Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Britian - 1916 Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.6

Sometimes They look Better on the Drawing Board

Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.6 - 1916
Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.6 - 1916

Experimental aircraft have such a variety of design concepts, both good and not so much. I was fortunate that I found a fairly accurate line drawing and several good quality photographs to make life easy. Frederick Koolhoven created some funky designs that ranged from brilliant to down right odd. This was one of his stranger attempts.

The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.5 and F.K.6 were experimental triplanes built as escort fighters by Armstrong Whitworth during the First World War. They carried two gunners in nacelles mounted on the center wing. One example of each type was built, with no further development or production following.


  1. Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6. (2010, September 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:11, October 30, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Armstrong_Whitworth_F.K.6&oldid=385009811
  2. Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6 1916 Virtual Aircraft Museum Retrieved 17:11, October 30, 2010, from http://www.aviastar.org/air/england/arm_fk-6.php
  3. Koolhoven Aeroplanes Foundation http://www.koolhoven.com/history/airplanes/aw/
  4. Bruce, J.M. "British Aeroplanes 1914-18". London:Putnam, 1957.
  5. Bruce, J.M. "War Planes of the First World War: Volume One Fighters". London:Macdonald, 1965.
  6. Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon. "The Complete Book of Fighters". New York:Smithmark, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
  7. Lewis, Peter. "The British Fighter since 1912". London:Putnam, Fourth edition, 1979. ISBN 0 370 10049 2.
  8. Mason, Francis K. "The British Fighter since 1912". Annapolis, Maryland, USA:Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7
  9. Tapper, Oliver. "Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft since 1913". London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0 85177 826 7.


The Angry Lurker said...

A pity as it looks functional.

W. I. Boucher said...

In early 1916, the British War Office drew up a specification for a multi-seat escort fighter powered by the new Rolls-Royce Eagle engines. The specification called for an aircraft capable of protecting formations of bombers from German fighters, with an additional role of destroying enemy airships. The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.6, Sopwith L.R.T.Tr. and Vickers F.B.11 were candidates for the contract. All of them had their share of problems. By the time the prototypes were ready an effective synchronizing gear entered production making all three designs obsolete.

Jon said...

Were is the gunner on this drawing?

W. I. Boucher said...

@Jon The two gunners were in the nacelles mounted on either side of the fuselage, under the center wing which have the roundels painted on them. They were sitting about 2 feet from the exhaust manifolds. Since the aircraft never went beyond initial evaluation flights, guns were not mounted. I hope that clarifies things

Jon said...

Thank you. I love the blog.