War in the Air
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In the spring of 1916 casualties among Royal Flying Corps' aircrew began to mount as their aircraft were no match for the Fokker monoplanes used by the Germans. Better fighting machines were desperately needed.
To meet this demand Captain F.S. BarnwelI at the Bristol Aeroplane Co. designed a new single-seat monoplane incorporating much of the experience gained from earlier machines including the large low drag spinner first used experimentally on the Bristol Scout D.
The new aircraft had a sparkling performance and manoeuvrability. It was, in many respects, superior in all round performance to much later types such as the SE5 and Sopwith Snipe. Great things were expected of the M1 but a combination of prejudice against monoplanes, a dislike for its high landing speed and poor downward view meant it found little favour in the War Office and only 125 were ordered.
Only five squadrons were partly equipped with the M1 for operational use although a number were issued to flying schools where they were prized by instructors as personal mounts.