Самолеты (сортировка по:)
Страна Конструктор Название Год Фото Текст

RAF F.E.2

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1914

.Истребитель

RAF - B.E.2c/B.E.2d - 1914 - Великобритания<– –>RAF - R.E.5 - 1914 - Великобритания


В.Кондратьев Самолеты первой мировой войны


РАФ FE.2 / RAF FE.2

  Крупногабаритный двухместный цельнодеревянный трехстоечный биплан смешанной конструкции с ферменным фюзеляжем и полотняной обшивкой плоскостей и оперения. Гондола обшита фанерой и шпоном. Продольные балки хвостовой фермы - стальные трубы, поперечные - деревянные. Самолет разработан в КБ авиазавода "Ройял Эйркрафт Фэктори" в августе 1913 года при участии Джеффри Де Хэвилленда.
  Почти год аппарат оставался в единственном экземпляре и лишь накануне войны - в июле 1914-го - руководство RFC заказало серию из 12 штук под обозначением FE.2a. Аббревиатура FE обозначала Farman Experimental - "экспериментальный самолет типа "Фарман", так в Англии называли все аэропланы с толкающим винтом.
  Первый FE.2a вышел на летные испытания в январе 1915-го. Он был оснащен 100-сильным шестицилиндровым двигателем жидкостного охлаждения "Грин". Мощность мотора оказалась явно недостаточной для столь крупной и тяжелой машины. Поэтому уже в марте появилась модификация FE.2b с двигателем "Бердмор" в 120 л.с. Эта модификация стала наиболее массовой.
  Всего построено 1484 FE.2b, большинство из них - на заводе RAF, а остальные - на фирме "Болтон энд Пол" (Boulton and Poul). Серийное производство продолжалось до февраля 1917 года. Часть машин позднего выпуска оснащалась двигателями "Бердмор" мощностью 160 л.с.
  Стандартным вооружением FE.2b были два пулемета "Льюис", один из которых подвижно крепился в носовой части гондолы, а второй - на длинной телескопической штанге - между кабинами пилота и стрелка-летнаба. Он предназначался для стрельбы назад поверх бипланной коробки. Правда, это было сопряжено с большой опасностью для стрелка и требовало от него чуть ли не акробатических навыков, поскольку ему приходилось поворачиваться спиной вперед и вставать во весь рост на сиденье, рискуя выпасть из кабины. И все же FE.2 оказался едва ли не единственным самолетом с толкающим винтом, который обладал хоть какой-то защитой от атак сзади. Немецкие истребители обычно опасались в одиночку нападать на эти машины.
  На некоторых FE.2b ставили еще и третий пулемет "Льюис" или "Виккерс", жестко закрепленный в курсовом положении на правом борту гондолы. Эти машины предназначались для атак наземных целей.
  Первый дивизион, вооруженный FE.2b, прибыл на западный фронт в мае 1915 г. Более года эта машина считалась наиболее хорошо вооруженным аэропланом британских ВВС. Но появление новых немецких истребителей "Альбатрос", "Роланд" и "Хальберштадт" быстро положило конец ее истребительной карьере.
  Весной 1917-го FE.2 переклассифицировали в ночной бомбардировщик. В этом качестве самолет поднимал более 150 кг бомб и применялся до конца войны. Некоторые машины использовались в качестве ночных истребителей ПВО, но из-за низкой скороподъемности они не добились каких либо успехов на этом поприще.
  К моменту подписания перемирия в ноябре 1918-го на вооружении RAF оставалось еще около 500 FE.2b.


МОДИФИКАЦИИ

  F.E.2a - первые 12 экземпляров с двигателем "Грин", рядный шестицилиндровый, жидкостного охлаждения, 100 л.с. Вооружение: 1 подвижный "Льюис" на шкворневой установке для стрельбы в передней полусфере.
  F.E.2b - основная серия, с двигателем "Бердмор", 120 или 160 л.с. Разработан в августе 1914 года. Вооружение: 1-2 подвижных 7,69-мм "Льюиса" для стрельбы вперед и назад поверх крыла. Шасси с передним противокапотажным колесом. Наиболее массовая модификация машины. Сделано 1484 штуки.
  F.E.2c - "ночная" модификация, кабина пилота размещена спереди для улучшения обзора при посадке. Серийно не строился.
  F.E.2d - последняя серия с двигателем Роллс Ройс "Игл", 250 л.с. и новой системой охлаждения. Размах крыльев увеличен до 14,94 м. Начиная с июля 1916-го построено 300 штук на фирме "Болтон энд Пол" и 87 - на заводе RAF. Вооружение аналогично F.E.2b (+ 1 фиксированный курсовой "Виккерс" или "Льюис").


