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Farman (Maurice) MF.11 (also called MF14 in Belgium)

Single engine twin seat Observation - Bomber aircraft and Trainer.

     The Farman MF.11 was a development of the MF.7 pusher configuration observation/bomber aircraft from which it borrowed the general layout. However, the front elevator was omitted giving the pilot a much better forward vision (resulting in the English name “Shorthorn” compared to the “Longhorn”, indicating a MF.7). Also, the MF.11 had a single stabilizer and a pair of modernized twin rudders replacing the biplane horizontal box type tail surfaces. Some early models (also in Belgian wervice) still had the pilot sitting in front, but as the Observer/Gunner had to shoot his 7.7mm caliber Lewis machine gun very close to the pilot’s head this seating arrangement was reversed. The MF.11 could also carry 18 bomblets of 7,5 Kg under the wings.

     In February/March 1915 six new MF.11 aircraft powered by the 80 HP Renault engine (with cooler fan) were delivered to the Belgian Air Service. On 17 April 1915, Lt. Fernand Jacquet and Lt. Henri Vindevoghel shot down a German Albatros C-type (probably of MLFA 1) over Beerst (near Diksmuide), making it the first Belgian Air Service’s aerial victory. As of June, 15th 1915 another batch of 16 MF.11 aircraft was delivered (12 operational + 4 reserve aircraft). This second batch, constructed under license agreement by the Belgian company JERO Bollekens at Beau Marais (Calais, F.), was powered by the Renault 80hp engine with Zenith carburetor (without cooler fan). Operationally the MF.11 was used by N° I, II and III Squadron from Ten Bogaerde airfield (now Koksijde) as well as  N° IV and V Squadrons from Houtem. An overall total of 22 MF.11 aircraft was used by the Belgian Air Service. In Belgium the MF.11 was identified as the MF.14 (in analogy with the Farman designation “Type 1914”). It was planned by the Belgian Air Service that towards the end of 1915 and in order to cope with the low cruise and climbing speeds, all remaining Belgian MF.11’s were to receive a more powerful Renault 110 Hp or 130 Hp powerplant, but no confirmation could be found up to now.

     In frontline service Belgian Farman MF.11 aircraft only were identified by the French serial painted on the rudders while occasionally an individual Squadron level Roman or Arabic Serial number was allocated and painted on the fixed part of the rudders. (Known number are 1, 2 ,3, 7 and 8) With the arrival of the more powerful Maurice Farman MF.11bis the surviving MF.11 aircraft were transferred to the pilot Schools at Etampes (F.) and as of January 1st, 1918 at Juvisy-sur Orge (F.) while a small number was still used post war at the pilot School of Asch in Belgium. Initially the trainer-aircraft were identified by Roman numbers painted on the nose (known serials are VI to XIII) but towards the end of 1916 these were replaced by Arabic numbers (known numbers are 1, 2, 3, 8, 13, 16, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 27). (These registrations did not follow a type sequence but instead were a mixture of Maurice Farman models (FM.7bis, MF.11 and FM.11bis). At the Asch Pilot School, the remaining MF.11 trainers received a three-digit serial (known are 222, 223, 232 and 234). The last MF.11 trainers were withdrawn from us in the early twenties at Asch.

     A single Belgian Farman MF.11 is preserved for posterity at the Royal Army Museum (WHI) at Brussels while worldwide 4 other MF.11 aircraft are known to exist in Australia, Canada and Japan. (Daniel Brackx)

Click the pic to Open

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MFxxx / "1"

C/N

-

Date In

Feb 1915

Date Out

-

History

"1", N° III Squadron, fate unknown;

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MFxxx / "2"

C/N

-

Date In

Feb 1915

Date Out

-

History

"2", N° III Squadron, fate unknown;

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MFxxx / "3"

C/N

-

Date In

Feb 1915

Date Out

-

History

"3" N° III Squadron, written off in crash landing.

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MFxxx / "7"

C/N

-

Date In

Mar 1915

Date Out

-

History

"7", fate unknown.

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MFxxx / "8"

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

Feb 1916

History

"8", N° IV Squadron, written off in crash on 17 Feb 1916.

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MF344 / -

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

MF344, Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown.

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MF348/ -

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

MF348, fate unknown.

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MF393 / "V"

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

History

MF393 / "V", "XII' Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown.

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MF594 / -

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

MF594, N° V Squadron, fate unknown

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MF700 / "VII"

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

MF700 / "VII", fate unknown

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MF703 / "X"

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

MF703 / "X", written off in crash.

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VI

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

VI, Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown

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VII

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

VII, Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown

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VIII

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

VIII, Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown

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X

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

X, Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown

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XI

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

XI, Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown

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XII (MF393)

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

MF393 / "Y", "XII' Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown. (! SEE ALSO MF393 "V" ABOVE !)

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XIII

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

XIII, Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown

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16

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

16, Etampes Pilot School, Juvisy Flying School,

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20

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

20, Etampes Pilot School, Juvisy Flying School,

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22

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

22, Etampes Pilot School, fate unknown

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23

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

1918

History

23, Etampes Pilot School, Juvisy Pilot School, withdrawn from use at Juvisy (F.)

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24

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

24, Etampes Flying School, fate unknown

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25

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

25, Etampes Pilot School, Juvisy Pilot School, fate unknown

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27

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

-

History

27, Etampes Pilot School, Juvisy Pilot School, fate unknown

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222

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

1921

History

222, Etampes Pilot School, Juvisy Pilot School, Asch Pilot School.

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223

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

1921

History

223, Etampes Pilot School, Juvisy Pilot School, Asch Pilot School.

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232

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

1921

History

232, Etampes Pilot School, Juvisy Pilot School, Asch Pilot School.

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234

C/N

-

Date In

1915

Date Out

1921

History

233, Etampes Pilot School, Juvisy Pilot School, Asch Pilot School.

More individual aircraft will be added in the future.

Besides a single exception, no correspondence is known between the initially used French numbers (MFxxx) and the letters and numbers essentially used at the Pilot Schools. Because of this, certain aircraft figuring above are possibly mentioned twice !

Photo slider with additional, non-identified Belgian Voisin 3 LA/LAS aircraft.

Farman-MF11-Serial-xxx-In-flight-Ten-Bogaerde-TE_T01_P05_07''.jpg
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