Armstrong Whitworth Sissit
|National origin||United Kingdom|
The Armstrong Whitworth Sissit, also known as the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.1, was a prototype single-engined biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War. The first aircraft designed by Armstrong Whitworth, the Sissit was underpowered and only a single example was built.
Development and design
In 1913, the British War Office asked the engineering company Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd to manufacture aeroplanes and aircraft engines for the Army, and in response to that request, Armstrong Whitworth set up an aircraft department, hiring the Dutch designer Frederick Koolhoven, formerly chief engineer of British Deperdussin as chief designer.
Koolhoven's first design for Armstrong Whitworth was a small, single-seat, aircraft intended as a scout aircraft. A single-bay tractor biplane, the Sissit, or F.K.1 was fitted with balanced elevators and no fixed tailplane.
Although designed for an 80 hp (60 kW) Gnôme rotary engine, only a 50 hp (37 kW) Gnôme could be obtained. Fitted with this engine, it was first flown by Koolhaven in September 1914. It proved to be underpowered, and was modified with a fixed tailplane and enlarged ailerons. As greatly superior single seat scout aircraft such as the Sopwith Tabloid and Bristol Scout were already available, no further development of the Sissit took place.
Data from British Aeroplanes 1914-18 
- Maximum speed: 75 mph (121 km/h)
- Stall speed: 30 mph (48 km/h)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Tapper 1988, pp. 5-6.
- Tapper 1988, p.8.
- No definitive list exists of the true sequence of the F.K. numbers, as applied by Koolhaven to his designs, although the designation of the Sissit as F.K.1 is probably correct.
- Bruce 1957, p.10.
- Mason 1992, p.35.
- Bruce 1957, p.11.
- Bruce 1957, p.12.
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