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Farman MF.11 Shorthorn




The M.F.11 retained the same basic configuration as Maurice Farman’s preceeding M.F.7, but introduced a number of refinements and one radical change: the forward elevator that had led the British to give the nickname “Longhorn” to the M.F.7 was abandoned, and the British dubbed the M.F.11 the “Shorthorn”. The tail unit was re-designed to have a single tailplane, elevator, and twin rudders. Another visually notable change was an alteration in the position of the nacelle, which was raised from the upper surface of the lower wing to a point between the upper and lower wings. It was the first Farman design to be armed, being employed on bombing and reconnaissance duties.



The Shorthorn was also built in England by the Aircraft Manufacturing Company, the forerunner of the de Havilland aircraft company, used by both the RFC and RNAS. One of the RNAS machines dropped eighteen 16-lb bombs on enemy positions near Ostend on 21 December 1913 as the first-ever military night operation.


The M.F. 11 first flew in 1914 and entered service in 1915 with an assortment of engine types delivering anything between 70 and 130 hp (52 and 97 kW), though the most common units were De Dion or Renault engines; aircraft licence-built in Italy by S.I.A. had Renault or Fiat A.l0 engines.

The Shorthorn was also built in England by the Aircraft Manufacturing Company, the forerunner of the de Havilland aircraft company.

In the basic M.F. 11 the pilot was seated in front of the observer, but in the MF.11bis developed by Maurice’s brother, Henry Farman, the observer was given a better field of fire for his gun by being seated in front of the pilot.




The Farman MF 11 served in considerable numbers, equipping 37 French escadrilles, six squadrons of the RFC on the Western Front and other RFC/RNAS units in Mesopotamia, the Dardanelles and the Aegean. The R.F.C. received its first Shorthorns for No. 4 Squadron, each fitted with one machine-gun. Unfortunately, they had such poor performance that they could often make no head-way against the prevailing wind when returning from flights over the enemy line, and were easy prey for flak.

The type was used mainly for observation, but was occasionally and successfully pressed into service as a bomber. A Farman MF. 11 of the Royal Naval Air Service made the first night bombing raid of World War I, attacking German gun emplacements near Ostend on 21 December 1914.


The MF.11, shown here on at Hendon airfield, was fitted with an 80 hp De Dion-Bouton engine. This machine was the private aeroplane of the Frenchman Marquis Larienty-Tholozan.
1913 Maurice Farman MF.11 of Marquis Larienty-Tholozan

In 1916 the Australian Government ordered five Shorthorns from England for the Central Flying School at Point Cook, Victoria. They were serialled CFS-15, CFS-16, CFS-17, CFS19, and CFS-20. A sixth aircraft, CFS-18 was built at Point Cook. After the war, on 19 March 1919, four Shorthorns were offered for sale at a public auction but failed to sell. They were subsequently purchased by a syndicate of Graham Carey and Arthur Fenton.

Following their frontline service, the MF. 11 and its predecessor, the MF.7, were widely used for training.



Principal versions - M.F. 11 (basic model) and M.F. 11bis (revised version with reversed seating). Principal users - France, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia.




Farman MF.11 “Shorthorn”
Engine: Renault R-80, 70-hp (52-kW)
Wing span 53 ft 0 in (16.15 m)
Length 31 ft 2 in (9.50 m)
Height 12 ft 9.5 in (3.90 m)
Wing area 613.56 sq ft (57.00 sq.m).
Empty weight: 1,213 lb (550 kg)
Maximum take-off weight: 1,874 lb (840 kg)
Max. weight carried: 672.5 lb / 305.0 kg
Wing loading: 3.69 lb/sq.ft / 18. 0 kg/sq.m
Maximum speed: 46 kt / 85 km/h  / 62mph (100 km/h) at sea level
Service ceiling 12,470 ft (3,800 m)
Initial climb rate: 295.28 ft/min / 1.5 m/s
Endurance 3 hours 45 minutes.
Range: 162 nm / 300 km
Armament: one 8-mm (0.315-in) machine-gun and (bomber version) 288 lb (131 kg) of bombs.
Crew: 2

Engine: 1 x 100hp Renault 8-cylinder air-cooled V
Max take-off weight: 928 kg
2046 lb
Wingspan: 16.16 m
53 ft 0 in
Length: 9.45 m
31 ft 0 in
Height: 3.18 m
10 ft 5 in
Max. speed: 106 km/h
66 mph
Ceiling: 3800 m
12450 ft
Crew: 2
Armament: one machine gun, 130kg of bombs

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