|Introduction||1 July 1916 |
|Primary user||U.K. (RFC/RAF)|
|Number built||468 [note 1]|
|Wingspan||11.3 m (37 ft) |
|Engine||150hp RAF 4a|
|Armament||fixed, sync. Vickers and/or|
(sometimes)1-2 Lewis[note 2]
|Ammo||250 (Vickers) + ≥3 drums of 47 or 97 rounds (Lewis)|
|Max Speed||164 km/h (102 mph) |
|Climb||910 m (3,000 ft) in 5:50|
1,800 m (6,000 ft) in 14:00
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 33:00
|Service Ceiling||3,800 m (12,500 ft) |
When the Fokker monoplanes began to take a toll on slow, stable British two-seaters, the Air Board inexplicably turned to a slow, stable two-seater as an answer, by taking a R.A.F. B.E.2c and installing a more powerful engine, removing the observer's seat, and installing a synchronized Vickers as the R.A.F. B.E.12. At the time of design, it was not clear whether a single aeroplane could perform both scout duties and light bombing, but by the time of its premier it was clear that single-purpose fighters would have the advantage. Some planes featured an additional Lewis gun or two on the sides. It arrived in small numbers starting in July 1916 and No. 21 Squadron was fully equipped with the type, arriving in late August.
The adding a larger engine did not miraculously turn the B.E. into a nimble fighter, and the B.E.12 -- hopeless as a fighter -- was quickly retired from "fighter duties" in September 1916 and used as a light bomber. On the Western Front it served in that role until it could be replaced by more modern two-seaters. On less demanding fronts it served until late 1917. 
It saw some modest success in the Near East and Macedonia, and on 17 June 1917 a BE12 from Home Defense shot down Zeppelin L.48.
For more information, see Wikipedia:Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12.
Timeline [note 3]
|Version||Availability||Maneuver||Damage||Dmg Points||Max Alt.||Climb|
Miniatures and Models
- Shapeways: wow
- Combined BE.12 and BE.12a total. 130 to France; 67 to the Middle East; 101 to Home Defense; 170 to training.
- Usually a synchronized, fixed Vickers; sometimes supplemented with 1-2 top-wing Lewis or a rear-firing pilot-operated Lewis of dubious utility.
- British usage numbers are approximate, derived from the squadron histories.
- Bruce'69, p.380.
- Bruce'69, p.386.
- Lamberton, pp.214-215.
- Angelucci, p.68.
- Kelly, p.230.
- Munson, p.30.
- Lamberton, p.30.
- Philpott'13, pp.379-444.
- 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
- J.M. Bruce. Windsock Datafile 66: RAF BE12/a/b. Great Britain: Albatros Productions Ltd., 1997. ISBN 0-948414-98-7
- Kevin Kelly, "Belts and Drums: A Survey of First World War Aircraft Ammunition Totals". Over the Front, Vol. 5, No. 3, Autumn 1990. Walsworth Publishing Co, Inc. and The League of World War I Aviation Historians.
- W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Limited, 1960.
- Kenneth Munson, Fighters 1914-19, Attack and Training Aircraft. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1976. ISBN 0713707607
- Ian Philpott, The Birth of the Royal Air Force. Great Britain: Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2013. ISBN 978-1-78159-333-2