Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) Aircraft 1911

Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.1

RAF SE.1 - 1911
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.1 - 1911

The S.E.1 (Santos Experimental) was an experimental aircraft built at the Army Balloon Factory at Farnborough (later the Royal Aircraft Factory) in 1911. Its place in aviation history is mainly that it was the first in the series of Royal Aircraft Factory designs - several of which played an important role in World War I.

In 1911 the Army Balloon Factory was not actually authorised to construct aircraft, but only to repair them. When the remains of a crashed Blériot XI monoplane belonging to the army were sent from Larkhill to Farnborough for repair, authorisation for a complete reconstruction was sought, and granted.
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Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.1
  • Role: Experimental research aircraft
  • National Origin:Britian
  • Manufacturer: Army Balloon Factory
  • Designed by: Geoffrey de Havilland, F.M. Green
  • First flight: 11 June 1911
  • Number built: 1
  • Status: Prototype
  • Powerplant: 1 × E.N.V. "F", 60 hp (45 kW)
  • Wingspan: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
  • Wing Area: 400 ft² (37.16 m²)
  • Height: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
  • Length: 29 ft (8.84 m)
  • Loaded Weight: 1,200 lb. (544.31 Kg)
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: None
  • No performance figures available It is unlikely sufficient testing was carried out for realistic figures to be established.

References

  1. Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.1. (2010, May 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:35, January 12, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Royal_Aircraft_Factory_S.E.1&oldid=363588932
  2. Jackson, A.J. (1978). de Havilland Aircraft since 1909 1978, pp. 38-9. London: Putnam Publishing. ISBN 0 370 30022 X.
  3. Jarrett, Philip (2002). "Making Flying Safer". In Jarrett, Philip. Pioneer Aircraft:Early Aviation before 1914 2002. London: Putnam. pp. 202-215. ISBN 0 85177 869 0.

Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.1

RAF BE.1 - 1911
RAF BE.1 - 1911

The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.1 was the first tractor biplane to be designed by Geoffrey de Havilland, and was the immediate predecessor of the B.E.2 and its variants, the mainstay of the early R.F.C.

In 1911 the newly renamed His Majesty's Aircraft Factory didn't have permission to design new aircraft. Its supervisor, Mervyn O'Gorman, got around this restriction by disguising new aircraft as repaired versions of older aircraft, first with the S.E.1, which was officially a slightly modified version of a damaged Blériot.
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Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.1
  • Type: scout
  • National Origin: Britian
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • First Flight: December 4, 1911
  • Entered Service: March 11, 1912
  • Designed By: Geoffrey de Havilland
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wolseley V-8 60hp
  • Wing span: 38ft 7.5in upper, 34ft 11.5in lower
  • Length: 29ft 6.5in
  • Height: 10ft 2in
  • Maximum Speed: 59mph at sea level
  • Minimum Speed: 42mph
  • Climb rate: 155ft/min to 600ft
  • Crew: 2

References

  1. Rickard, J (3 April 2009), Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.1 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_RAF_BE1.html
  2. Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.1 1911 The Virtual Aircraft Museum http://www.aviastar.org/air/england/raf_be-1.php

Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) Aircraft 1913

Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.2

RAF SE.2 - 1913
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.2 - 1913
RAF SE.2a - 1914
RAF SE.2a - 1914

The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.2 (Scout Experimental) was an early British single-seat scout aircraft. Designed and built at the Royal Aircraft Factory in 1913 as the B.S.1, the prototype was rebuilt several times before serving with the Royal Flying Corps, being operated over the Western Front in the early months of the First World War.
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Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.2
  • Role: Scout aircraft
  • National Origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • Designed By: Geoffrey de Havilland (B.S.1)
  • First Flight: March 1913
  • Introduced: 1914
  • Retired: 1915
  • Primary User: Royal Flying Corps
  • Number Built: 1
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome Rotary engine, 80 hp (60 kW)
  • Wingspan: 27 ft 6¼ in (8.39 m)
  • Wing Area: 188 ft² (17.5m²)
  • Length: 20 ft 10 in (6.35 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 4⅛ in (2.82 m)
  • Empty Weight: 720 lb (327 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 1,132 lb (515 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 91 mph (79 knots, 147 km/h)
  • Endurance: 3 hr
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: 2 × 0.303 in rifles

