F5 did not enter service until after the end of the First World War, but replaced the earlier Felixstowe boats (together with the Curtiss machines), to serve as the Royal Air Force's (RAF) standard flying boat until being replaced by the Supermarine Southampton in 1925.
In 1920, the Canadian Air Board sponsored a project to conduct the first ever Trans-Canada flight to determine the feasibility of such flights for future air mail and passenger service. The leg from Rivière du Loup to Winnipeg was flown by Lieutenant Colonel Leckie and Major Hobbs in a Felixstowe F.3.
- Naval Aircraft Factory (USA): 137
- Curtiss Aviation (USA): 60
- Canadian Aeroplanes Limited (Canada): 30
In 1924 the Air Ministry invited tenders for two hulls of modern design to suit the wings and tail surfaces of the F.5. Short Brothers submitted a proposal for an all-metal hull built of duralumin, then a largely untried and untrusted material. The aircraft was first flown on 5 January 1925 and delivered to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Felixstowe on 14 March, where it was subjected to a series of strenuous tests, including dropping the aircraft onto the water by stalling it at a height of 30 ft (9 m): the aircraft withstood all trials, and after a year an inspection revealed only negligible corrosion. This succeeded in overcoming official resistance to the use of duralumin, and led to the order for the prototype Short Singapore.
Gosport Flying Boat
An improved Japanese version. The Hiro Naval Arsenal first licence-built the Felixstowe F.5 for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), then produced their own variant, as the H1H. The first version, Navy Type 15 was powered by either Lorraine W-12 or BMW VII engines, the Type 15-1 had a longer wing span, whilst the Type 15-2 had four-bladed propellers. It was retired in 1938.
- Royal Air Force - generally formed from RNAS flights.
- Royal Naval Air Service
Japan - (Post-war)
- IJN 60 - licence built by the Hiro Naval Arsenal.
Data from Aircraft of the Royal Air Force
- Crew: four
- Length: 49 ft 3 in (15 m)
- Wingspan: 103 ft 8 in (31.6 m)
- Height: 18 ft 9 in (5.7 m)
- Wing area: 1,409 ft² (131 m²)
- Empty weight: 9,100 lb (4,128 kg)
- Loaded weight: 12,682 lb (5,753kg)
- Powerplant: two × Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII, V-12, 345 hp (257 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 76 knots (88 mph, 142 km/h) at 2,000 ft (610 m)
- Service ceiling: 6,800 ft (2,073 m)
- Rate of climb: 30 min to 6,500 ft (1,980 m)
- Endurance: Seven hours
- Guns: 4 × Lewis guns (one in the nose, three amidships)
- Bombs: Up to 920 lb (417 kg) of bombs beneath wings
- Related development
- Barnes 1967, p. 197.
- Jackson 1974, p. 342
- Thetford 1979
- Barnes, C.H. Shorts Aircraft Since 1900. London: Putnam, 1967.
- Bruce, J.M. "The Felixstowe Flying-Boats: Historic Military Aircraft No. 11 Part 1". Flight, 2 December 1955, pp. 842—846.
- Bruce, J.M. "The Felixstowe Flying-Boats: Historic Military Aircraft No. 11 Part 2". Flight, 16 December 1955, pp. 895—898.
- Bruce, J.M. "The Felixstowe Flying-Boats: Historic Military Aircraft No. 11 Part 3". Flight, 23 December 1955, pp. 929—932.
- Donald, David and Jon Lake, eds. Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. London: AIRtime Publishing, 1996. ISBN 1-880588-24-2.
- A.J.Jackson, British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 2, Putnam & Company, London, 1974, ISBN 370 10010 7
- Taylor, Michael J.H., ed. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions, Ltd., 1989. ISBN 0-517-10316-8.
- Thetford, Owen. Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918. London: Putnam & Co., 1979. ISBN 0-370-30186-2.