|Lineup of Salmson 2-A2s. Photo via Wingnutwings.com|
While the Bristol F.2B Fighter is the clear star of the Allied side, there is still a second fighter. The Salmson 2-A2 was not an aircraft I’d heard of before. Sometimes referred to in BF1’s game materials as the “A.E.F. 2-A2”, with “A.E.F.” standing for “American Expeditionary Forces” the Salmsom 2 was the primary reconnaissance aircraft operated by American and French forces in the final two years of World War 1.
|Salmson 2-A2 crew? The rear gunner's twin mounted machine guns are clearly visible. Photo via Wingnutwings.com|
Similarly to the Bristol F.2B, the Salmson 2 also had a good post war career. Built under license by Kawasaki, it equipped several squadrons of the Japanese Air Force during the 1920s. Converted to carry one or two passengers, they served in Europe as some of the early commercial passenger carriers.
One original example remains, housed at Kakamigahara Aerospace Museum in Japan. As lesser-known, two-seat WWI replicas aren’t especially popular to build, there aren’t any easily available plans or kits for flying replicas. Plans for the Sopwith 1 ½ Stutter could perhaps be adapted, cosmetically at least, to fit the bill, but that’s a project for someone far more skilled than I am.