The F.K.23 Bantam I designed by the Dutch Frits Koolhoven, originally had to be the fourth F.K.22 of six ordered, but during the build of this airframe it was extensively redesigned. Span and wing area were reduced, and the tail was changed. Power was provided by a 170 hp A.B.C. Wasp I, and the ‘new’ plane was tested from may 1918.
Two other prototypes were build with the same engines, but the dimensions of these frames were slightly larger. After the flight-testing an order of 12 F.K.23 Bantam I’s was placed. The first deliveries were made to the RAE at Farnborough at July 26th 1918.
Some nine F.K.23’s were built of which one was send to France for testing at Villacoublay in late summer 1918, and one left for the United States also for testing at Wright Field.
The F.K.23 principal shortcoming was the bad performance of it’s engine, especially reliability was a big problem which crippled the Bantam I.
|Manufacturer/designer:||British Aerial Transport Company (B.A.T.) / Frits Koolhoven|
|First Flight:||May 1918|
|First Delivery:||July 26th 1918|
|First Operational:||Late summer 1918 (only 1)|
|B.A.T. F.K.23 Bantam I|
|Wing Span:||7,62 m|
|Wing Area:||17,18 m²|
|Engine (s):||A.B.C. Wasp I with 170 hp.|
|Max. Take off weight:||599 kg|
|Max. Speed:||206 Kph|
|Weapons:||two synchronized 7,7 mm Vickers guns|
All pictures courtesy of Zijde Aviation Photo and Publishing, Marcel van Leeuwen.