[4] Later, the Wolseley was replaced by an a 60 hp (45 kW) air-cooled Renault.[6], The B.E.2 was not so called because it was considered a separate type. [13] This prompted the setting up of two enquiries; one into the management of the Royal Aircraft Factory, and another into the high command of the Royal Flying Corps, the latter headed by a judge. Early production aircraft had unequal span wings like those of B.E.1 and no decking between the pilot and observer's seats. Much modified B.E.2d in Belgian service, with Hispano engine, synchronised Vickers gun, improvised gun mounts and gravity tank originally located under top wing removed. Other minor modifications were made over the following weeks: the undercarriage wheels were moved back 12 in (30.4 cm), the wings (which originally had no dihedral), were re-rigged to have 1° dihedral, and the propeller was cut down in an attempt to increase the engine speed. Object details Category Photographs Related period First World War (content) Catalogue number HU 67934 Part of RACKHAM D L … A B.E.2a in France, 1915 - note "pre-roundel" markings. The first two B.E. A short decking was also fitted to the fuselage directly behind the engine which offered protection to th… Behind the pilot a curved top decking extended aft to the tail. Dolev, Eran (1986) "The First Recorded Aeromedical Evacuation in the British Army – The True Story". Aviation author J.M. The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 was a British single-engine tractor two-seat biplane which was in service with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) from 1912 until the end of World War I. Like all service aircraft of this period, they had been designed at a time when the qualities required by a warplane were largely a matter for conjecture, in the absence of any actual experience of the use of aircraft in warfare. Gerdessen, Frits. [36] While some flew entirely unarmed, or perhaps carried service revolvers or automatic pistols, others armed themselves with hand-wielded rifles or carbines as used by ground troops, or even fitted a Lewis gun. It was intended to fit a new version of the RAF 1 - the RAF 1b - but in the event this engine did not achieve production status, and the B.E.2e used the same engine as its predecessor, considerably reducing the expected improvement in performance. The ailerons, on upper and lower wings, were joined by light struts. [6] Following its first public appearance in early January 1912, aviation publication Flight commented that: "everything one could see of the machine was of singular interest".[7][4]. The designation B.E.2a was given to production aircraft. They were used to spot in support of naval bombardments, as well as being occasionally used to directly bomb ships and other targets. A sprung tailskid was fitted, while the wings were also protected by semicircular skids located beneath the lower wings. Around 3,500 were manufactured in all. The BE 2a designation first appear on a drawing dated 20 February 1912, these drawing showing an aircraft with unequal span wings with slight dihedral. The tailplane was also completely new, and a triangular fin was fitted to the rudder. Certainly, it had a worse climb than the B.E.2c and, strangely, re­verted to the outmoded back-to­-front seating design, hence seriously restricting the use that the observer could make of the defens­ive MG. TVAL has also built several airworthy reproductions including c and f models, two of which are currently in the UK on loan to the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust, and a BE.12. These necessitated a revised fuel system, and the "d" usually featured a large gravity tank under the centre section. Many B.E.2c and B.E.2d aircraft still under construction when the new model entered production were completed with B.E.2e wings - to rationalise the supply of spare parts these aircraft were officially designated as the "B.E.2f" and "B.E.2g". Later production aircraft also had equal-span wings. [17], The B.E.2b which followed the original production standard benefitted from various improvements. The performance of the B.E.2 was inadequate to intercept airships flying at 15,000 feet much less the Gotha bombers that emerged during 1917, and its career as an effective home defence fighter was over. By late 1915, the B.E.2 was proving inadequate in defending itself against German fighters such as the then-new Fokker Eindecker, leading to increased losses during the period known as the Fokker Scourge. Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5-Wikipedia [3], The B.E.2c was a major redesign, the result of research by E.T. [5] The layout of these aircraft came to be seen as conventional, but when it first appeared this was not the case. The pilot was injured. aircraft were flown within two months of each other and had the same basic design, the work of Geoffrey de Havilland, who was at the time both the chief designer and the test pilot at the Balloon Factory. This was ostensibly a rebuild of a Voisin biplane, powered by a 60 hp (45 kW) water-cooled Wolseley engine; however, the B.E.1 used only the engine and radiator from this machine, the radiator being mounted between the front pair of cabane struts. Most production aircraft were constructed under contract by various private companies, both established aircraft manufacturers and firms that had not previously built aircraft. [11] The aircraft was not flown again until 27 December, modified by the substitution of a Claudel carburettor in place of the original Wolseley, which allowed no throttle control. [12], The B.E.2 was almost identical to the B.E.1, differing principally in being powered by a 60 hp (45 kW) air-cooled Renault V-8 engine and in having equal-span wings. It is on display at the RAAF Museum, Point Cook, Victoria, Australia. [9] These differed from B.E.1 and B.E.2 in having a revised fuel system, in which the streamlined gravity tank below the centre section of the wing was moved to a position behind the engine. These were re-engined with Hispano engines, apparently with further modifications to the fuel system, and as they could be flown from the front cockpit the occupant of the rear cockpit had a much better field of fire for his gun(s). Some B.E.2bs ordered were completed as B.E.2cs, and others had some B.E.2c modifications, such as sump cowlings and "V" undercarriages. [35] The surviving examples continued in use for submarine spotting and as trainers throughout the rest of the conflict. Although by now obsolete, it had to remain on the front line while suitable replacements were designed, tested and brought into service. [47] As a consequence of these losses, the German Army's airship fleet ceased raids over England: German naval airship raiders of 1917 flew at higher altitudes to avoid interception, reducing their effectiveness. The observer, often not carried because of the B.E. [35], It was still necessary for the observer to be located over the centre of gravity, in front of the pilot, to ensure fore and aft balance when the aircraft was flown "solo". softbound book (1992) 50 pages ***like new condition*** be.1 prototype. [10] On later machines this fin was enlarged, to reduce a tendency to swing on takeoff, and to improve spin recovery. Some 3,500 B.E.2s were built by over 20 different manufacturers: an exact breakdown between the different models has never been produced, although the B.E.2e was almost certainly the most numerous. [1] The team responsible for its design came under the direction of British engineer Mervyn O'Gorman, the factory's superintendent. The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 was a British single-engine tractor two-seat biplane which was in service with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) from 1912 until the end of World War I.About 3,500 were built. The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 was the first aircraft used by the United Kingdom in the United Kingdom and although it had been outdated during the First World War until the end of the war. A few arrived in France later that year, but its lack of speed and manoeuvrability meant that by 1915 it was outclassed by the new Fokker monoplanes, when it became known as ‘Fokker Fodder’. The aircraft's poor performance against the Fokker and the failure to improve the aircraft or replace it caused great controversy in England, with Noel Pemberton Billing attacking the B.E.2c and the Royal Aircraft Factory in the House of Commons on 21 March 1916, claiming that RFC pilots in France were being "rather murdered than killed". The remit of the Balloon Factory was research into aircraft design and the design and construction of aircraft was not officially sanctioned, but a secondary responsibility was the repair and maintenance of aircraft belonging to the military and an informal arrangement was adopted whereby existing aircraft were nominally reconstructed but actually transformed into new designs, generally retaining little except the engine. The BE2b was the outcome of further design work by the Royal Aircraft Factory on the earlier BE2a version. At the outbreak of war these early B.E.2s formed part of the equipment of the first three squadrons of the RFC to be sent to France. To rationalise the supply of spare parts these aircraft were officially designated as the "B.E.2f" and "B.E.2g". B.E.2c in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. It was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland. From the B.E.2c variant on it had been carefully