The Bristol F2-aka the Bristol Fighter-made its com- bat debut in the spring of 1917 when the Royal Flying Corps was suffering horrendous losses. Initially, the Bristol Fighter was operated like a traditional two-seater, flying straight and level, waiting for enemy aircraft to attack .. Losses were heavy.
After a few months at the front, however, "Brisfit" pilots and observers made a startling discovery: their mounts were fast, rugged, extremely well-armed and almost as fast as a single-seat scout. Bristol Fighter crews discarded the tactics of the lumbering two-seaters and began to fly their machines like single-seaters.
The results were spectacular; Bristol Fighters became one of the most lethal aircraft at the Front. Canadian An- drew McKeever became the top-scoring Bristol Fighter ace with 30 victories. Bristol Fighters served longer than any other World War I combat aircraft. Some were still in use on the far-flung fringes of the British Empire well into the 1930's.
The Museum’s Bristol F.2B is a non-flying replica built in Ypsilanti, Michigan and delivered in 1980. It was built for the film adaptation of the 1977 Jon Cleary novel, “High Road to China.” It is one of six F.2B aircraft built for the film by Vernon Ohmert - four flying, two non-flying. The novel, and an early version of the film script featured the Bristol F.2B prominently. The film was set to star Roger Moore and Jacqueline Bisset with John Huston directing. Budget cuts eliminated most of the aerial sequences. The eventual 1983 release starred Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong. It did not feature any of the Bristol F.2B aircraft. The museum owns two other Brisfits, one in storage the other at our Valle, AZ location.
Manufacturer: British and Colonial Aeroplane Company
Model: F.2b Brisfit
Serial Number: 34HC
Max T/O Weight: 3,243 lb.
Span: 39 ft. 3 in.
Length: 25 ft. 10 in.
Height: 9 ft. 9 in.
Maximum Speed: 123 mph
Cruise Speed: N/A
Rate of Climb: 889 ft/min
Power Plant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Falcon III V-12 liquid-cooled engine, 275 hp.
Range: 369 miles
Service Ceiling: 18,000 ft.
Armament: On forward-firing and one or two 0.303-in. flexible machine guns in rear cockpit; bombs 240 lbs.