Development and Operation
The design of the Maurice Farman M.F. 7, which first flew in 1913, was the culmination of the pre-war Maurice Farman design effort. A pusher design, it had a unique forward elevator positioned on curved extensions of the landing skids. It featured a biplane elevator located at the rear, supported by twin booms attached to the trailing portions of the top and bottom elevators. Dual mainwheels were mounted on skids and there were rubber shock absorbers. This configuration made the aircraft very easy to land, which, following its application as a viable military vehicle, meant that it soon adopted a role as an ideal primary trainer.
Great Britain not only purchased the M.F. 7 from France, but also had the aircraft built under contract by the Aircraft Manufacturing Company. Its English designation was "The Maurice Farman `Longhorn' Type S-7", but it was commonly known as the `Rumpty'. These aircraft were used as trainers at one time or another by Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26, 36, 399, 41, 49, 57, and 58 Reserve/Training Squadrons.
Soon after the U.S. entered the war it was realized that there were insufficient training facilities in is country in which to train student aviators. That being the case, many aviation cadets were sent overseas for training. Those, which were sent to England, went through the various RFC/RAF Schools of Military Aeronautics; and, when ready for flight training, started out on the `Rumpty' before progressing to more advanced aircraft. In particular, those Americans who formed the 17th and 148 Aero Squadrons, which were subsequently assigned to British forces on the Western Front, all began their flight instruction on this type of aircraft.