Farman F.211 - France, 1932
Detailing the development and operational history of the Farman F.211 Day-Night Four-Engined Heavy Bomber Prototype.
Entry last updated on 4/8/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Farman F.211 was a French interwar heavy bomber product that did not see serial production.
In 1929, the French Air Ministry detailed a new specification calling for a four-seat night bomber with inherent daytime capabilities. The Farman F.211 was developed by Farman Aviation Works in response and took to the air for the first time in early 1932. The large aircraft was powered by four engines arranged in a unique "push-pull" configuration (detailed below). The design was not adopted by the French Air Force and remained in prototype status for the duration of its flying life. Attention was then moved to the dimensionally larger F.220 which also brought along with it more power from its engines and this model found considerably more success.
The F.211 was very much a product of the time - it held an ungainly appearance seen in many of the interwar bombers put forth by various companies of the world. The nose section was largely glazed over to provide meaningful vision "out-of-the-cockpit" for its multi-person crew. A "tail-dragger", wheeled undercarriage was used but fixed in place during flight. The high-wing mounting of the mainplanes was a step in the right aerodynamic direction but the quadruple engine configuration was set in two nacelles (one to either side of the fuselage) and arranged with one ahead of the other - one engine "pulling" and the other "pushing". The nacelles were further mounted on wingstubs fitted along the lower sides of the fuselage and had to be braced to the underside of the wing mainplanes by struts.
Power to the bomber came from 4 x Gnome-Rhone "Titan" 7Kcrs 7-cylinder radial piston engines developing 300 horsepower each. Maximum speed for the aircraft was 140 miles per hour with a range out to 620 miles and a service ceiling up to 16,405 feet.
Overall dimensions of the aircraft included a length of 15.9 meters, a wingspan of 23 meters and a height of 4.2 meters. Empty weight was 11,135 lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight of 16,315 lb. Internally, the bomber could carry a war load of 2,315 lb. Defense was through 1 x 7.7mm twin machine guns at the nose, another station held dorsally, and a single 7.7mm machine gun at a ventral station.
With French authority disinterest in the F.211 model, Farman pursued the F.212, an improved form now fitting Gnome-Rhone 7Kds radial piston engines of 350 horsepower each. The war load was also increased to 3,085 lb. This version appeared in 1934 but also only ever managed to reach a prototyping stage before the end.
The F.215 was a proposed passenger airliner variant intended to seat twelve in comfort and based on the F.211/F.212 design. This model was not furthered into a physical form. The dimensionally larger F.220 model series of 1935 found more success - it was produced in eighty examples into 1938 and encompassed a variety of models based on the F.220 lineage including the F.222 which became France's largest bomber of the Inter-war period.