In spite of the type's rather unresponsive controls, it was capable of executing comprehensive (if somewhat stately) aerobatics, and was by no means a bad trainer. [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. [15], The B.E.2 was flown extensively at the Military Aeroplane Competition held on Salisbury Plain during August 1912. [35] The surviving examples continued in use for submarine spotting and as trainers throughout the rest of the conflict. The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 was the second in the Factory's series of experimental tractor biplanes, and was also the prototype for the B.E.2a and the family of aircraft that followed. [55], A B.E.2e was used to conduct the first flight across Australia, flying from Melbourne to Port Darwin. A streamlined cowling to the sump was also fitted to later models, while a cut-out in the rear of the centre section marginally improved the observer's field of fire, as well as giving the pilot a better view forward over the wing. Unfortunately, in this case the stability was coupled with "heavy" controls and relatively poor manoeuvrability. The B.E.2 has always been the subject of a good deal of controversy. On 19 May 1917 six pilots, newly arrived in France and still to be allocated to a squadron, were each given a new B.E.2e to ferry between RFC depots at St Omer and Candas. It was heavier than the "c" and had a reduced performance, climb in particular suffering in comparison with the "c". [1] The team responsible for its design came under the direction of British engineer Mervyn O'Gorman, the factory's superintendent. Like the other significant Royal Aircraft Factory aircraft of the war (B.E.2, F.E.2 and R.E.8) the S.E.5 was inherently stable, making it an excellent gunnery platform, but it was also quite manoeuvrable. B.E.2 was flown extensively at the Military Aeroplane Competition held on Salisbury Plain in August 1912. Despite a tendency to swing on takeoff and a reputation for spinning, the type had a relatively low accident rate. 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". [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 first of three prototypes flew on 22 November 1916. 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. THE ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY BE.2. 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. 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). Show more. description Object description. The performance of the early Renault powered models of the B.E. BE.2C, No. 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. The Royal Aircraft Factory BE2 was a British single-engine tractor two-seat biplane designed and developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory. [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. Seda kahekohalist lennukit kasutati nii pommitus-, luure-, hävitus- kui ka õppelennukina. [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. From 1917 onwards, the B.E.2 was mostly withdrawn from both the front line and night fighter use. The B.E.2f restoration utilises an original RAF1A V8 powerplant, and made its debut at the Classic Fighters Omaka airshow in April, 2009. [13] Sometimes described as a "rebuild" of an existing aircraft, either a Bristol Boxkite or a Breguet, it seems in fact to have been the first aeroplane built at the factory without the subterfuge of being a "reconstruction". On later machines, the fin was enlarged to reduce the aircraft's tendency to swing on take-off and to improve spin recovery.[25]. 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. Lewis, Cecil. The first two B.E. The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 was a British single-engine tractor two-seat biplane designed and developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory. 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. One crashed in transit, three crashed on landing and one went missing (the pilot was killed). The designation B.E.2a was given to production aircraft. Gerdessen, Frits. Jeho označení pocházelo ze systému navrženým O'Gormanem, který klasifikoval letadla podle jejich konstrukce. Being an early design, the first models used wing warping. Behind the pilot a curved top decking extended aft to the tail. 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. Most production aircraft were constructed under contract by various private companies, both established aircraft manufacturers and firms that had not previously built aircraft. [17] These differed from preceding B.E.1 and B.E.2 in possessing 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. [14] The Renault proved a much more satisfactory powerplant than the Wolseley fitted to the B.E.1, and performance was further improved when a 70 hp (52 kW) model was fitted in May that year. 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. Subsequent Royal Aircraft Factory type designations are inconsistent and confusing. During 1916, the "c" began to be superseded by the final version, the B.E.2e. [3][4], The first pair of B.E. High degree of reader involvement in supplying information. 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. The surviving examples continued in use for submarine spotting and as trainers for the rest of the war. [10] On later machines this fin was enlarged, to reduce a tendency to swing on takeoff, and to improve spin recovery. development. The BE2b was the outcome of further design work by the Royal Aircraft Factory on the earlier BE2a version. [16][17], Several other prototypes of the production B.E.2 series were produced, including the B.E.5 and the B.E.6. [13] It first flew on 1 February 1912, again with de Havilland as the test pilot. [39][40][41], Once the threat from the Fokker monoplanes had been effectively contained by the introduction of a new generation of Allied fighters, such as the Airco D.H.2 and Nieuport 11, the rate of B.E.2c losses over the Western Front dropped to an acceptable level; official records indicate that during the second quarter of 1916, the B.E.2 actually had the lowest loss rates of all the major types then in use by the service. The 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. O Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 (Blériot Experimental) foi um biplano britânico monomotor biposto utilizado pelo Royal Flying Corps durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial. 