adapted to be "inherently stable"; this feature was considered helpful in its artillery observation and aerial photography duties, most of which were assigned to the pilot, who was able to fly without constant attention to his flight controls. Royal Aircraft Factory Be2 at The Shuttleworth Collection Military Pageant 2018 © 2018 Andrew Lloyd - All Rights Reserved This arrangement was adopted so that the aircraft could be flown "solo" without affecting the aircraft's centre of gravity. The interceptor version of the B.E.2c was flown as a single-seater, outfitted with an auxiliary fuel tank on the centre of gravity in the position of the observer's seat. By the spring of 1917, however, conditions on the Western Front had changed again, with the German fighter squadrons re-equipped with better fighters such as the Albatros D.III. [10] Relatively large orders were placed for the new version, with deliveries of production aircraft starting in December 1914. [61], Volunteers at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, Angus, Scotland have built a full-size replica B.E.2a (No.471) from original plans and it is now on display. [46] It was intended for the fighter to approach a Zeppelin from above, after which the grapnel would be dropped and appropriate manoeuvring employed to strike the surface of the Zeppelin with it: it then would bury itself and explode, causing ignition of the airship's hydrogen gas. During 1916, the "c" began to be superseded by the final version, the B.E.2e. The most important difference in the new model was an improvement in stability – a genuinely useful characteristic, especially in aerial photographic work, using the primitive plate cameras of the time, with their relatively long exposures. Squadron. Busk intended to provide an inherently stable aeroplane. About 3,500 were built. The Royal aircraft Factory B.E.2-page contains all related products, articles, books, walkarounds and plastic scale modeling projects dedicated to this aircraft. 3,500 were manufactured in all. This topic is categorised under: Aircraft » Propeller » Royal aircraft Factory B.E.2 . [60], A B.E.2a (early variant with unequal span wings) was built from the original plans and completed in February 2014. squadron signal be2 in action ww1 rfc raf biplane royal aircraft factory. B.E.2f serial A1325 has been restored to airworthiness by The Vintage Aviator Ltd in New Zealand,[22] with a B.E.2f reproduction and two reproduction B.E.2cs also well underway by the same firm. The tailplane was also completely new. These were designated according to a system devised by O'Gorman which classified aircraft by their layout: B.E. Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection, List of aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps, "R.F.C Inquiry Committee:Interim Report. It first flew on 1 February 1912, again with de Havilland as the test pilot. The performance of the early Renault powered models of the B.E. The ultimate manufacturing type in the ill-starred B.E.2 series, the B.E.2e, was a minimal faster and it was finer on the controls than its forerunners, however wasn’t any serious advancement. Like most other prewar types they were relegated to second line duties as quickly as the supply of more modern replacements permitted. [46], A BE2e was lost in aerial combat over Salonika on 3 October 1917: the British pilot and observer were both killed and were buried by "The Bulgurs" with full military honours. Misidentified as a B.E.2c fighter flown by a Canadian who had destroyed a German airship, it was sent to Canada as a war trophy in 1919. Both were reinterred in Struma military cemetery. [33] A good deal of experimental flying was undertaken during this period, influencing later fuel system and undercarriage design as well as structural strengthening and aerodynamic changes. [24] The B.E.2c used the same fuselage as the B.E.2b, but was otherwise really a new type, being fitted with new wings of different planform with increased dihedral and forward stagger, and ailerons replaced the wing warping of the earlier models. [23], After the first few aircraft, production machines were powered by a development of the Renault engine, the RAF 1a, and the twin skid undercarriage was replaced by a plain "V" undercarriage. [43], By the spring of 1917, however, conditions on the Western Front had changed again; the German fighter squadrons having been re-equipped with better fighters, especially the Albatros D.III. The Royal Aircraft Factory BE2 was a British single-engine tractor two-seat biplane designed and developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory. [57], Surviving restored aircraft and reproductions are on display at several museums, including the Imperial War Museum, Duxford; the