References

  1. "Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.2". (2010, August 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:39, November 15, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Royal_Aircraft_Factory_S.E.2&oldid=376984114
  2. Bruce, J.M. "British Aeroplanes 1914-18". London: Putnam, 1957.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps" (Military Wing). London: Putnam, 1982. ISBN 0-370-30084-X.
  4. Hare, Paul R. "The Royal Aircraft Factory". London:Putnam, 1990. ISBN 0-85177-843-7.
  5. Jackson, A.J. "De Havilland Aircraft since 1909". London: Putnam, Third edition, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-802-X.
  6. Mason, Francis K. "The British Fighter since 1912". Annapolis, USA: Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.

Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) Aircraft 1914

RAF B.E.2

RAF BE.2 - 1914
RAF BE.2 - 1914

The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 (Blériot Experimental) was a British single-engine two-seat biplane in service with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) during World War One. The B.E.2 has always had a very bad press, and had become an unpopular aircraft by 1916. From 1917 onwards, the B.E.2 was mostly withdrawn from the front line but continued in use for submarine spotting and as a trainer. Before this it had already been the first effective night fighter. About 3,500 were built, used as fighters, interceptors, light bombers, trainers and reconnaissance aircraft.

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. A Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2a of No.2 Squadron RFC was the first aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps to arrive in France on 26 August 1914, after the start of the First World War. In 1915, when air combat began in earnest, squadrons equipped with the B.E.2c suffered heavy losses to more maneuverable enemy.

The B.E.2 was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland as a development of the B.E.1, and first flew in February 1912 with de Havilland as the test pilot. On 12 August 1912 it set a British altitude record of 10,560 ft (3,219 m). It started production as a reconnaissance machine, and two years later formed part of the equipment of three squadrons - squadrons equipped with a single type of aeroplane were still to come. These were all sent to France shortly after the outbreak of war. The early B.E.2a and b aircraft were replaced during 1915 by the B.E.2c, so extensively modified as to be virtually a new type, based on research by Edward Teshmaker Busk to develop an inherently stable aeroplane. The c began to be superseded by the final version, the B.E.2e, nicknamed the "Quirk", in 1916.
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RAF B.E.2
  • Type: Reconnaissance
  • Manufacturers:
    • Royal Aircraft Factory
    • Vickers Limited (Aviation Department)
    • British & Colonial Aeroplane Company, Ltd.
  • First Flight: February 1912
  • Entered Service: August 1914
  • Number Built: 3,535
  • Powerplant:
    • 1× RAF 1a, air cooled V-8 engine, 90 hp (67 kW)
    • Other engines depending on manufacturers and variant.
  • Wing Span: 37 ft (11.28 m)
  • Length: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 1 in (3.4 m)
  • Wing area: 398 ft² (37 m²)
  • Empty Weight: 1 369lb (621kg)
  • Max Takeoff Weight: 2,138 lb (972 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 72 mph (116 km/h)
  • Service Ceiling: 10,560 ft 3,050 m
  • Rate of Climb: 1,066 ft/min (325 m/min)
  • Range: 200 miles (320 km)
  • Endurance: 3 hr 15 min
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 1 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun for observer
    • Bombs: 224 lb (102 kg) of bombs
    • (With full bomb load usually flown as a single-seater, without machine gun)

References

  1. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_B.E.2"
  2. Bruce, J.M. "The B.E.2 Series: Historic Military Aircraft No.7, Part 1". Flight, 2 April 1954, pp. 393-397.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "The B.E.2 Series: Historic Military Aircraft No.7,Part 2". Flight, 16 April 1954, pp. 478-482.
  4. Cheesman, E.F. (ed.). "Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War". Letchworth: Harleyford, 1962.
  5. Gerdessen, Frits. "Estonian Air Power 1918-1945". Air Enthusiast No. 18, April-July 1982, pp. 61-76. ISSN 0143-5450.
  6. Munson, Kenneth. "Bombers, Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft 1914-1919". London: Blandford, 1968.

Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.5

RAF RE.5 - 1914
Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.5 - 1914

The Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.5 was a British two-seat reconnaissance and artillery observation biplane designed and built by the Royal Aircraft Factory for the Royal Flying Corps.

The R.E.5 was designed as a reconnaissance biplane using the experience of earlier R.E. series aircraft. It was a two-bay equal-span biplane with a fixed tailskid landing gear, with the wheels supported on skids and powered by a nose-mounted 120 hp (89 kW) Austro-Daimler engine driving a four-bladed propeller. The aircraft had two open cockpits with the observer/gunner in the forward cockpit under the upper wing and the pilot aft. The larger more capable Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.7 was a further development of the design. Some modified single-seat high altitude aircraft were built with extended-span (57 ft 2.66 in or 17.43 m) upper wings supported by a pair of outward-leaning struts. Other R.E.5s were used for experimentation with airbrakes and for test flying the Royal Aircraft Factory 4 engine.
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Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.5
  • Type: Reconnaissance and artillery observation biplane
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • First Flight:1914
  • Introduced:1914
  • Primary User: Royal Flying Corps
  • Number Built: 24
  • Variants: Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.7
  • Powerplant: 1 × Austro-Daimler piston engine, 120 hp (89 kW)
  • Wingspan: 44 ft 6 in (13.57 m)
  • Wing Area: 498 ft² ( m²)
  • Length: 26 ft 2 in (7.98 m)
  • Maximum Speed: 78 mph (126 km/h)
  • Crew: 2 (pilot, observer/gunner)
  • Armament: 3 × 20lb (9kg) bombs

References

  1. Rickard, J (16 April 2009), Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.5 , "http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_RAF_RE5.html"
  2. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.5, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_R.E.5"
  3. Bruce, J.M. (1957). "British Aeroplanes 1914-18". London: Putnam, pp.417-421.
  4. Bruce, J.M. (1992). "The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps" (Second ed.). London: Putnam pp.445-51. ISBN 0 85177 854 2.
  5. Lewis, Peter (1974). "The British Bomber since 1914" (Second ed.). London: Putnam, p.35, pp.402-403. ISBN 0 370 10040 9.
  6. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation". London: Studio Editions.
  7. "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft" (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. pp. 2820.

Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) Aircraft 1915

Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12

RAF BE.12 - 1915
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12 - 1915

The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12 was a British single-seat aeroplane of The First World War designed at the Royal Aircraft Factory .

The B.E.12 was essentially a B.E.2c with the front (observerís) cockpit replaced by a large fuel tank, and the 90hp RAF 1 engine of the standard B.E.2c replaced by the new 150 hp RAF 4. Aviation historians once considered the type a failed attempt to create a fighter aircraft based on the B.E.2 - that was improvised and rushed into service to meet the Fokker threat. Many writers perpetuate this view or something like it. J.M. Bruce, in Warplanes of the First World War (MacDonald, 1968 ISBN 035601473 8) has pointed out that this is simplistic at best and doesn't fit historically.

The prototype (a modified B.E.2c airframe fitted with the more powerful 150hp (112 kW) RAF 4a air-cooled V12 engine) was already in the process of conversion in June 1915, while the Fokker scourge cannot be said to have started before the first victory by a Fokker E.I on the 1st of August, when Max Immelmann shot down a British aircraft that was bombing Douai aerodrome. At the time the B.E.12 was conceived the necessity for an aeroplane to defend itself was by no means as clear as it became later. Certainly the new type cannot have been produced specifically as an "answer" to the Fokker.

In mid-1915 there was no way for a British single seat tractor aircraft to carry a forward firing armament as the Vickers-Challenger "interrupter" gear did not exist until December and was not available in numbers until the following March. The latest Royal Aircraft Factory single seat fighter of the time, the F.E.8, was a nimble little pusher.
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Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12
  • Type: General purpose aircraft/Fighter
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory, Various
  • First flight: July 28 1915
  • Introduced: August 1, 1916
  • Primary user: Royal Flying Corps
  • Number built: 601
  • Variants:
    • B.E.12: Initial production version powered by a RAF 4a engine - basically a B.E.2c conversion (250 built by Daimler, 50 built by Standard Motors)
    • B.E.12a: With the wings and tail unit of the B.E.2e (50 built by Daimler, 50 built by Coventry Ordnance Works)
    • B.E.12b: Re-engined version powered by a 200hp (149 Kw) Hispano-Suiza engine (200 built by Daimler)
  • Powerplant: 1× RAF-4a air-cooled V12 engine, 150 hp (112 kW)
  • Wingspan: 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m)
  • Wing area: 371 ft² (34.47 m²)
  • Length: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 1½ in (3.39 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,635 lb (743 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 2,352 lb (1,069 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 102 mph (89 knots, 164 km/h) at sea level
  • Service ceiling: 12,500 ft (3,810 m)
  • Endurance: 3 hours
  • Climb to: 5,000 ft (1,500 m): 11 minutes
  • Crew: One
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 1× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) synchronised Vickers machine gun - some aircraft carried various arrangements of rearward firing Lewis guns.
    • Bombs: up to 336 lb (150 kg) bombs

References

  1. Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12. (2010, September 2). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:55, October 24, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Royal_Aircraft_Factory_B.E.12&oldid=382436860
  2. British Aircraft Directory http://www.britishaircraft.co.uk/aircraftpage.php?ID=695
  3. Bruce, J.M. (1968). War Planes of the First World War:Volume Two Fighters. London: Macdonald. ISBN 0 356 01473 8.
  4. Bruce, J.M. (1982). The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing). London: Putnam. ISBN 0 370 30084 x.
  5. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.

RAF FE-2d

RAF FE-2d - 1915
RAF FE-2d - 1915

This early British two seater saw much action in the early years of the war, even though it was ungainly, and dangerous. As many early planes it is a push plane to avoid shooting off it's propellor blades when firing straight forward.

RAF F.E.2d
  • Type: Fighter/Bomber
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • First Introduced: 1915
  • Number Built: About 1,000
  • Powerplant: Beardmore water cooled 6 cylinder in-line 160 hp (120 kW)
  • Wing Span: 47 ft 9 in (14.56m)
  • Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 7.5 in (3.84 m)
  • Empty Weight: 2 061lb (935kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 3,037 lb (1,378 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 91.5 mph (150 km/h)
  • Service Ceiling: 11,000 ft (3,300m)
  • Endurance: 2 hr 30 min
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament: 2 or 3 0.303 Lewis machine guns

References

  1. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_F.E.2"
  2. Andrews, C.F. and "E.B. Morgan. Vickers Aircraft since 1908". London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0 85177 815 1.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "The F.E.2 Series: Historic Military Aircraft:" No 3. Flight, 12 December 1952, pp. 724-728.
  4. Bruce, J.M. "Warplanes of the First World War: Fighters", Volume Two. London: MacDonald & Co., 1968. ISBN 0-365-01473-8.
  5. Cheesman, E.F. (ed.) "Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War". Letchworth: Harleyford, 1960
  6. Mason, Francis K. "The British Bomber Since 1914". London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
  7. Mason, Francis K. "The British Fighter Since 1912". Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
  8. Taylor, John W.R. "F.E.2b. Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the Present". New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.
  9. Winchester, Jim. "Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2. Biplanes, Triplanes and Seaplanes" (Aviation Factfile). London: Grange Books plc, 2004. ISBN 1-84013-641-3.

Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.7

RAF RE.7 - 1915
Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.7 - 1915

The Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.7 was a British two-seat light bomber and reconnaissance biplane designed by the Royal Aircraft Factory and built under contracts by the Coventry Ordnance Works, Austin, Napier and Siddeley-Deasy for the Royal Flying Corps.

Developed from the R.E.5 the R.E.7 was designed to carry heavier loads and also suitable for escort and reconnaissance duties. It was an-unequal span biplane with a fixed tailskid landing gear and powered by a nose-mounted 120hp (89kW) Beardmore engine driving a four-bladed propeller. The aircraft was built by a number of different contractors with the first aircraft operational with the Royal Flying Corps in France in early 1916. The aircraft had two open cockpits with the observer/gunner in the forward cockpit under the upper wing and the pilot aft.
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RAF R.E.7
  • Type: Light bomber and reconnaissance biplane
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • First Flight: 1915
  • Introduced: 1915
  • Primary user: Royal Flying Corps
  • Number built: 230
  • Developed from: RAF R.E.5
  • Powerplant: 1 × RAF 4a Vee piston engine, 150 hp (112 kW)
  • Wingspan: 57 ft 0 in (17.37 m)
  • Wing Area: 548 ft² (50.91 m²)
  • Length: 31 ft 10.5 in (9.72 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 7 in (3.84 m)
  • Empty Weight: 2285 lb (1036 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 3450 lb (1565 kg)
  • Service Ceiling: 6,500 ft (1980 m)
  • Endurance: 6 hours 0 min
  • Crew: 2 (pilot, observer/gunner)
  • Armament:
    • Bombs: 1 × 336lb (152kg) bomb or
    • Bombs: smaller bombs up to 324lb (147kg)

References

  1. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory RE-7, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_R.E.7"
  2. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation". London: Studio Editions.
  3. "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft" (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. pp. 2820.
  4. British Aircraft Directory

Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.4a

RAF SE.4a - 1914
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.4a

The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.4a was an experimental British single-engined scout aircraft of the First World War. Four S.E.4a aircraft were built, being used for research purposes and as home-defence fighters by the Royal Flying Corps. In spite of its type number it had little or no relationship to the earlier S.E.4

In 1915, Henry Folland of the Royal Aircraft Factory designed a new single-engined scout aircraft, the S.E.4a. While it had a similar designation to Folland's earlier Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.4 of 1914, which had been designed to be the fastest aircraft in the world, the S.E.4a was fundamentally a new aircraft, intended to investigate the relationship between stability and manoeuvrability, and for possible operational use.
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Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.4a
  • Role: Scout aircraft
  • National origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • Designed By: Henry Folland
  • First flight: 25 June 1915
  • Retired: 1917
  • Primary user: Royal Flying Corps
  • Number built: 4
  • Developed from: Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.4
  • Status: Prototype
  • Powerplant: 1 × Le Rhône rotary engine, 80 hp (60 kW)
  • Wingspan: 27 ft 5 in (8.36 m)
  • Length: 20 ft 10 in (6.35 m)
  • Height: 9ft 5 in (2.87 m)
  • Maximum speed: 90 mph (67 knots, 145 km/h) at sea level
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: Provision for 1 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun above upper wing

References

  1. "Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.4a". (2009, October 14). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:35, November 25, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Royal_Aircraft_Factory_S.E.4a&oldid=319904390
  2. Bruce, J.M. "British Aeroplanes 1914-18". London:Putnam, 1957.
  3. Bruce J.M. "War Planes of the First World War: Volume Two Fighters". London:Macdonald, 1968. ISBN 0 356 01473 8.
  4. Bruce, J.M. "The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps" (Military Wing). London:Putnam, 1982. ISBN 0 370 30084 x.
  5. Lewis, Peter. "The British Fighter since 1912". London:Putnam, Fourth edition, 1979. ISBN 0 370 10049 2.
  6. Mason, Francis K. "The British Fighter since 1912". Annapolis, USA:Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.

Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) Aircraft 1916

Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8

RAF FE.8 - 1916
Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8 - 1916

The Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8 was one of the final pusher type aircraft developed for the war. It was considered a slow and not a particularly nimble aircraft design. There were not many in active service, and was superceded by more modern fighter/scouts.

Like the AIRCO D.H.2, the RAF F.E.8 was designed as a pusher in order to provide a forward firing machine gun mount at a time when no synchronization gear was available to the Allies to safely arm a tractor aircraft in the same way. Although a clean and well designed little aeroplane, for a pusher – it could not escape the drag penalty imposed by its tail structure and was no match for the Halberstadt and Albatros fighters of late 1916.

The new fighter was not a great improvement on the D.H.2 – although a little faster it did not handle quite so well. It was nonetheless ordered into production from Darracq Motors and Vickers. Neither manufacturer delivered their F.E.8s particularly quickly, so that the type ended up reaching the front in numbers six months later than the D.H.2.
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Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8
  • Type: Pusher biplane fighter
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory, Darracq Motors, Vickers
  • Designed By: J. Kenworthy
  • First Flight: September 1915
  • Introduced: August 2, 1916
  • Primary User: Royal Flying Corps
  • Number Built: 295
  • Powerplant: 1× Le Rhône nine-cylinder air-cooled rotary engine, 110 hp. (82 kW)
  • Wingspan: 31 ft 6 in (9.6 m)
  • Wing Area: 218 ft² (20.25 m²)
  • Length: 23ft 8 in (7.21 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 2 in (2.8 m)
  • Empty Weight: 960 lb (406 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 1,470 lb (668 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 93.6 mph (151 km/h, 81 knots)
  • Service Ceiling: 14,500 ft (4,420 m)
  • Climb to 6,000 ft: (1,830 m)8 min 20 sec
  • Endurance: 2.5 hours (Monosoupape engine)
  • Crew: One
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 1× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun
    • Bombs: Light bombs

