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Royal Aircraft Factory Be2f

Airworthy reproduction

The Be2, designed by the Royal Aircraft Factory (R.A.F.), was in fact an evolution of the early Geoffrey De Havilland and FM Green design, officially based on damaged Blériot and Voisin aeroplanes. It was named Be1, for « Blériot experimental », and was the first aircraft especially designed for a military use.

Powered by a 70 HP Renault engine, the first flight took place in 1912, thus proving its stability in flight, the main quality sought for observation aircraft.

In spite of being a valuable asset for photography and observation, its stability became a definitive handicap versus the first German fighters, such as the Fokker E.III, becoming easy meat and suffering heavy casualties. The Be2s earned inglorious nicknames : « Stability Janes », « The Quirk » or « Bits of Everything »…

Several variants were built, from Be2a to Be2g, each one with some improvements, still without really bringing outstanding performance to this prewar design.

Reconnaissance and bombing were the mains tasks devoted to the Be2s, soon relegated to night bombing and Zeppelin hunting missions.

The Be2f developed in 1916, was in fact an official designation for old Be2c fuselages assembled with Be2e wings and stabilizers, thus slightly improving the performance of the type.

Ancre 1

Be2f reproduction

This reproduction was built using original drawings. It is equipped with a new-built 90hp R.A.F. 1a engine reproduction.

It is painted as Be2f #2560 which flew among R.F.C. 52 Squadron. The aircraft was modified as a night bomber. The equipment contains all the night flying apparatus (electric lights, holt flares, etc...), which are fully functional.

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52 Squadron Be2f

Building the Be2f

Photoscopes

Photoscope

Memorial Flight's Be2f is finished as a night bomber. It is equipped with functional cockpit lights, navigation lights and wing tip Holt flares. The cockpit is then specially modified as it would have been during the war.

This photoscope shows the Be2f cockpit (rear seat) as well as the observer station (front seat) with working lighting.

Photoscope

Details of the cockpit (rear seat).

Photoscope

Details of the observer station (front seat).