|First flight||May 1916  or 17 June 1916|
|Introduction||Jan 1917 |
|Primary user||U.K. (RFC/RAF)|
|Number built||1500 to 1701|
|Wingspan||13.3 m (43 ft 6 in)  [note 1]|
|Engine||160hp Beardmore inline [note 2]|
|Armament||fixed, sync. Vickers|
1-2×rear flexible Lewis
73 kg (160 lb) of bombs
|Ammo||unknown (Vickers) + ≥5 drums of 47-97 rounds (Lewis)|
|Max Speed||150 km/h (93 mph) to|
153 km/h (95 mph) to
158 km/h (98 mph) [note 3]
|Climb||910 m (3,000 ft) in 6:00|
2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 15:25
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 27:50[note 4]
|Ceiling||4,000 m (13,000 ft) [note 5]|
The Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.8, also known as the Big Ack, was a solid two-seater that simply performed its job without attracting a lot of attention. It served with Sqns. №2, 8, 10, 35, and 82 in France; 17 and 47 in Macedonia; and 142 in Palestine. Early models used simplified nose-over oleo skid and tall, thin radiators, and a polygonal nose. Later models switched to a more conventional standard vee undercarriage, ear radiators, and a rounded nose. The pilot's Vickers gun was fully enclosed in the fuselage and could not be accessed during flight.
F.K.8's were used for reconnaissance and artillery spotting, but they also made a good light bomber. Two Victoria Crosses were awarded to crews of FK.8s: one to A.A.McLeod who, after fighting one and then eight Fokker Triplanes (shooting down three) and, while gravely wounded, managed to fly his flaming Big Ack by climbing onto the wing. After crash-landing in No Man's Land, he dragged his observer clear of the wreck and sustained wounds from ground fire.
Stated Major Keith D P Murray, "The Big A-W was slow, but my pilots liked it for the particular job they had to do, and never regarded themselves as 'cold meat'. Owning to the nature of their work, they were rarely in the position to attack, but when attacked, as they were frequently enough, they gave good enough account of themselves."
For more information, see Wikipedia:Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8.
Timeline [note 6]
|Version||Availability||Maneuver||Damage||Dmg Points||Max Alt.||Climb|
Miniatures and Models
- Resin Kit: Sram 144/053 (company defunct)
- There may have been a wingspan difference between the 120hp plane and the 160hp version, at 12.93 m (42.4 ft) and 13.21 m (43.3 ft) respectively.
- Some apparently used the 120hp Beardmore engine instead, and there were experiments with the 140hp RAF4a and the Sunbeam Arab.
- 134.4 km/h (83.5 mph) at 2,400 m (8,000 ft) with the 120hp engine.
- 3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 35:00 with the 120hp engine.
- 3,700 m (12,000 ft) for the 120hp model.
- British usage numbers are approximate, derived from the squadron histories.
- Updated card
- Bruce'69, p.15.
- Bruce'97, p.3.
- Lamberton, p.44.
- Bruce'97, p.3.
- Bruce'97, p.36.
- Lamberton, pp.214-215.
- Argus Vol. 1, p.6.
- Kelly, p.229.
- Munson, p.62.
- Bruce'69, p.20.
- Bruce'97, p.37.
- Bruce'97, p.16.
- Bruce'97, pp.27-28.
- Philpott'13, pp.379-444.
- Argus Books, Airplane Archive: Aircraft of World War One, Volume 1. Great Britain: Argus Books, 1989. ISBN 0-85242-983-5
- J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain: Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
- J.M. Bruce, Windsock Datafile 64: AW FK.8. Great Britain: Albatros Publications, 1997. ISBN 0-948414-96-0
- Kevin Kelly, "Belts and Drums: A Survey of First World War Aircraft Ammunition Totals". Over the Front, Vol. 5, No. 3, Autumn 1990. Walsworth Publishing Co, Inc. and The League of World War I Aviation Historians.
- W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962. ISBN 9780900435027
- Kenneth Munson, Bombers: Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft, 1914-1919. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1968, Blandford Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0753721711
- Ian Philpott, The Birth of the Royal Air Force. Great Britain: Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2013. ISBN 978-1-78159-333-2