References

  1. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_F.E.8"
  2. Bruce, J.M. "Warplanes of the First World War: Volume 2 Fighters". London: Macdonald, 1968. ISBN 0-356-01473-8.
  3. Cheesman, E.F. (ed.) "Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War" Letchworth: Harleyford, 1960
  4. Taylor, John W.R. "F.E.8. Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the Present". New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.

Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8

RAF RE.8 - 1916
Royal Aircraft Factory Reconnaissance Experimental 8 - 1916

During World War I, the R.E.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 "Harry Tate," it provided a stable platform for photographic missions but suffered from poor maneuverability, leaving it vulnerable to attack by enemy fighters.

The Royal Aircraft Factory Reconnaissance Experimental 8 (R.E.8) was a lumbering British two-seat biplane reconnaissance and bomber aircraft of the First World War. Intended as a replacement for the vulnerable B.E.2, the R.E.8 was much more difficult to fly, and was regarded with great suspicion at first in the Royal Flying Corps.
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Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8
  • Type: Reconnaissance, Bomber
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • Entered Service: 1916
  • Number Built: 4,077
  • Length: 27 ft 10 in (8.5 m)
  • Wingspan: 42 ft 7 in (12.98 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 4 in (3.47 m)
  • Empty Weight: 1,577 lb (717 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 2,862 lb (1,301 kg)
  • Powerplant:RAF 4a air-cooled 12-cylinder inline engine, 150 hp (110 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 102 mph (164 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 13,500 ft (4,115 m)
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 1× 0.303 (7.7 mm) forward-firing Vickers gun
    • 1 or 2× 0.303 (7.7 mm) Lewis guns in rear cockpit
    • Bombs: up to 224 lb (102 kg)

References

  1. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_R.E.8"
  2. Bruce, J.M. "The R.E.8: Historic Military Aircraft: No. 8". Flight. 15 October 1954, pp. 575-581.
  3. Cheesman, E.F. (ed.) "Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Letchworth, UK: Harleyford, 1962.
  4. Gerdessen, F. "Estonian Air Power 1918-1945". Air Enthusiast No 18, April -July 1982, pp. 61-76. ISSN 0143-5450.
  5. Mason, Francis K. "The British Bomber since 1914". London:Putnam, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
  6. Munson, Kenneth. "Bombers, Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft 1914-1919". London: Blandford, 1968. ISBN 0-71370-484-5.
  7. Taylor, John W.R. "Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8." Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.

Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) Aircraft 1917

Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.9

RAF FE.9 - 1916
RAF FE.9 S/n A 4818 - 1916

The Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.9 was a prototype British two seat fighter-reconnaissance aircraft of the First World War. A single-engined pusher biplane of 1917, the F.E.9 had poor performance and handling, and only three were built.

In summer 1916, the Royal Aircraft Factory set out to design a replacement for its F.E.2b two-seat pusher fighter. The F.E.9 was of similar pusher configuration and therefore already obsolescent by the time it appeared in 1917. Although effective gun synchronising gear was now available, which would allow a tractor design with superior performance to be designed, the factory chose to continue the pusher layout of the F.E.2 in its new two seat fighter, the F.E.9. Emphasis was placed in the design upon providing the gunner with a good field of fire and the pilot a good all-round view. Its nacelle extended well forward of the wings and was located high up in the wing gap to give a good field of fire for the observer, who was seated in the nose, ahead of the pilot, with dual controls fitted. It had unequal span, single-bay wings, with ailerons on the upper wing only with large horn balances (the amount of control surface forward of the hinge). It was powered by a 200 hp (149 kW) Hispano-Suiza 8 V8 engine, with the Royal Aircraft Factory having priority for this important and widely used engine.
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F.E.9 final layout
  • Role: Two-seat fighter aircraft
  • National origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • Operators: United Kingdom Royal Flying Corps
  • First Flight: April 1917
  • Number built: 3
  • Status: Prototype
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 8 water-cooled V8 engine, 200 hp (149 kW)
  • Wingspan: 37 ft 9½ in (11.52 m)
  • Wing area: 365 sq ft (33.9 m²)
  • Length: 28 ft 3 in (8.61 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
  • Loaded weight: 2,480 lb (1,127 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 105 mph (91 knots, 169 km/h) at sea level
  • Service ceiling: 15,500 ft (7,730 m)
  • Climb to 5,000 ft (1,520 m): 8 min 25 sec
  • Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 19 min 50 sec
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Guns:
    • 1 × 0.303 in Lewis gun on Scarff ring in observer's cockpit
    • 1 × Lewis gun on pillar mounting between cockpits

