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Porte F.2A America



The Admiralty placed orders for Curtiss H.4 and H.12 flying-boats in 1924-15 on the recommendation of Squadron Commander John Porte. When they arrived, Porte fitted some with much improved hulls of his own design, built at the Naval Air Station of Felixstowe and by private manufacturers.
The engines were also replaced by Rolls-Royce Eagles in the H.12’s, which were redesignated F.2A.
They featured three-bay biplane wings with two spar wood construction and fabric covering. The hull was wood with plywood covering. Conventional controls with ailerons on the top wings only. Stabilising floats were under each lower wing tip.
Normal defensive armament was four Lewis machine guns: one in the nose cockpit, one in the rear cockpit aft of the wings and one on each side of the fuselage. Sometimes the nose and rear positions were each fitted with two guns, and an additional gun could be mounted above the pilots’ canopy. Racks for two 230-lb bombs were under the wings.

Best known was the F.2A, which, in the last year of the war, formed the backbone of RNAS/RAF ocean activity. Carrying up to seven Lewis guns and two 220 lb bombs, it had a maximum weight of 11,000 lb, its two 345 hp Rolls-Royce Eagles gave it a top speed of 95 mph and it could reach 2,000ft in 3.5min and 10,000ft in 39.5min. Despite its 120ft wingspan it was surprisingly agile. Gradually F.2s replaced H12s.

The F2A was basically a Porte II hull married to the wings and tail unit of the Curtiss H.12. Utilised by Britain during WW 1 and credited with shooting down Zeppelins L.22, L.43 and L.62.


Engines: 2 x Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII, 345 hp
Propeller: 4 blade
Wingspan: 95 ft 7.5 in
Wing area: 1133 sq,ft
Length: 46 ft 3 in
Height: 17 ft 6 in
Empty weight: 7549 lb
MTOW: 10,978 lb
Max speed: 95 mph at 2000 ft
Service ceiling: 9600 ft
Endurance: 6 hr
Armament: 4-7 Lewis machine guns
Bombload: 2 x 230 lb





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