Martin & Handasyde F.4 Buzzard
The Buzzard began life as a private venture design by G H Handasyde designated F.3. The, F.3 was powered by the 275hp Falcon III engine, but priorities in Falcon engine supplies enjoyed by the Bristol Fighter led to the reworking of the F.3 for the 300hp Hispano-Suiza 8Fb. With this it was redesignated F.4 and (from September 1918) officially named Buzzard. It is uncertain just how many of the original batch of 150 aircraft were completed as Falcon-engined F.3s, but most were certainly finished as HS 8Fb-engined F.4s, the first of the latter being tested at Martlesham Heath in June 1918.
Additional contracts for the F.4 were placed with the parent company (300), Boulton & Paul (500), Hooper (200) and Standard Motor (300). Armed with two synchronised 7.7mm Vickers guns, the F.4 differed from the F.3, apart from power plant, in having revised fuselage decking contours and more extensive plywood skinning. Belated engine deliveries and other factors delayed production, only seven having been handed over by November 1918, and, in the event, no RAF squadron was to be equipped with the type.
Contracts for some 2500 were cancelled after the Armistice, including 1500 which were to have been built in the US.
Production of the F.4 by the parent company continued for a time after the Armistice (no other contractor apparently producing any complete Buzzards) and more than 370 airframes were built, some being fitted with Falcon engines. A number of F.4 Buzzards was sold abroad by the Aircraft Disposal Company, the principal recipients being Finland (15), Portugal (4), Spain (20) and the USSR, the last-mentioned procuring 100 aircraft of this type. One 290-hp M-6 eight-cylinder water-cooled engine in Russian-built F.4s. One F.4, along with an S.E.5A, were supplied to the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1921-22 as examples of single-seat fighters with stationary engines.
A two-seat variant, the F.4A, was produced in 1920, a much-modified derivative with two-bay wings of increased span appearing in the following year. This had a Lewis gun in the rear cockpit and several were supplied to Spain in June 1921, both single- and two-seat Buzzards being referred to as F.4As in Spanish service.
The Aircraft Disposal Company developed the F.4 into the less successful ADC 1.
I have an original 1919 propeller from an F4 Buzzard that was owned by my father for the last 50+ years. If anyone is interested in buyimg it, please contact me on the above email address
Engine: 300hp Hispano-Suiza 8Fb
Prop: Lang L.P.5270A or 5270B two-blade wooden, diameter 2690 mm (8 ft 9.9 in), pitch 2000 mm (6 ft 6.7 in), or Lang L.P.5420 two-blade wooden airscrew, diameter 2660mm (8 ft 8.7 in), pitch 1 980mm (6 ft 5.95 in); Wing span, upper, 32 ft 9.4 in (10,99 m), lower, 31 ft 2.4 in (10,51 m)
Length: 7.76 m / 25 ft 6 in
Height: 2.69 m / 8 ft 10 in
Wing area: 29.73 sq.m / 320.01 sq ft
Loaded weight: 2,398 lb (1 088 kg)
Empty weight: 821 kg / 1810 lb
Normal fuel capacity, (Buzzard Mk I, Hispano-Suiza): petrol, 38 Imp gal (172,71); oil, 4 gal (18,21) later 75 gal (341); water 9 gal (40,91). Buzzard Mk Ia: petrol 56 gal (254,61), oil 75 gal (341).
Max speed, 132mph (212 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4 570 m)
Time to 10,000 ft (3 050 m), 7.9 min
Armament: Two fixed 0303-in (7,7-mm) Vickers Mark 1* machine-guns synchronized by Constantinesco C.C. Gear Type B with (ultimately) 770 rpg; 1 8-in (45,72-mm) Aldis optical sight and 5-in (127-mm) ring-and-bead sight.
Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard