Breguet Bre.5

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This article is about an aircraft of World War I. For the pre-war design with a similar designation, see Breguet Type V.
Bre.5, Bre.6, and Bre.12
Breguet 5.jpg
Bre.5 B2
Role Escort fighter
Manufacturer Breguet
First flight 1915
Introduction 1916
Primary users French Army
Royal Naval Air Service

The Breguet Bre.5 Ca2 and its derivatives the Bre.6 and Bre.12 were French escort fighter biplanes of World War I. The Bre 5 was also produced in a bomber variant, the Bre.5 B2, which was more successful. The Bre.5 was in turn derived from the Breguet Bre.4 bomber.[1]

Design and development[edit]

This family of aircraft was a development and refinement of the escort fighter concept that Breguet Aviation had designed to be produced by Michelin as the Breguet-Michelin BUC. Initially intended to carry the same 37 mm (1.46 in) Hotchkiss cannon that armed the BUC, the Bre.5 was revised at the request of the French Army to carry a 7.7 mm (.303 in) Lewis Gun fired rearward from atop the biplane's upper wing.

Operational history[edit]

A small number of cannon-armed machines were produced from April 1916 onwards and allotted to bomber units. The British Royal Naval Air Service operated 35 of these aircraft. Ten were purchased from Breguet, and 25 were built in the United Kingdom by Grahame-White as the G.W.19.[2]

The Bre.6 was essentially an identical machine powered by a Canton-Unné engine, and was developed in response to fears that production of the Bre.5's Renault engine may have been unable to keep up with demand. It was produced both as an escort fighter and as a bomber.

As the Bre.5 reached obsolescence, a number were remanufactured as Bre.12 night fighters and night bombers. The fighter variant carried the 37 mm (1.46 in) cannon and was equipped with a searchlight.


Renault-powered version.
Bre 5 B2
Bomber version.[1]
Cannon-armed escort fighter version.
Grahame White G.W.19
British-built version for RNAS with Rolls-Royce Falcon engine.
Canton-Unné-powered version.
Bomber version.
Cannon-armed escort fighter version.
Bre.5s remanufactured for night fighting
Night bomber version.
Cannon-armed night fighter version.


 United Kingdom

Specifications (Bre.5Ca.2)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two, pilot and gunner
  • Length: 9.90 m (32 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 17.50 m (57 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 3.90 m (12 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 57.7 m2 (621 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 1,347 kg (2,970 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,886 kg (4,158 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Renault 12Fb, 164 kW (220 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 136 km/h (83 mph)
  • Range: 700 km (435 miles)
  • Endurance: 6 hours  15 min
  • Service ceiling: 4,300[3] m (14,110 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 1.2 m/s (236 ft/min)


  • 1 × trainable 37 mm (1.46 in) Hotchkiss cannon in front cockpit

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b Green, W. and Swanborough, G.; The complete book of fighters, Salamander (1994), Page 88.
  2. ^ Taylor 1989, p. 202.
  3. ^ Angelucci 1983, p. 68.
  • Angelucci, Enzo. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. San Diego, California: The Military Press, 1983. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions, 1989. ISBN 0-517-69186-8.
  • World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing, p. File 890, Sheet 79.