Thursday, June 23, 2011

Britain - 1916 Vickers F.B.19

The Vickers Company was known for a long string of mediocre fighters and one extremely well designed heavy bomber, the Vickers Vimy. Today I will write about their fighters. Vickers clung to the pusher aircraft well past the point it was obsolete. Their tractor designs were not very impressive either. Despite this fact, Vickers had the political clout to be awarded military contracts throughout the war.

The Unpopular Vickers F.B.19

Vickers F.B.19 - 1916
Vickers F.B.19 - 1916

The Vickers F.B.19 was an aircraft with several design flaws that prevented it from becoming popular, or widely used aircraft. It was relatively slow (98 mph -158 km/h), underpowered, and not at all capable of reaching higher altitudes. Its service ceiling was 16,995 ft (5,180 m).

Fifty F.B.19s were built and six were sent to France for operational evaluation. They were found to be unsuitable for the fighting conditions then evolving. A number of F.B.19s were sent to Russia. Those which were still crated on the dockside were destroyed by the Royal Navy after the Revolution but some were used by the Bolshevik forces.

Twelve examples of the Mk II, with staggered mainplanes and a 110 hp (82 kW) Le Rhône or Clerget engine, were built. Several were sent to the Middle East in a batch of twelve F.B.19s. From June 1917, these operated in Palestine and Macedonia but they were not popular and no squadron was fully equipped with the type.


  1. From Wikipedia Vickers_FB-19, ""
  2. "Virtual Aircraft Museum".
  3. Bruce, J.M. "War Planes Of The First World War: Volume Three Fighters". London: Macdonald, 1969. ISBN 0 356 01490 8.


The Angry Lurker said...

"Despite this fact, Vickers had the political clout to be awarded military contracts throughout the war", quite a problem I take it and probably still is.

W. I. Boucher said...

There was a series called Riley Ace of Spies with Sam Neil in the title role which had a lot of the backroom dealing of the various arms manufacturers with the Russians and Turks before the war broke out. It showed how they would sell arms to both sides and their only concern was profits. It is well worth watching.