Henry Farman F.20

Best known of the French Henry Farman series of two-seat reconnaissance pusher biplanes, the F.20 first appeared in Summer 1912. The type’s most significant contribution to the history of military aviation was the use of HF F.20 No.352 in June 1913 for early experiments in fitting machine guns, having reversed the occupants’ seating arrangements to place the observer at the front of the nacelle. When the RFC went to France in August 1914 they took 11 Farman F.20s with them. Although aggressive and determined pilots, such as Lt. Louis A Strange of No.5 Squadron, tried to make something of a warplane out of the delicate F.20 by fitting rudimentary gun mountings and makeshift bomb carriers the aeroplane was not sufficiently robust for such rigours. Farmans did, however, provide valuable service as trainers, some surviving until 1917 in the UK.