References

RAF S.E.5a

RAF SE.5a  - 1917
RAF S.E.5a - 1917
RAF (Austin) SE.5a  - 1918
RAF (Austin) SE.5a 25th Aero Squadron, USAS
Capt. Landis, s/n 13 (F8005) Toul France, Nov. 1918

Shortly after the development of the Scout Experimental 5, the improved S.E.5a was introduced. When it entered the war in 1917, it was superior to all its German opponents. Many pilots preferred it to the Sopwith Camel. It was easier to fly, it performed better at high altitude and its in-line engine produced less noise. It was also faster than the Camel, allowing a pilot to break off combat at will. Disdained by Albert Ball, in the hands of airmen like William Bishop and Edward Mannock, the S.E.5a developed a reputation as a formidable fighter. With 54 victories, South African Anthony Beauchamp Proctor downed more enemy aircraft with this plane than any other ace.

RAF S.E.5a
  • Type: Fighter
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • Entered Service: June 1917 (S.E.5a)
  • Number Built: 5,205
  • Powerplant: Wolseley W4a Viper, water cooled in-line, 200 hp
  • Wing Span: 26 ft 7 in (8.11 m)
  • Length: 20 ft 11 in (6.38 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 6 in (2.89 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,410 lb (639 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 1,935 lb (880 kg)
  • Max Speed: 138 mph (222 km/h)
  • Service Ceiling: 17,000 ft (5,185 m)
  • Range: 300 miles (483 km)
  • Endurance: 2.5 hours
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament:
    • Guns: 1x 0.303 in (7.7 mm) forward-firing Vickers machine gun
    • 1x 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun on upper wing
    • Bombs: 4x 18kg Cooper bombs, two under each lower wing

References

  1. From Wikipedia Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_S.E.5"
  2. Bruce, J.M. "The S.E.5: Historic Military Aircraft No. 5". Flight, 17 July 1953. pp. 85–89, 93.
  3. Bruce, J.M. "The S.E.5A". Aircraft in Profile", Volume 1/Part1. Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Profile Publications Ltd., 1965 (Revised 4th edition 1975). ISBN 0-85383-410-5.
  4. Franks, Norman L.R. "SE 5/5a Aces of World War 1". Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publications, 2007. ISBN 1-846031-80-X.
  5. Kopan'ski, Tomasz Jan. "Samoloty brytyjskie w lotnictwie polskim 1918-1930" (British Aircraft in the Polish Air Force 1918-1930)(in Polish). Warsaw: Bellona, 2001. ISBN 83-11-09315-6.
  6. Sturtivant, Ray ISO and Gordon Page. "The SE5 File". Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1996. ISBN 0-85130-246-7.

Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) Aircraft 1918

Royal Aircraft Factory AE.3 Ram

 RAF  AE.3 Ram - 1918
RAF AE.3 Ram - 1918

The armored attack aircraft (Armored Experimental). The first prototype, Spring 1918. The airplane was built with RAF FE.9 fighters components. Three prototypes were built.

RAF AE.3 Ram
  • Type: Ground attack
  • National Origin: British
  • Manufacturer: Royal Aircraft Factory
  • First Flight: Spring 1918
  • Number Built: 3
  • Status: Prototype
  • Developed from: RAF FE.9
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Forward: 2 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns
    • Rear: 1 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun