R.A.F. B.E.2

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R.A.F. B.E.2
B.E.2 Early production.jpg
Role Reconnaissance
Manufacturer R.A.F.
Designer Geoffrey de Havilland
First flight early 1912 [1]
Primary user RAF Type A Roundel.svg U.K. (RFC/RAF)
Number built ~32 [1][2]
Variants BE.2a, BE.2b
Wingspan 11.3 m (37 ft) [3]
Engine 70hp Renault
Armament none, or 45 kg (100 lb) of bombs
Max Speed 113 km/h (70 mph)[3]
Climb 910 m (3,000 ft) in 9:00
2,100 m (7,000 ft) in 35:00[3]
Ceiling 3,000 m (10,000 ft)[3]
Endurance 3:00 [3]

The R.A.F. B.E.2 was a design dating back to 1912. B.E. stood for "Blériot Experimental", or -- more generally -- a tractor biplane. Like the BE.1 before it, twin forward skids were provided to prevent a tip-over during landing. There was considerable variance in the first B.E.s, both in chosen engine and configuration such as equal-span or unequal-span wings. In the earliest BE's, the observer sat exposed in the forward seat with no cowling or decking in front of him, as if his seat were directly bolted to the top of the cut-away fuselage. Thirty BE.2s were assigned to the Expeditionary Force in 1914. [1]

For more information, see Wikipedia:Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bruce'69, p.350.
  2. Lamberton, p.46.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Lamberton, pp.214-215.
  • 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.