Aircraft of the Aces Bristol F2 Fighter Aces of WWI Osprey Books

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Great Book by Osprey Publishing. 96 pages
This is the history of the best Allied 'fighter-destroyer' of World War I and the pilots who flew it. Nicknamed 'Biff' by the pilots, the Bristol F2 Fighter enjoyed extraordinary success against German fighting scouts over the Western Front in the final 18 months of the war. However it had an inauspicious debut. Built to replace the obsolete two-seat BE and RE types who had become 'Fokker fodder', the F2A had the misfortune to enter service at the height of Bloody April 1917 when Allied aircraft were decimated by superior German fighting scouts. Indeed, and entire flight of F2As was wiped out by Manfred von Richthofen's Jasta 11. However, a new improved F2B was soon delivered to the front which was functioned in an entirely different manner. The crews operated the plane not as a standard two-seater, but as a single-seat scout with a 'sting in the tail' in the form of a rear gunner with a Lewis machine gun. Thanks to the F2B's speed and manoeuvrability, which had only previously been found in single-seat fighters, pilots were able to fly as aggressively as if they were at the controls of a Camel or SE 5A. Aiming their fixed weapons, while their observers took shots at fighters that latched onto the tail of the F2B, numerous ace teams earned the 'Biff' grudging respect from its German opponents - who seldom engaged a Bristol one-on-one. This book will chart the development of the plane from its unpromising beginnings, to the revised model operating with a new kind of tactics. Moreover, the numerous first-hand accounts and combat reports will give a fascinating insight into the experiences of the pilots themselves.