ЛЕТНО-ТЕХНИЧЕСКИЕ ХАРАКТЕРИСТИКИ
(RAF F.E.2b)

  Размах, м 14,56
  Длина, м 9,84
  Высота, м 3,85
  Площадь крыла, кв.м 46,00
  Сухой вес, кг 962
  Взлетный вес, кг 1376
  Двигатель "Бердмор"
   мощность, л.с. 120
  Скорость максимальная, км/ч 129
  Скорость подъема на высоту
   2000 м, мин.сек 13,00
  Дальность полета, км 440
  Потолок, м 2740
  Экипаж, чел 2
  Вооружение 1-2 пулемета


А.Шепс Самолеты Первой мировой войны. Страны Антанты


RAF F.E.2 1914 г.

  Самолет проектировался еще до начала войны как разведчик и легкий бомбардировщик при участии Де Хевилленда. С началом войны самолет версии F.E.2а начал поступать в дивизионы RFC.
  Достаточно мощный двигатель позволил при установке пулемета использовать машину для борьбы с самолетами противника. Основная модель самолета - F.E.2b - стала истребителем. Этот самолет состоял на вооружении истребительных дивизионов RFC до конца 1916 - начала 1917 года. Затем оставшиеся машины передали в разведывательные дивизионы.
  F.E.2 был ферменный трехстоечный биплан цельнодеревянной конструкции, выполненный по схеме самолетов "Фарман". В носовой части гондолы была кабина стрелка-наблюдателя и пулемет на турели. Далее находилась кабина пилота, перед ней иногда монтировался на шворневой установке пулемет для стрельбы вверх-назад над крылом. В хвостовой части гондолы закреплялся рядный двигатель жидкостного охлаждения. Радиаторы охлаждения устанавливались перед двигателем по бокам гондолы. Ферма изготавливалась из стальных труб с деревянными стойками и растяжками из стального троса.
  Крылья двухлонжеронные, цельнодеревянной конструкции, обтянутые полотном. Оба крыла оборудовались элеронами. Стойки бипланной коробки деревянные, растяжки - стальной трос. Горизонтальное оперение устанавливалось по верхнему поясу ферм и имело конструкцию, аналогичную крылу. Вертикальное оперение без киля, цельнодеревянное, над стабилизатором устанавливался дополнительный форкиль. Шасси двухколесное с резиново-шнуровой амортизацией. Управление рулями и элеронами тросовое. Двигатель (на основной версии) 6-цилиндровый, рядный, жидкостного охлаждения "Бердмор".
  Всего построено 1939 самолетов всех модификаций.


Модификации

  F.E.2a - первые 12 экземпляров с двигателем "Грин" мощностью 100 л. с. без вооружения.
  F.E.2b - основная серия, с двигателем "Бердмор" мощностью от 120 до 150 л. с., вооруженная 1-2 7,69-мм пулеметами "Льюис". Шасси с передним противокапотажным колесом.
  F.E.2d - последняя серия с двигателем "Роллс-Ройс" "Игл" мощностью 250 л. с. и новой системой охлаждения.


В.Шавров История конструкций самолетов в СССР до 1938 г.


Разведчик FE-2b - двухместный разведчик образца 1915 г., трехстоечный биплан толкающей схемы с хвостовой фермой. Двигатель - "Грин" в 73 л. с. Имелось 7 самолетов. Характерный признак самолета - небольшое переднее противокапотажное колесо, соединенное с осью главных колес. Костыль обычный. Ход главных колес был необычно большой. По схеме самолет соответствовал "Вуазенам", которым уступал в летных качествах из-за недостаточно мощного двигателя. Вооружение отсутствовало. Применялся как учебный до 1923 г.


Самолет||FE-2B
Год выпуска||1915
Двигатель , марка||<Грин>
   мощность, л. с.||73
Длина самолета, м||9,9
Размах крыла, м||14,5
Площадь крыла, м2||45,8
Масса пустого, кг||850
Масса топлива+ масла, кг||107+17
Масса полной нагрузки, кг||320
Полетная масса, кг||1170
Удельная нагрузка на крыло, кг/м2||25,6
Удельная нагрузка на мощность, кг/лс||12,6
Весовая отдача,%||27
Скорость максимальная у земли, км/ч||90
Время набора высоты||
   1000м, мин||15
   2000м, мин||35
Потолок практический, м||3000
Продолжительность полета, ч.||4


P.Hare Royal Aircraft Factory (Putnam)


