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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Farman MF.11
Farman Shorthorn MF11.jpg
Role Reconnaissance / Bomber
Manufacturer Farman Aviation Works
Designer Maurice Farman
First flight 1913
Introduction May 1914
Primary users French Air Force
Royal Flying Corps

The Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn is a French aircraft developed before World War I by the Farman Aviation Works. It was used as a reconnaissance and light bomber during the early part of World War I, later being relegated to training duties.

The Maurice Farman Shorthorn was the aircraft in which Biggles, Capt W.E. Johns' fictional character, first took to the air in "Biggles Learns To Fly".

Design and development

A pusher configuration unequal-span biplane like the earlier Farman MF.7, the MF.11 differed in lacking the forward-mounted elevator, the replacement of the biplane horizontal tail surfaces with a single surface with a pair of rudders mounted above it, and the mounting of the nacelle containing crew and engine in the gap between the two wings. The aircraft was also fitted with a machine gun for the observer, whose position was changed from the rear seat to the front in order to give a clear field of fire.

Its nickname in British service was derived from that of the MF.7 Longhorn, as it lacked the characteristic front-mounted elevator and elongated skids of its predecessor.

Operational history

Reconnaissance version of the MF.11 with camera detail
Reconnaissance version of the MF.11 with camera detail
Italian air force MF.11
Italian air force MF.11

On 6 September 1914 the first air-sea battle took place when a Japanese Farman MF.11 aircraft launched by the seaplane carrier Wakamiya unsuccessfully attacked SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth with bombs.[1]

The MF.11 served in both the British and French air services on the Western Front in the early stages of the war. It flew the first bombing raid of the war when on 21 December 1914 an MF.11 of the Royal Naval Air Service attacked German artillery positions around Ostend, Belgium.

The MF.11 was withdrawn from front-line service on the Western Front in 1915, but continued to be used by the French in Macedonia and the Middle East, while the British also used it in the Dardanelles, and Africa. The Australian Flying Corps (AFC), provided with the MF.11 by the British Indian Army, operated it during the Mesopotamian campaign of 1915–16.

Italy's Società Italiana Aviazione, a Fiat company, licence-built a number of MF.11s under the designation SIA 5 from early 1915, fitted with a fixed forward machine gun and a 74.5 kW (100 hp) Fiat A.10 engine.[2]

In 1916, the AFC also bought some MF.11s for training purposes.


 Kingdom of Italy
 Kingdom of Hejaz
 Saudi Arabia
 United Kingdom
Belgian Air Force Farman F-11 A.2 in the Brussels War Museum in July 1965
Belgian Air Force Farman F-11 A.2 in the Brussels War Museum in July 1965


  • The Canada Aviation Museum has an MF.11 manufactured by Airco for the Royal Flying Corps and sent to Australia in 1916.
  • Farman F.11A-2, Royal Army and Military History Museum, Brussels, Belgium.
  • Farman MF.11 Shorthorn (#CFS-15), RAAF Museum at Point Cook, Victoria, Australia.

Specifications (Farman MF.11)

Data from Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (pilot & observer/gunner)
  • Length: 9.45 m (31 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 16.15 m (53 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 3.18 m (10 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 57 m2 (610 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 550 kg (1,213 lb)
  • Gross weight: 928 kg (2,046 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Renault 8D V-8 air-cooled piston engine, 75 kW (101 hp)
  • Propellers: 4-bladed fixed-pitch pusher propeller


  • Maximum speed: 106 km/h (66 mph, 57 kn)
  • Endurance: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Service ceiling: 3,800 m (12,500 ft)


  • Guns: 1 × 7.62 mm (0.30 in) machine gun
  • Bombs: 18 × 7.3 kg (16 lb) bombs

See also

Related development

Related lists


  1. ^ Donko, Wilhelm M.: „Österreichs Kriegsmarine in Fernost: Alle Fahrten von Schiffen der k.(u.)k. Kriegsmarine nach Ostasien, Australien und Ozeanien von 1820 bis 1914“ (epubli, Berlin, 2013) - Page 4, 156-162, 427.
  2. ^ Taylor, Michael J H. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. pg 805. Portland House, 1989. ISBN 0-517-69186-8
  3. ^ Jackson, Robert, The Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, Paragon, 2002. ISBN 0-7525-8130-9

External links

This page was last edited on 5 November 2019, at 00:21
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