Military Wiki
Role Reconnaissance aircraft
Manufacturer Farman
Designer Henri Farman
First flight 1913

The Farman HF.20 and its derivatives were a family of reconnaissance aircraft produced in France shortly before and during the First World War. It was a refined version of the Farman MF.11 "Shorthorn" that did away with the type's distinctive landing skids, and incorporated design features from Henri Farman's designs. It entered service with the French Belgian and Serbian armies in 1913 (two aircraft conducted reconnaissance during the Siege of Shkodër in the First Balkan War and one crashed), and with the British RFC and RNAS shortly after the outbreak of war. The type was also licence-built in the UK by Airco and Grahame-White.

The HF.20 was seriously underpowered, and a variety of engines were trialled in the hope of correcting this, none with much success. The problem was eventually solved only when an engine of twice the power of the original powerplant was fitted to the HF.27 variant, by which time the aircraft was already obsolete. Nevertheless, the performance of the HF.20 made it adequate for use on secondary fronts.


  • HF.20 - original version with Gnome engine
  • HF.21 - version with Gnome Lambda engine
  • HF.22 - version with Gnome Lambda engine
  • HF.23 - version with Gnome Lambda engine
  • HF.24 - version with Gnome Lambda engine
  • HF.25 - version with Gnome Lambda engine
  • HF.27 - version with Salmson 9 engine


Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark
 Soviet Union
 United Kingdom
South Africa Union of South Africa

Specifications (HF.20)

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two, pilot and observer
  • Length: 8.30 m (27 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 14.00 m (45 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 35.0 m2 (377 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 360 kg (800 lb)
  • Gross weight: 660 kg (1,460 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome rotary engine, 60 kW (80 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 110 km/h (70 mph)
  • Range: 250 km (160 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 315 m (1,050 ft)


  • 1 × machine gun on flexible mount for observer
  • small load of bombs
  • References

    • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. pp. 380–381. 
    • World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 894 Sheet 14–15. 

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