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Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard


Single engine single seat fighter aircraft.

    The Martinside F.4 Buzzard being one of the fastest fighters at the end of World War I,  the Handley Page Ltd. Cricklewood owned G-EATD (former RFC D4267) was flown to Evere airfield on 25 May 1921 to be evaluated. On 28 June 1921 it was flown by experienced pilot Lt; Kervyn de Lettenhove to 9/IV at Schaffen to be evaluated by the locally based fighter pilots. Before that, on 4 & 5 June 1921 the machine was presented during the "Meeting du Printemps" at Evere airfield. For this show the aircraft was devoid of all its markings and received a prominent "meeting number" "1" on the fuselage and wings. (see picture above). After having been test flown by a majority of the pilots of the Groupe de Chasse of Schaffen, the aircraft was returned to its owner in the U.K where it was re-registered G-EATD on 12 May 1922 only to be permanently grounded two moths later.

     Rumours have it that a second company owned Buzzard - G-EAXB (former RFC D4279) - was also involved in the testing of the fighter by the Belgian authorities. These tests were organided in the framework of a fly-off competition to replace the mix of WWI fighters still active in the Belgian Air Service, such as the Hanriot HD.1, Spad XIII and Nieuport 17/23. Ultimately the Nieuport Delage NiD.29 was chosen as the new fighter aircraft..

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