TYPE: Two-seater biplane reconnaissance aircraft
AMOUNT IN NORWEGIAN SERVICE: 29
BUILT AND DEVELOPED IN NORWAY AT: Marinens Flyfabrikk, Horten
1x Forward fixed Colt machinegun Colt mitraljøse m/29 chambered in the Norwegian developed cartrigde 7,92 x 61mm
2x movable “turret” colt machineguns Colt mitraljøse m/29 chambered in the Norwegian developed cartrigde 7,92 x 61mm
2x 100kg bombs
Loaded starting weight: 2850 kg
Eigne: 575Hp 14 cyl Armstrong Siddeley Phanter IIA
Top speed: 235 Km/h
Cruise speed: 165 Km/h
Range: 785 Km
SERIAL NUMBERS - times in service and fates
In the latter half of the 20s, it was necessary to look for an aircraft that could replace the Hansa Brandenburger W.33. The aircraft factory in Horten started investigations in 1927, and in 1930 it was possible to present alternatives where the factory’s own draft was attached, together with relevant aircraft types from England, France and the Netherlands. The Norwegian option was chosen. The navy wanted to be able to use existing aircraft sheds, so the wingspan had to be limited to 15.4 metres. This made it necessary to construct biplanes.
In the autumn of 1931, the prototype, the F.300, was test flown. All requirements for performance and characteristics were satisfied, and the aircraft was approved for production. This became the workhorse of the Navy’s Air Force in the 1930s, right up to the invasion in 1940, and was in operation in all contexts along the entire coast up to Svalbard. The main bases were Horten, Kristiansand, Bergen; Skattøra by Tromsø and Vadsø. They gained a reputation as the most robust and reliable aircraft ever built for the Navy Air Force
When war came in 1940, the M.F.11 was equipped with bomb racks for 100 kilo bombs, but lacked usable bomb sights. They could therefore mostly only be used for reconnaissance.
At the air stations, people tried to save the planes as best they could. The airworthy machines in Horten headed north towards Oslo, and two of them eventually made it to Vangsmjøsa, where one crashed. A third made its way to Mjøsvann with Rukjan together with a plane from Kristiansand. A machine was shot on fire there. Another from Kristiansand crashed at Rukjan and was dismantled. On Flatøy, 2 planes, an M.F.11 and a Heinkel He 115, were sent up to reconnoitre and bomb the vessels that entered the Bergen route, but without success. The material was then evacuated to Hardanger and Sogn, where they were eventually joined by a plane from Horten and one from Stavanger. From here an attempt was made to take up the fight, and several ships were attacked with bombs in the days that followed. In Sogn, one plane was destroyed due to snowfall, and another was sent to Scotland on 12 April to try to get British help to the Sognefjord area.
When the fighting in southern Norway ended, the two planes that were in the best condition went north to Skattøra near Tromsø and joined the division in northern Norway. Two others were sent over to Scotland. One of these was unfortunately shot down by British air defenses, and the crew perished. Both machines, then still in Scotland, left Shetland for Tromsø on 5 June, a trip made possible by extra tanks fitted to the planes
A few days later, however, the allied forces were withdrawn from Norway. Then three planes were flown to Petsamo in Finland and interned there, while the last three were left in the tax haven and taken over by the Germans. The Luftwaffe took over a total of eleven M.F.11s, and there is much evidence that they were used as patrol aircraft along the Norwegian coast as long as there was access to spare parts. The Finns also put the planes into use, both for reconnaissance and for anti-submarine patrols right up until 1944. After the war, Norway was offered an aircraft back, but declined. Conservation thinking had not progressed that far at the time. Today, only individual parts are taken care of.
M.F.11 – Store norske leksikon
Venner av Luftforsvaret | Facebook