Maurice Farman S.11 Shorthorn

  • A two-seater biplane developed just before the First World War by Farman Frères, a French aircraft company founded in 1908 by pioneering aviators Maurice and Henri Farman
  • A "pusher aircraft," in which the engine is located in front of the rear-facing propeller
  • Used initially for reconnaissance and light bombing, and later by the Allied forces as a trainer
  • Called the "Shorthorn" because it lacked the distinctive forward elevator of its predecessor, the Farman S.7 Longhorn
Period
First World War (1914-1918)
Uses
Trainer
First Flight
late 1913
Display Status
On the Museum Floor.

Background History

Like many early First World War aircraft, the Shorthorn is a pusher with the engine in the rear of the nacelle. Designed and first flown in France, the Shorthorn was adopted by the air forces of Australia, Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, and Russia. It was manufactured under licence in Britain and Italy. During its early war service in reconnaissance and light bombing, the Shorthorn carried no defensive armament. It was later relegated to training duties. The Shorthorn retired from RAF service in 1918.

This aircraft was called the Shorthorn because it lacked the distinctive forward elevator of the Farman S.7 Longhorn. The pusher configuration, with the pilot well forward of the wings, was ideal for observation and bombing. The crew had to be careful not to allow loose objects to fly from the cockpit into the propeller. The Shorthorn configuration could be dangerous in an accident because the engine was liable to hurtle forward and injure the crew.

Museum Example

Registration #
VH-UBC (Australia)
Manufacturer
Aircraft Manufacturing Company Ltd., Great Britain
Manufacture Date
1915 - 1916
Construction #
Unknown
Acquisition Date
1981
Provenance
Purchase
Museum Catalogue #
1981.0682.001

Manufactured by Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco) for the Royal Flying Corps in 1915–1916, this Shorthorn is one of four that were sent to Australia in 1917 for flight training. It was used for this purpose at Point Cook until 1919, when it was sold as surplus. In storage throughout the 1930s, the aircraft was restored and made airworthy in the 1950s. In 1956, American stunt pilot Frank Tallman purchased it and flew it in California. The aircraft was owned by two aviation museums in later years, before this Museum bought it at auction in 1981.

Technical Specifications

 

Wing Span 15.78 m (51 ft 9 in)
Length 9.3 m (30 ft 6 in)
Height 3.15 m (10 ft 4 in)
Weight, Empty 654 kg (1,442 lb)
Weight, Gross 928 kg (2,046 lb)
Cruising Speed Unknown
Max Speed 116 km/h (72 mph)
Rate of Climb 1,000 m (3,280 ft) / 8 min
Service Ceiling Unknown
Range Unknown
Power Plant one Renault, 80 hp, V-8 engine