The Fane F.1/40 two-seat Air Observation Post was developed from the Comper Scamp, a two seat twin-boom pusher monoplane designed by Fit Lt Nicholas Comper in 1938. Comper saw the Scamp as a really cheap, easy to fly 100 m.p.h. aircraft costing less than ?400 - just what the private and club pilot wanted. The College of Air Training at Brooklands began work on a scaled down version of the Scamp to test the tricycle undercarriage and demonstrate general handling with the pusher installation. The CF-1, as this aircraft was designated, was to have been powered by a 40 h.p. Praga engine, and was scheduled to fly in August 1939. In June 1939 Comper was killed, and it is fairly certain that the CF-1 never flew before the outbreak of war in September that year.
Although the Scamp never materialised it was further developed by Capt Gerard Fane into an AOP aircraft. The resulting design, illustrated here, had a fully flapped and slotted 37ft span wing and was powered by an 80 h.p. Continental A-80 driving a pusher propeller. The original twin-boom configuration of the Scamp was dropped, and the engine was moved to a position high behind the cabin. The one and only Fane F.1/40 was built at Norbury by the Fane Aircraft Company in 1941, and was issued with the RAF serial T1788. It flew at Heston during March of that year and was allotted the civil registration G-AGDJ in September, finally being scrapped some time during the war. In these Aeroplane photographs the Fane is camouflaged.
Bob Williams’ photograph of the scaled-down Comper Scamp, the CF-1, poses a problem. The serial number T1788, clearly visible on the boom, was supposedly allocated to the Fane AOP. It is therefore doubtful if the Fane was ever allocated these marks, although they could have been transferred to it when the CF-1 was abandoned. Can anyone sort out this confusion?