R.A.F. R.E.8

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R.A.F. R.E.8
Royal Aircraft Factory RE8 1.jpg
Role Reconnaissance
Manufacturer R.A.F.
First flight 17 Jun 1916[1]
Introduction Nov 1916 [2][note 1]
Primary users RAF Type A Roundel.svg U.K. (RFC/RAF)
Roundel of Belgium.svg Belgium
Number built UK: 4077 [2][3][1]; Belgium 22[1]
Wingspan 13.0 m (42 ft 7 in) [4][5]
Engine 150hp RAF 4a vee or
(Belgian)150-180hp Hispano-Suiza vee
Armament fixed, sync. Vickers and
1-2×rear flexible Lewis
120 kg (260 lb)[3][5] of bombs
Crew 2
Max Speed 166 km/h (103 mph) [2][6][5]
Climb 2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 15:50
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 29:05 [2]
Service Ceiling 4,100 m (13,500 ft) [2][6][5]
Endurance 4:15 [2][6][5]

The R.A.F. R.E.8 was designed to replace the B.E.2c, which by autumn 1915 was obviously unsuited to the realities of fighter combat. It borrowed the heavily staggered and unequal span wings of the R.A.F. B.E.2e but the R.E.8 moved the observer to the more workable rear seat where a defensive machine gun would have a wide angle of fire. Unfortunately it also retained the B.E.'s inherent stability, an asset in a friendly sky but a detriment in when trying to evade enemy fire. In a common theme, the Air Board had committed to large-scale production before the type had actually shown its merits and shortcomings in service, so over four thousand were built despite the plane's lackluster performance. It was still in use by fifteen squadrons at the Armistice.

Belgium used R.E.8s modified to take a 180hpo Hispano-Suiza engine, which must have improved performance somewhat.

The Harry Tate[note 2] was undistinguished -- a plane no one would call their favorite -- yet it and its crews flew countless successful missions in the last two years of the war. [2]

The R.E.8 saw service on the Western Front, in Italy, Mesopotamia, Palestine, and in Home Defense.[1]

For more information, see Wikipedia:Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8.


Game Data

Wings of Glory

Official Stats
Version Availability Maneuver Damage Dmg Points Max Alt. Climb Points
Vickers+Lewis Nov16-end K B/B 13 10 6 81
Vickers+2×Lewis K B/A 13 10 6 101

Plane and Crew Cards

Blue Max/Canvas Eagles

Aircraft Chart

Miniatures and Models

1:144 Scale

1:285/6mm/1:288 Scale

1:300 Scale

1:350 Scale

1:600 Scale


  1. The prototype saw combat trials in June 1916.[3]
  2. The R.E.8's nickname comes from a famous music-hall comedian of the time.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Angelucci, p.92.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Bruce'69, p.426.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lamberton, p.56.
  4. Lamberton, pp.214-215.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Angelucci, p.82.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Munson, p.56.
  • Enzo Angelucci, ed. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. New York: The Military Press, 1983 edition. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
  • J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain, Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
  • W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962. ISBN 9780900435027
  • Kenneth Munson, Bombers: Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft, 1914-1919. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1968, Blandford Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0753721711