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Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8

United Kingdom (1917)
Picture of Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 Multirole Biplane Aircraft

The Armstrong Whitworth FK.8 proved to be a highly versatile platform, taking on a variety of sortie types throughout its service life.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 Multirole Biplane Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 1/12/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 model series was a biplane aircraft conceived of by aircraft designer and Dutch national Frederick Koolhoven. The aircraft ended as a most versatile platform and saw considerable service during World War 1, proving quite popular with its aircrews. The F.K.8 went on to see production numbers exceed 1,600 and no fewer than 22 British squadrons (including training) equipped with the type. Additional operators included Australia (post-war QANTAS), Paraguay and the Kingdom of Hejas (a part of modern-day Saudi Arabia).

The F.K.8 was of a basic biplane configuration utilizing an upper and lower wing arrangement joined by struts ad cabling. The F.K.8 was intended to supersede the capabilities of the preceding F.K.3 marks as a more powerful and robust improved form (indeed the F.K.8 was something of a scaled-up F.K.3). It retained a twin-seat configuration with the crew seated in tandem, the pilot in a front open-air cockpit and the observer/gunner in the rear cockpit. Armament consisted of a single fixed, forward-firing 7.7mm Vickers machine gun for the pilot and a single (or dual) 7.7mm Lewis machine gun on a trainable mounting in the rear cockpit. Provision was added for bombs (up to 260lbs) which made up the light bombing aspect of the F.K.8. Power was derived from a Beardmore 6-cylinder inline piston engine supplying up to 160 horsepower providing for a maximum speed of 95 miles per hour, a service ceiling of 13,000 feet and an endurance time of 3 hours.
The versatility of the FK.8 shown through the variety of sorties the platform was put through. These included both day and night bombing runs, ground attack, close-support, sustained patrol and aerial reconnaissance/scouting. The FK.8 would see combat action through to the end of the war in November of 1918.

During her flying career, the F.K.8 came to be known as "The Big Ack" or, in some circles, as the "Big AW" (alluding to manufacturer "Armstrong Whitworth" whose initials adorned the side of the forward fuselage).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (95mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era Impact
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1650
1650


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: United Kingdom
Service Year: 1917
Classification Type: Multirole Biplane Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Armstrong Whitworth - UK
Production Units: 1,650
Operational Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Australia (post-war); Kingdom of Hejaz (Saudi Arabia); Paraguay; United Kingdom
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
31.43 ft


Meters
9.58 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
43.50 ft


Meters
13.26 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.93 ft


Meters
3.33 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,918 lb


Kilograms
870 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,811 lb


Kilograms
1,275 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Beardmore inline piston engine developing 160 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
95 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
153 kph


Knots
83 kts


Performance
CEILING


Feet
12,106 ft


Meters
3,690 m


Miles
2.29 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
1 x 7.62mm Vickers fixed, forward-firing machine gun.
1 x 7.62mm Lewis machine gun on trainable mount in rear cockpit.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 260lb of conventional drop ordnance.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Variants: Series Model Variants
• FK.3 - Preceding Model to which the FK.8 replaced.
• FK.8 - Base Series Model Designation