F.2B deliveries began on April 13, 1917, and the success of this type led to the decision to re-equip all RFC fighter-reconnaissance squadrons with F.2Bs. Production continued, in the event, until September 1919, by which time a total number of 4,747 had been completed, 3,126 of these by the parent company. Of the final batch, 153 were delivered with the 200 hp Sunbeam Arab engine and 18 with the 230 hp Siddeley Puma.
When the RAF was re-established on a peacetime footing, the F.2B was adopted as standard for the army cooperation role and reinstated in production for this task as the F.2B Mk.II, others being refurbished to similar standards. Fifty structurally revised aircraft delivered in 1926 were designated as F.2B Mk.IIIs, all surviving aircraft of this mark being converted in 1928 as F.2B Mk.IVs.
The pictured aircraft was manufactured by the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company at Brislington, Bristol, in 1918 under the RFC serial D7889, it was fitted with a 275 hp Rolls Royce Falcon III twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled V-engine. Its operational history record was lost during a bomb raid in WW II, however, its identity is D7889 as that was stenciled on the original engine cowl when the aircraft was bought in the 1980s by Guy Black of the Historic Aircraft Collection in the UK. Using F.2b parts obtained from several sources, including the Shuttleworth Collection, D7889 was restored to airworthy condition.
Already registered on July 16, 1987 as G-AANM to Aero Vintage, another company owned by Guy Black, it took till 1999 till the restoration of the airframe was completed, while it took another seven years before the aircraft could be fitted with a restored Falcon III engine. The post-restoration flight was made on May 25, 2006, subsequently the aircraft was flown in the UK on several displays. Later that year the aircraft was obtained by the Museum where it remains on static display.
Span: 39 ft 3 in (11.96 m)
Length: 25 ft 10 in (7.87 m)
Height: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
Wing area: 405.6 sq.ft (37.68 sq.m)
Weight empty: 1,930 lb (875 kg)
Loaded weight: 2,848 lb (1,292 kg)
Max speed: 123 mph (198 kmh) at 5,000 ft (1,525 m)
Climb: to 3,050 ft (10,000 m) 11 min 51 sec