The Bristol Fighter F2A and F2B, also known as the "Brisfit" by its pilots, first saw action during the Battle of Arras in early April, 1917. On it's first patrol with F2s, 48 Sqdn lost four of the six planes, with no losses to the Germans flying Albatros D.IIIs. The Germans of Jasta II were led by Richthofen. The "Brisfit" was a good fighter, maneuverable, sturdy and well armed, it was the British tactics that were at fault. The ring mounted Lewis guns in the rear were initially used as the main weapon, not the front mounted Vickers machine gun. Once the British pilots caught on the Bristol Fighter became a potent weapon of aerial combat. They aggressively attacked German aircraft with the front-mounted weapon, and left rear defence and incidental shots to the rear gunner. As an example, Canadian pilot Lt. A. McKeever and gunner Sgt. L. Powell destroyed 30 German aircraft in Bristol Fighters in six months.
It was armed with a front-mounted 7.7-mm (0.303 caliber) Vickers machine gun and either one or two ring-mounted Lewis guns in the back seat. The Vickers was a belt-fed machine gun with up to 500 rounds and the Lewis gun had modified 97 round drums. The Brisfit could also carry up to a dozen 20 lb bombs under the lower wing. Many engines were used on this aircraft, the one most frequently installed was the Rolls-Royce V-12 Falcon I, II, or III with 190, 220 or 275 hp, respectively. With the Falcon III engine the airplane had a maximum speed of 198 km/h (123 mph) at 1524 m (5000 ft) and a ceiling of 5486 m (18,000 ft.). It had a range of 483 km (300 miles).
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Images From: C. Campbell, Aces and Aircraft of World War I