Farman HF 23 (Södertelge Verkstäder SW 11),  Reconnaissance Seaplane,  1913-1920

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Swedish Navy flying boat No. 3 Farman HF-23 at Galärvarvet, Stockholm.

Most of the air reconnaissance duties along the Swedish coast during WWI were executed by biplanes type Farman HF 23.
The aircraft had a crew of two, with the engine placed behind the crew with a pushing propeller.

Totally eleven aircraft were provided to the Navy during 1913-1917.
The first was delivered from Farman's factory in France. Nine were built in Sweden; seven by the  railway-carriage manufacturer Södertelge Verkstäder (SW), which had started an aircraft department in 1913. They gave the Farman HF 23 their own designation SW 11. The other two was built at the Navy’s Torpedo workshops at Galärvarvet ("the Galley Yard") in Stockholm.

Galärvarvet also built a fuselage to a Farman with double command for training on the ground.

The Farmans, fitted with 100/90 hp Gnome/Thulin A engines, had  mediocre speed performances, only 90 km/h. But on the other hand they could be in the air for five hours (if the engines would run; they were not too reliable).

During the neutrality guard during WWI, the few aircraft were organized into four reconnaissance groups, stationed in the North Archipelago of Stockholm, the South Archipelago of Stockholm, Karlskrona and in Göteborg (Gothenburg).

The aircraft delivered from Farman and SW were given the Navy numbers F I - F IX. Later, the surviving aircraft was numbered 3 - 7, where the two built by at Galärvarvet got the now vacant numbers 6 and 7.

Photo at top: Seaplane # 3 at Galärvarvet  in Stockholm, where the first base for the Navy's aviation was located. Near this place was later the popular Wasa Museum built.   

Photos below from the neutrality guard during WWI.

Photo at bottom: Model displayed at Flygvapenmuseum (Swedish Air Force Museum).

Length: 8,89 m. Span: 18,08 m. Height: 3,55 m. Maximum take-off weight: 850 kg. Max. speed: 90 km/h.



For the Model Builder

The Czech company Omega Models has produced a resin model kit of this aircraft in scale 1:72 with Swedish markings. The catalouge number is 72092. Click on the thumbnail for larger image.

 Resin model kit of Swedish HF-23 from Omega Models in scale 1/72.

Farman No. 3 at the mother ship in an icy Hägernäs bay
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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-06-10

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