"Estonian Air Power 1918–1945". 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. Bruce has commented that during this time, compared with their contemporaries, the early B.E.2s demonstrated a high standard of serviceability and reliability: as borne out by the squadrons' maintenance records. 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. Other prototypes of the production B.E.2 series included the B.E.5 and the B.E.6, essentially only differing from the B.E.2 in the powerplant installed. The first production order was place with Vickers and shortly afterwards a second order was placed with the Bristol Aeroplane Company. 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. BE.2C, No. During 1915, this model replaced the early B.E.2s in the squadrons in France. Its new number was not allocated because it was considered a separate type. The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 was designed with emphasis on stability, which made it particularly suitable for reconnaissance for the British Army on the Western Front. Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection, List of aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps, "R.F.C Inquiry Committee:Interim Report. 38–40. Vznik. In practice, the pilot of a B.E.2 almost always operated the camera, and the observer, when he was armed at all, had a rather poor field of fire to the rear, having, at best, to shoot back over his pilot's head. Later classes featured purpose-built gondolas. 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. Designed to be a stable reconnaissance platform it was a perfectly capable military aircraft until the arrival of the Fokker E.I, when its built-in stability and lack … About 3,500 were built, used as fighters, interceptors, light bombers, trainers and reconnaissance aircraft. 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. In practice the pilot of a B.E.2c handled the camera, and the observer, when he was armed at all, had a rather poor field of fire to the rear, having, at best, to shoot back over his pilot's head. [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. [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. The interceptor version of the B.E.2c was flown as a single-seater with an auxiliary fuel tank on the centre of gravity, in the position of the observer's seat. The 2,500 mi (4,000 km) journey, made between 16 November and 12 December 1919, involved a combined 46 hours of flying time. [55], A B.E.2e was used to conduct the first flight across Australia, flying from Melbourne to Port Darwin. 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. For instance the " F.E.2 " designation refers to three quite distinct types, with only the same broad layout in common, the F.E.2 (1911), the F.E.2 (1913), and finally the famous wartime two-seat fighter and general purpose design, the F.E.2 (1914) . The layout of these aircraft has come to be seen as a conventional design, but when it first appeared this was not the case. [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. was degraded by any additional weight, and in any case the carriage of this weaponry proved of questionable effectiveness. 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