Folland Fo.108

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Role Engine testbed
Manufacturer Folland
First flight 1940
Introduction 1940
Number built 12

The Folland Fo.108, also known as the Folland 43/37 and by the nickname Folland Frightful[1] (or Frightener), was a large monoplane engine testbed aircraft of the 1940s.

Design and development[edit]

The Fo.108 was Folland's response to Air Ministry Specification 43/37 for an engine testbed. It was Folland's first design to be accepted by the Air Ministry for production. The Fo.108 was a large low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional cantilever tailplane and a fixed tailwheel landing gear. It had a glazed cockpit for the pilot, and a cabin for two observers behind and below the pilot, fitted out so that they could make detailed measurements of engine performance during flight.

To enable the aircraft to be delivered from the Hamble factory and later ferried to new assignments, they were normally fitted with a Bristol Hercules radial engine. In service, the Fo.108 was fitted with a number of other engines including the inline Napier Sabre (four),[2] Bristol Centaurus radial, and Rolls-Royce Griffon V-engine.

Entering service in 1940,[3] the type was operated by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, Napier and Rolls-Royce,[4] Five of the twelve production aircraft were lost in crashes, the type earning the nickname "Frightener" as a result.[3] The last examples of the Fo.108 were withdrawn from service in 1945.[4] De Havilland's engine division used an Fo. 108 into 1946.[5]

Specifications (Centaurus engine)[edit]

Data from[citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: two observers
  • Length: 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m)
  • Wingspan: 58 ft (17.68 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)
  • Wing area: 588 sq ft (54.7 m2)
  • Loaded weight: 16,000 lb (7,260 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Centaurus 18 cylinder air-cooled radial, ()


See also[edit]

Related lists



  1. ^ Buttler (2004) British Secret Projects - Fighters and Bombers 1935-1950 Midland Publishing 1-85780-179-2 p228
  2. ^ "Aero Engines - Napier" Flight, 27 June 1958 p898
  3. ^ a b Willis, David (January 2009). "Folland's 'Frightener'". FlyPast. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing (330): 60. ISSN 0262-6950. 
  4. ^ a b Halley 1996, p. 12.
  5. ^ "Flying Test Bed", Flight: 591, 13 June 1946 


  • Halley, J.J. Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-R9999. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1996. ISBN 0-85130-235-1.