Franco-British Aviation

Franco-British Aviation (usually known by its initials FBA) was an aircraft manufacturer of the early 20th century, headquartered in London and with its production facilities around Paris.[1] Specialising in seaplanes, it was established in 1913 by Louis Schreck and André Beaumont.

Franco-British Aviation
FoundersLouis Schreck, André Beaumont
SuccessorHydravions Louis Schreck FBA, Société des Avions Bernard
United Kingdom
ProductsMilitary aircraft

History Edit

The company was established in 1913 by Louis Schreck and André Beaumont.

Louis Schreck was technical director of the French subsidiary in Argenteuil. The first activity of the company was the development of a flying boat hull derived from Donnet-Leveque Type A. The aircraft, a biplane with a single engine mounted between the wings with a pusher propeller, was originally called FBA-Leveque, then it was renamed FBA Type A.

It is from this first model that the manufacturer derived various models that would be used by the forces of Triple Entente: France, United Kingdom and the Russian Empire.

During World War I, the company produced large numbers of small flying boats for the navies of France, Russia, Italy, and the UK.[2]

Following the war, the company was reorganised as Hydravions Louis Schreck FBA as a purely French concern and continued building aircraft in the same class. One of these, the FBA 17, sold in quantity.

In 1922, Émile Paumier became technical director and developed the brand models from the FBA model Type 10. From the Type 19 on, the company abandoned the conventional configuration with pusher propeller to finally adopt the tractor propeller.

The company could not repeat its wartime successes. The lack of orders, especially for civilian models, led to production being stopped in 1931. In 1934, on the verge of collapse, the workshops of the factory were sold to Bernard. Bernard was also struggling and itself failed later in 1935.

Aircraft Edit

Name Type Production Notes First flight Operators
FBA Type A Seaplane single engine biplane recognition Also called FBA-Leveque 1913 Austria-Hungary, Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Russia
FBA Type B single engine biplane seaplane 150 1915 France, United Kingdom
FBA Type C single engine biplane seaplane 78+ 1916
FBA Type H single engine biplane seaplane 1915
FBA Type S single engine biplane seaplane 1917
FBA 10 single engine biplane seaplane 2 1922
FBA 11 single engine biplane training seaplane 1 Variant of Type C for training 1923
FBA 13 single engine biplane training seaplane 1 1922
FBA 14 single engine biplane seaplane 20 Development of Type 11 trainer France
FBA 16 single engine biplane seaplane 1
FBA 17 Single-engine two-seater biplane training seaplane 348 Produced under licence in the United States as the Viking 1923 Brazil, France, Poland, United States
FBA 19 Amphibian biplane single-engine two-seat reconnaissance 9 A prototype version 19 HMT3 3 seater was built 1924
FBA 21 single-engine civil transport amphibious biplane 7 Civilianized Type 19 for 4 passengers 1925
FBA 171 Type 17 variant for use on catapult 1
FBA 172 Type 17 variant for use on catapult 7 1932
FBA 270 Biplane seaplane single engine two-seat 1 1929 France
FBA 271 Amphibian biplane single-engine two-seat 2 1930
FBA 290 Prototype amphibious seaplane single engine biplane 4 places 1 1931
FBA 291 Variant prototype amphibious type 290 1
FBA 293 Variant of the type 291 – four-seat amphibious liaison 6 France
FBA 294 Variant of the type 293 – four-seat amphibious liaison 2 France
FBA 310 amphibious touring monoplane 9 1930

References Edit

  1. ^ Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Manufacturers: From the Pioneers to the Present Day. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Pub. (2nd ed.), 2005, ISBN 978-0-7509-3981-2.
  2. ^ Mondey, David. The International Encyclopedia of Aviation. New York: Crown, 1977, ISBN 978-0-517-53157-0, p. 220.