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. The Royal Aircraft Factory BE2 was a British single-engine tractor two-seat biplane designed and developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory. [13][14][15], Fokker Eindecker, the nemesis of the B.E.2 in 1915/early 1916, In fact, once the threat from the Fokker monoplanes was contained by the availability of allied fighters such as the Airco D.H.2, Nieuport 11 and Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2, B.E.2c losses over the Western Front dropped to an acceptable level, with official records indicating that in the second quarter of 1916, the B.E.2 actually had the lowest loss rates of all the major types then in use. 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. They were used to spot in support of naval bombardments, as well as being occasionally used to directly bomb ships and other targets. 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. Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection, List of aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps, "R.F.C Inquiry Committee:Interim Report. This was fitted to later production aircraft, and retrofitted to earlier production aircraft. This modification meant that there was no longer room for the fuel tank under the observer's seat, which had to be replaced by a centre section gravity tank; in order to give the "d" a superior endurance this tank was unusually large, adding extra weight and drag that reduced the type's performance, particularly in the climb. [23] Relatively large orders were placed for the new version, with deliveries of production aircraft starting in December 1914. Early production aircraft had unequal span wings like those of B.E.1 and no decking between the pilot and observer's seats. Aviation author J.M. [citation needed], B.E.2f A1325 at Masterton, New Zealand, 2009, (With full bomb load usually flown as a single-seater, without machine gun), A similar tactic of firing from below was employed in World War II by German nightfighters with the so-called, Lewis, Cecil, 1936 (Chapter II, The Somme) pp. As a result, the B.E.2 was originally designed without any provision for armament. Both were reinterred in Struma military cemetery. The numbers allocated to early Royal Aircraft Factory prototypes are more properly regarded as constructor's numbers than as type designations. One crashed in transit, three crashed on landing and one went missing (the pilot was killed). It had been planned that by this time B.E.2s in front-line service would have been replaced by newer aircraft, such as the Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 and Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8, but delivery of these types was initially slower than hoped. British ace Albert Ball described the B.E.2c as "a bloody awful aeroplane". The ailerons, on upper and lower wings, were joined by light struts. After an initial lack of success while using darts and small incendiary bombs to attack airships from above, a Lewis gun was mounted to fire incendiary ammunition upwards, at an angle of 45°, to attack the airship from below. Most production aircraft were constructed under contract by various private companies, both established aircraft manufacturers and … 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. [27], It was intended to fit a new, uprated 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. These necessitated a revised fuel system, and the "d" usually featured a large gravity tank under the centre section. The c began to be superseded by the final version, the B.E.2e in 1916. 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. Later classes featured purpose-built gondolas. After its belated withdrawal it finally served as a trainer, communications aircraft and on anti-submarine coastal patrol duties. [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. 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. A streamlined cowling to the sump was also fitted to later models, while a cut-out in the rear of the centre section marginally improved the observer's field of fire, as well as giving the pilot a better view forward over the wing. [9], The B.E.1 represented several firsts for aviation, including possibly being the first aeroplane to be outfitted with radio apparatus. Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 in Combat Posted on June 2, 2017 The Albatros Scout cruised high over the front line, its young pilot eagerly scanning the drab, churned-up earth beneath, searching for the tell-tale flicker of movement that would betray the presence of an Allied reconnaissance aircraft. This arrangement was adopted so that the aircraft could be flown "solo" without affecting the aircraft's centre of gravity. 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. The UK's latest non-flying reproduction was built at Boscombe Down, Wilts, completed around 2008 and is now displayed with the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection at Old Sarum. The first example, a converted B.E.2b, flew on 30 May 1914 and the type went into squadron service just before the outbreak of war. The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 (Blériot Experimental) was a British single-engine two-seat biplane in service with the Royal Flying Corpsduring World War I. The B.E.2 was one of the first aircraft designed by what was then called the Royal Balloon Factory (renamed the Royal Aircraft Factory in 1912) under the direction of Mervyn O'Gorman. stood for Blériot Experimental, and was used for aircraft of tractor configuration (although in practice, all of the B.E. B.E.2b which followed had revised cockpit coamings, affording better protection to the crew. It was initially used as a front-line reconnaissance aircraft and light bomber; modified as a single-seater it proved effective as a night fighter, destroying several German airships. [17], The B.E.2b which followed the original production standard benefitted from various improvements. A B.E.2a in France, 1915 - note "pre-roundel" markings. Ostensibly a rebuild of a Voisin powered by a 60 hp (45 kW) water-cooled Wolseley engine, the B.E.1 used only the engine and radiator from this machine, the radiator being mounted between the front pair of cabane struts. "Estonian Air Power 1918-1945". The pilot was injured. aircraft the B.E.2 was officially a modified and repaired version of either the S.E.1 or a damaged Breguet aircraft that had been sent to the factory for repairs. [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. The result of research by E.T continued in use for submarine spotting and as trainers, but a few to... 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