|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)
S.E. Saunders Ltd
Boulton Paul Ltd (hulls only)
Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd
Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal (10)
Hiro Naval Arsenal (60)
|Designer||John Cyril Porte|
|First flight||May 1918|
|Primary users||Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
United States Navy (F5L)
Imperial Japanese Navy
|Number built||163 (F.5); 227 (F5L)|
|Developed from||Felixstowe F.2|
Design and development
Porte had designed a better hull for the larger Curtiss H-12 flying boat, resulting in 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 F.3 was flown. This was larger and heavier than the F.2, giving it greater range and a heavier bomb load but inferior manoeuvrability. The Felixstowe F.5 was intended to combine the good qualities of the F.2 and F.3, 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 F.5 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.
- Naval Aircraft Factory (USA): 137
- Curtiss Aviation (USA): 60
- Canadian Aeroplanes Limited (Canada): 30
Gosport Flying Boat
Gosport Fire Fighter
Unrealised civilian version of the F.5 for two crew and six passengers, mail and cargo or either alone, fitted with two 365 hp Rolls Royce Eagle VIII, 450 hp Napier Lion or 500 hp Cosmos Jupiter engines. As the Fire Fighter above, the G5 could be adapted to operate in remote areas for locating forest fires and transporting personnel and fire-fighting equipment. 
An improved Japanese version of the F.5 known as the Navy F.5 used by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) between 1922 and 1930. The Hiro Naval Arsenal first licence-built the Felixstowe F.5 from October 1921, Aichi continued manufacture until 1929.
Hiro Naval Arsenal produced their own variant of the Navy F.5, 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.
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.
- Royal Naval Air Service
- Royal Air Force - generally formed from RNAS flights.
- Gosport Aircraft Company - one civil registered F.5.
Japan - (Post-war)
- Imperial Japanese Navy - licence built by the Hiro Naval Arsenal and Aichi.
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
- Felixstowe F.2
- Felixstowe F.3
- Felixstowe F.4 Fury
- Felixstowe F5L
- Short Cromarty
- Hiro H1H
- Naval Aircraft Factory PN
- Short Singapore
- Hall PH
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Jackson 1974, p. 342
- "The Gosport Flying-Boats". Flight: p.1006. 31 July 1919.
- Flight "Felixstowe Flying Boats" p.931 23 December 1955
- "Some Gosport Flying Boats for 1920". Flight: pp.1657–1658. 25 December 1919.
- "Hiro (Hirosho) Navy Type F.5 Flying-boat.". Japanese Aircraft of WWII. Japanese Aircraft of WWII. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- Barnes 1967, p. 197.
- 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 0-370-10010-7
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Felixstowe F5L.|
- First visit of an English flying boat to Kristiana: Film of the arrival and overflight by an RAF Felixstowe F.5 flying boat (N4044) at Kristiania (later Oslo), Norway, July 1919.
- Royal Air Force: Film of Fleet Air Arm aircraft and aircraft operating from shore bases, including the F.5, 1925.
- Felixstowe Flying-Boats