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Today in History




 
 
In August 1912, the Blériot Experimental 2 earned the highest marks in aircraft trials at Larkhill. During the competition, the two-seater broke the British altitude record, climbing to 10,560 feet. Equipped with a more powerful engine, the unarmed B.E.2a was introduced in 1913 and was the first British aircraft to arrive in France during World War I. Featuring built up cockpit combings, the B.E.2b was introduced in 1914 but was soon followed by the B.E.2c. Often called the "Quirk," the B.E.2c was armed with two machine guns and had a modified wing and tail configuration designed to provide a stable reconnaissance platform. In 1915, when air combat began in earnest, squadrons equipped with the B.E.2c suffered heavy losses to more maneuverable enemy aircraft.

"During nineteen sixteen the aeroplane most frequently seen up and down the Western Front in the British Sector was the B.E.2c. It was a sort of maid of all work, a general purpose hack, which could be used for reconnaissance, artillery observation, photography, spy dropping or any other job that turned up." Cecil Lewis
 
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c Specifications
Country: Great Britain
Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
Type: Reconnaissance/Light Bomber
First Introduced: 1914
Number Built:  
Engine(s): R.A.F. 1a, 8-cylinder, air-cooled inline V, 90 hp (other engines also were used)
Wing Span: 37 ft (11.28 m)
Length: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)
Height: 11 ft 1½ in (3.4 m)
Empty Weight: 1,370 lb
Gross Weight: 2,142 lb (971.6 kg)
Max Speed: 72 mph (116 km/h) at 6,500 ft (1,981 m)
Ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,048 m)
Endurance: 3¼ hours
Crew: 2
Armament: 1-4 Lewis machine gun
224 lb (376 kg) of bombs
 
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 Units
Australian Flying Corps: 1, 7
Royal Flying Corps: 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 16, 17, 30, 31, 42, 47, 56, 67
Royal Naval Air Service: 3W
 
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