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   During World War I, the lumbering Reconnaissance Experimental 8 was the most widely used British two-seater biplane on the Western Front. A descendant of the R.E.7, it was initially developed for reconnaissance work but also saw service as a bomber and ground attack aircraft. Nicknamed the "Harry Tate," after a well known music hall performer of the day, it provided a stable platform for photographic missions but suffered from poor maneuverability, leaving it vulnerable to attack by enemy fighters. Despite heavy losses, the R.E.8 remained in service throughout the war.
   On the morning of 13 April 1917, 59 Squadron's ill fated flight of six R.E.8s was on a photo-reconnaissance mission near Douai when it encountered Jasta 11. All six R.E.8s were shot down within a matter of minutes, one of them becoming Manfred von Richthofen's forty first victory.
Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 Specifications
Country: Great Britain
Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
Type: Reconnaissance/Bomber
Entered Service: Autumn 1916
Number Built: 4,099
Engine(s): Royal Aircraft Factory 4a, 12 cylinder, air-cooled, inline V, 150 hp
Wing Span: 42 ft 7 in (12.98 m)
Length: 27 ft 10.5 in (8.5 m)
Height: 11 ft 4.5 in (3.47 m)
Empty Weight:
Gross Weight: 2,678 lb (1,215 kg)
Max Speed: 103 mph (166 km/h) at 5,000 ft (1,524 m)
Ceiling: 13,500 ft (4,115 m)
Endurance: 4 hr 15 min
Crew: 2
Armament: 2-3 machine guns
260 lb (112.8 kg) of bombs
Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 Units
Australian Flying Corps: 1, 3, 7
Royal Flying Corps: 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 21, 34, 42, 52, 53, 59, 67
Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 Aces (3)
1 England Rhodes, Hervey 11
2 South Africa Pithey, Croye Rothes 10
3 England Carbery, Douglas Hugh Moffatt 5
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