From Wings of Linen

The Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough, (R.A.F.) draws criticism for its determination in holding onto outdated designs like the B.E.2, but also deserve praise for some of their great designs like the F.E.2b and S.E.5a. They produced aeroplanes in several sets, distinguished by the letter designations leading the names:

  • B.E. = Blériot Experimental, early tractors
  • F.E. = Farman Experimental, early pushers
  • R.E. = Reconnaissance Experimental, two-seat tractors
  • S.E. = Santos Experimental or Scout Experimental, fighters
  • B.S. = Blériot Scout, high speed tractors
  • T.E. = Tatin Experimental, tail-pushers[1]

Production aircraft from the Great War or shortly thereafter include:


  1. The B.E.1 was a one-off 1912 De Havilland design that paved the way for later B.E. aeroplanes.[2]
  2. Only two RE1s were built. One went to France in Sept 1914 and was written off quickly.[3]
  1. Bruce, p.345
  2. Bruce'66, pp.3-4.
  3. Lamberton, p.54.
  • J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain: Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
  • J.M. Bruce, Profile Publications 133: The B.E.2, 2a & 2b. Great Britain: Profile Publications, Ltd., 1966.
  • W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962. ISBN 9780900435027