Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.8
|Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.8|
|Role||Two-seat general purpose biplane|
|Manufacturer||Various (designed at Royal Aircraft Factory)|
|Primary user||Royal Flying Corps|
|Number built||approx 70|
The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.8 was a British two-seat single-engined general purpose biplane of the First World War, designed by John Kenworthy at the Royal Aircraft Factory in 1913. Small numbers were used by the Royal Flying Corps over the Western Front in the first year of the war, with the type being used as a trainer until 1916.
Development and design
The B.E.8 was the definitive development of the earlier B.E 3 type, and the last of the B.E. series to be designed with a rotary engine. The main changes were that the fuselage now rested on the lower wing, in the normal way for a tractor biplane, and that the tail unit was changed to the B.E.2 pattern. Three prototypes were built at Farnborough with a single long cockpit for both crew members. The production aircraft had two separate cockpits and were built by sub-contractors. The improved B.E.8a of 1915 had new B.E.2c type wings, featuring ailerons instead of wing warping and a revised tail unit.
- Production aircraft with wing warping.
- Production aircraft with ailerons.
- Royal Flying Corps
Data from British Aeroplanes 1914-18
- Crew: 2 (pilot, observer)
- Length: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)
- Wingspan: 39 ft 6 in (12.04 m)
- Height: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
- Powerplant: 1 × Gnome rotary engine, 80 hp (60 kW)
- Small arms operated by crew
- 1× 100 lb (45 kg) bomb
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- Hare 1990, p. 171.
- Hare, 1990 p. 174
- Bruce 1957, p.376.
- BE.8a span 37 ft 8½ in (11.49 m)
- Angelucci 1983, p. 22.
- Hare 1990, p. 175.
- Climb to 3,000 ft (910 m) in 10 min 30 s
- Angelucci, Enzo. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. San Diego, California: The Military Press, 1983. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
- Bruce, J.M. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. London: Putnam, 1957.
- Bruce, J.M. The Aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing) . London: Putnam, 1982. ISBN 0-370-30084-X.
- Hare, Paul R. The Royal Aircraft Factory. London:Putnam, 1990. ISBN 0-85177-843-7.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). London: Orbis Publishing, 1985, p. 2819.