RAF Museum, Hendon; the Canada Aviation Museum, Ottawa; the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Paris; the Militaire Luchtvaartmuseum, Soesterberg, Netherlands; United States Army Aviation Museum and the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection at Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, Norway. Following its belated withdrawal from operations, the type served in various second-line capacities, seeing use as a trainer and communications aircraft, as well as performing anti-submarine coastal patrol duties. Rather, in common with the contemporary Avro 500, the B.E.2 was one of the designs which established the tractor biplane as the dominant aircraft layout for a considerable time. It featured revised cockpit coamings, which afforded better protection from the elements, along with revised controls to both the elevator and rudder. better manoeuvrability). Its new number was not allocated because it was considered a separate type. Unable to cope with such a primitive fighter as the Fokker E.I, it was virtually helpless against the newer German fighters of 1916–17. O B.E.2 foi um dos projetos que estabeleceram a configuração biplano impulsionado por tração como dominante por um período considerável. [26] Most B.E.2ds were used as trainers, and the few used on operations by the RFC seem to have been flown from the normal (rear) pilots' seat. [3], The vulnerability of the B.E.2c to fighter attack became plain in late 1915, with the advent of the Fokker Eindecker. (Chapter II, The Somme), Corgi Edition, 1936, pp. [48] This feat led to the pilot, Captain William Leefe Robinson, being awarded a Victoria Cross and various cash prizes, totalling up to £3,500, that had been put up by a number of individuals. In mid 1912 orders were placed with the Royal Aircraft Factory and private contractors for small batches of designs deemed to have potential, and these included the B.E.2. Note radiator between cabane struts. This variant was again distinguished by completely new wings, braced by a single pair of interplane struts per side (as a "single-bay" biplane), and a set of shorter wingspan lower wing panels. Some of the Belgian B.E.2cs were similarly modified, while at least one was fitted with a Scarff ring over the rear cockpit. Lewis, Cecil. It has a precision-made replica Renault 70 hp engine. [30], The B.E.9 and the B.E.12 were variants developed to provide the B.E.2 with an effective forward-firing armament. [9], The aircraft's tail surfaces consisted of a half-oval horizontal stabiliser with a split elevator mounted above the upper longerons and an ovoid rudder hinged to the sternpost; there was no fixed vertical fin. At that time the numbers allocated are more properly regarded as constructors numbers rather than type designations. 's poor payload, occupied the front seat, where he had a limited field of fire for his gun. [16][17], Several other prototypes of the production B.E.2 series were produced, including the B.E.5 and the B.E.6. The B.E.2a designation first appeared on a drawing dated 20 February 1912, which showed an aircraft with unequal span wings with slight dihedral. The type that replaced the B.E.2a and B.E.2b (as well as the assortment of other types in use at the time) in the reconnaissance squadrons of the RFC in 1915 was the B.E.2c, which had also been designed before the war. A flying B.E.2c replica (registered G-AWYI) was built by pilot and engineer Charles Boddington at Sywell, UK in 1969 for use in the film Biggles Sweeps the Skies. The Royal aircraft Factory B.E.2 -page contains all related products, articles, books, walkarounds and plastic scale modeling projects dedicated to this aircraft. Ailerons replaced the wing warping of the earlier models, and a triangular fin was fitted to the rudder. The surviving examples continued in use for submarine spotting and as trainers for the rest of the war. O'Gorman got around this restriction by using the factory's responsibility for the repair and maintenance of aircraft belonging to the Royal Flying Corps; existing aircraft that needed major repairs were nominally reconstructed but often actually transformed into new designs, which generally retained few original elements apart from the engine. This was not an isolated victory: five more German airships were destroyed by Home Defence B.E.2c interceptors between October and December 1916. [56], Another B.E.2e was one of the first two aircraft (the other was an Avro 504K) owned by the new Australian airline Qantas when it was founded in Queensland in 1920–1921. The majority of the type also saw limited use in other overseas.. Summer of 1914, intended mainly as a reconnaissance aircraft was degraded any. 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