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Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c Bomber Plane

The BE2b was effectively obsolete at the outbreak of WW1, it had been designed as a highly stable observation platform at the expense of manoeuvrability, the invention of purpose made fighter aircraft with greater speed and agility had not been conceived when designed made made the 'straight and level' BE2 an easy target. The Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c had important improvements over the BE2b, not least was the inclusion of ailerons on both the wings instead of "wing warping", the aircraft also made use of staggered wings and a new a triangular vertical fin ahead of the rudder, the rounded horizontal stabilizer was also replaced with a new rectangular tail-plane.

Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c Bomber Plane

 

A Victoria Cross was awarded to Captain William Leefe Robinson, who shot down a German Zeppelin Over Great Britain on the night of August 3rd 1916 flying a BE2c home defence night fighter, a situation where a very stable gun platform was ideal against a very slower and far less manoeuvrable airship, it is interesting to note that this was the first Zeppelin shot down over Britain and occurred on the day of the second anniversary of Germany's declaration of war on France! served with both the RFC (Royal Flying Corps), RNAS (Royal Navel Air Service) and the US Military until shortly after end of WW1.

The Royal Aircraft Factory BE2cpictured on this page is serial number 2699, it is on display at London's Imperial War Museum who were given the aircraft after it was struck off following a crash landing.

Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c Specifications:

  • Length: 27' 3" (8.3 m)
  • Height: 11' 4" (3.5 m)
  • Wingspan: 36' 10" (11.2 m)
  • Empty Weight: 1,370 lb (621 kg)
  • Gross Weight: 2,142 lb (972 kg)
  • Engine: Single RAF 1A 90hp or 105hp 9litre V8 engine
  • Max Speed: 72 mph (116 km/h)
  • Service Ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
 

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