Raynham, pilot of the Martinsyde competing machine, had the bad luck to crash his craft twice in attempting to start before he got outside the boundary of the aerodrome. The first non-stop crossing was made on June 14th-15th in 16 hours 27 minutes, the speed being just over 117 miles per hour.
Thus, the B.E.2c was first used in formations, but with a full load of bombs it could not carry an observer, and its moderate speed left it an easy prey to hostile fighters. Early in 1916 appeared the Martinsyde single-seater bomber with an endurance of 4-1/2 hours, and in 1917 the D.H.4 which was much used for day-bombing.
In the Antoinette, however, a king post was introduced half-way along the wing, from which wires were carried to the ends of the wings and the body. This was intended to give increased strength and permitted of a greater wing-spread and consequently improved aspect ratio. The same system of construction was adopted in the British Martinsyde monoplanes of two or three years later.
It had a speed of 121 miles an hour at 10,000 feet, to which height it could climb in under 10-1/2 minutes, and a ceiling of 23,000 feet. The Martinsyde F.4, embodying further improvements, was not ready in time for active service. In 1916 the "pusher" type was superseded by the Sopwith "1-1/2 Strutter" armed with a synchronized Vickers gun, which for its 130 horse-power was never surpassed.