Farman MF.7

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Farman MF7 Longhorn.jpg
Role Reconnaissance
Manufacturer Farman Aviation Works
Designer Maurice Farman
Retired 1922
Primary users French Air Force
Royal Flying Corps, Australian Flying Corps, Royal Danish Air Force

The Maurice Farman MF.7 Longhorn is a French biplane developed before World War I which was used for reconnaissance by both the French and British air services in the early stages of the war before being relegated to service as a trainer.

Design and development[edit]

Maurice Farman's 1910 biplane
MF.7 Longhorn at Preveza in 1912
MF.7 Longhorn at Preveza in 1913

The "Longhorn" is a three bay biplane with a forward elevator mounted on upcurved extensions of the landing skids and an empennage carried on four booms consisting of biplane horizontal stabilisers with an elevator attached to the trailing edge of the upper surface and twin rudders. The airframe was constructed using a combination of ash and silver spruce, and many of the members including the outer interplane struts and the outrigger booms carrying the tail surfaces are hollow.[1] It is powered by a Renault air-cooled V8 engine driving a pusher propeller mounted at the back of a fabric-covered nacelle. The propeller is mounted on the engine's camshaft, and therefore revolves at half the engine speed.[1] Its name was derived from the distinctive front-mounted elevator and elongated skids.

The design originated with Maurice Farman's second aircraft, which was built in 1910. This was 12.75 m (41.8 ft) long and had upper and lower wings both spanning 11 m (36 ft). The wings had rounded ends and the outer pair of interplane struts were fabric covered to form voisin-style side curtains. The undercarriage was also of Voisin pattern, with a pair of mainwheels mounted on trailing arms below the skids. Lateral control was effected by ailerons mounted on the lower wings only. Pitch control was effected solely by a front-mounted elevator, the tail surfaces consisting of biplane fixed stabilising surfaces and twin rudders. The gap between the wings was 1.5 m (5 ft).[2]

The side curtains were soon removed, and subsequent aircraft, including that flown by Maurice Tabateau to win the 1910 Coupe Michelin, had square-ended wings and modified tail surfaces, with an elevator added to the upper rear stabiliser.

The 1911 Maurice Farman aircraft flown to win the Michelin Puy de Dôme prize had an increased wingspan, the upper wing spanning 16 m (52 ft 6 in) and the lower 14.5 m (47 ft 7 in). Ailerons were mounted on both upper and lower wings. The undercarriage now had two pairs of wheels attached to the skids using elastic cords.[3]

The Maurice Farman is the subject of a detailed technical description in the issue of Flight dated 6 July 1912. This describes it as a new type, but also notes that in essence the design was at least two years old. The aircraft described differs from earlier aircraft principally in having a 2 m (6 ft 7 in) gap between the wings.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Early civil flights[edit]

Early versions of the design were used for instruction purposes at Maurice Farman's flying school at Buc.

On October 28, 1910 Maurice Tabateau won the Coupe Michelin prize by flying 464.72 km (288.76 mi) in 6 hr 1 min 35 s [4]

On 7 March 1911 Eugène Renaux flew an example to win the Michelin Prize offered for a passenger-carrying flight from Paris to the summit of the Puy de Dôme.[5]

A variant with an extra bay, increasing the span of the upper wing to 20 m (66 ft), was used by Géo Fourny to set an endurance record of 720 km (450 mi) in 11 hr 29 min 11 s on 2 September 1911. This was one of the two aircraft entered by Maurice Farman for the French military aircraft competition held in November 1911.[6] The second aircraft was of similar span, but was rigged so that it had staggered wings.

Military use[edit]


 United Kingdom
 Kingdom of Italy


Specifications (MF.7)[edit]

Data from Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft[8][9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 11.35 m (37 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.4 m (50 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 3.45 m (11 ft 4 in)
  • Gross weight: 855 kg (1,885 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Renault 8C V-8 air-cooled piston engine, 52 kW (70 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 95 km/h (59 mph, 51 kn)
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,000 ft)

See also[edit]

Related development

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c "The Maurice Farman Biplane". Flight: 603–6. 6 July 1911.
  2. ^ "Le Biplan Maurice Farman 1910". l'Aérophile (in French): 251–3. June 1910.
  3. ^ "Le Biplan Maurice Farman de Pais-Puy de Dome". l'Aérophile (in French): 126–7. 15 March 1911.
  4. ^ "Pour La Coupe Michelin 1910". l'Aérophile (in French): 506. 15 November 1910.
  5. ^ "Renaux wins the Michelin Puy de Dome Prize". Flight. 11 March 1911.
  6. ^ "Les Records de Distance et Durée San Escale". l'Aérophile (in French): 439–40. 15 September 1911.
  7. ^ Bruce 1982, p. 241
  8. ^ Jackson, Robert, The Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, Paragon, 2002. ISBN 0-7525-8130-9
  9. ^ Angelucci, Enzo (1983). The Rand McNally encyclopedia of military aircraft, 1914-1980. The Military Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.


  • Liron, Jean (1984). Les avions Farman. Collection Docavia. Vol. 21. Paris: Éditions Larivière. OCLC 37146471.
  • Bruce, J. M. (1982). The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing). London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-30084-X.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hartmann, Gérard. "Le grand concours d'aviation militaire de Reims 1911" [The Reims Military Aviation Competition, 1911] (PDF). Dossiers historiques et techniques aéronautique française (in French). Gérard Hartmann. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  • Moulin, Jean (October 2004). "Reims 1911, le premier concours d'appareils militaires au monde!" [Reims 1911, the First Military Aircraft Concours in the World!]. Avions: Toute l'aéronautique et son histoire (in French) (139): 51–58. ISSN 1243-8650.
  • Opdycke, Leonard E. (1999). French Aeroplanes before the Great War. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 0-7643-0752-5.

External links[edit]