F.E.2a

  In mid-1914 work was begun on a new version of the pusher format, incorporating lessons learned from the previous F.E. designs and intended, from the start, to carry a Lewis gun. Larger and heavier than the 1913 F.E.2 from which it was derived, the F.E.2a was designed to be powered by the six-cylinder, 100hp water-cooled Green engine which had won the Patrick Alexander Engine Competition, recently hosted by the Royal Aircraft Factory. The outer wing panels were again identical to those of the B.E.2, but this time were taken from the newest variant, the B.E.2c, and therefore incorporated ailerons. These wings were fixed to a centre-section which extended outboard to pairs of interplane struts at the tailboom attachment points, thus giving a three-bay wing structure. The tailplane was mounted on the upper tailbooms and wire-braced from a triangular kingpost which was fabric covered to provide fin area. Further fin area was provided by increasing the chord of the rearmost vertical struts between the tailbooms, and the rudder was aerodynamically balanced. The trailing edge of the wide centre-section was hinged for use as an airbrake, and the undercarriage had oleo legs and a small buffer nosewheel.
  In the atmosphere of urgency which followed the outbreak of war a batch of twelve F.E.2as was ordered off the drawing board. The first of these, 2864, made its first flight on 26 January 1915, piloted by Frank Goodden. Unfortunately the Green engine proved to be far too heavy for its power output, and it was therefore decided to substitute the 120hp Austro-Daimler which William Beardmore was by then building under licence in the company's own name. The first F.E.2a thus powered was flown, again by Goodden, on 16 March, and was found to be so much improved that the Beardmore engine was adopted for all the uncompleted F.E.2as. However, delays in engine production resulted in consequent delays in the completion of the aeroplanes, and deliveries dragged on all through the summer of 1915.
  The last of the twelve, 5648, was delivered on 5 October. This machine differed from the rest in having a conventional vee-strut undercarriage and wings of R.A.F.14 aerofoil section instead of the R.A.F.6 of earlier machines, reflecting a similar change made to the B.E.2c. The flap-type airbrake was omitted from this machine as it was seldom, if ever, used by service pilots. An experimental braking parachute system which was tested during the spring of 1915 similarly found no favour, particularly as the landing run was not excessive anyway, and was not adopted for general use. This was, however, the first recorded use of such a device.
  All twelve F.E.2as saw service with the RFC in France, and were among the few adequately armed aeroplanes that the force possessed. Had the type been available sooner and in greater numbers the struggle for command of the air might have been very different.

  Powerplant:
   100hp eight-cylinder Green
   120hp six-cylinder Austro-Daimler (Beardmore)
  Dimensions:
   span 47ft 9in
   chord 5ft 6in;
   gap 6ft 3 1/2in;
   wing area 494sqft;
   incidence (R.A.F.6) 3 1/2°;
   length 32ft 3in;
   height 12ft 7 1/2in.
  Weights:
   1,993lb (empty);
   2,680lb (loaded)
  Performance:
   max speed
   (100hp) 75mph at sea level;
   (120hp) 80mph at sea level;
   ceiling 6,000ft;
   climb: 8 1/4min to 3,000ft.


F.E.2b

  Clearly impressed with the warlike potential of the first F.E.2a, the War Office ordered its mass production by a number of contractors. These mass-produced machines differed from the F.E.2a in a number of ways intended either to improve performance or to simplify production, and were therefore designated F.E.2b to distinguish them from the earlier model. The upper centre-section was revised to eliminate the airbrake, which was not actually used in service, and the fully streamlined underwing gravity tank was replaced by a simpler unit which was easier to produce yet did not cause any significant loss of performance.
  The drawings were quickly amended for issue to contractors, enabling the first F.E.2b, 5201 built by Boulton & Paul, to be delivered in October 1915, concurrently with the last of the F.E.2as.
  Early examples were powered by the 120hp Beardmore engine and had wings of R.A.F.6 aerofoil section rigged at an incidence of 3 1/2°. Wings of R.A.F. 14 section were substituted early in 1916, following their introduction for the B.E.2c, and resulted in generally improved performance, although the rate of climb at altitudes above 5,000ft suffered slightly owing to the increased angle of incidence required by the new wings.
  A need for increased endurance, combined with the adoption of the uprated and therefore thirstier Beardmore engine (which had an increased cylinder bore and gave 160hp), led, in March 1916, to the provision of an additional eighteen-gallon tank under the pilot's seat.
  A variety of mountings were tried for the observer's Lewis gun, each giving an excellent field of fire forwards and to the sides, but defence against attack from behind depended upon the observer/gunner being sufficiently brave to stand up in the full force of the slipstream and fire backwards over the upper wing. Flights of the big pushers, known officially as 'Battleplanes' and affectionately as 'Fees', roamed the skies over the lines on 'offensive patrol', thus offering some protection to the unarmed reconnaissance machines and taking the war to the enemy in accordance with the beliefs of Brig-Gen Trenchard, Commander of the RFC in France. Their presence did much to combat the 'Fokker scourge' for, although they lacked sufficient speed to chase and catch the enemy fighters, they were formidable opponents once battle had been joined.
  An effort was made to improve the F.E.2b's performance by replacing the efficient but fairly massive oleo undercarriage by a simple vee-strut structure similar to that common to other aeroplanes, such an installation having previously been made to the last of the F.E.2as. Although this modification obviously reduced drag and thereby effected a small but useful increase in speed and climb, the improvement was achieved at the expense of the machine's previous ease of landing, and the change was not universally popular within the RFC, being particularly unwelcome among the less experienced pilots. However, Lt Trafford Jones of 20 Squadron later devised a modification to the oleo undercarriage which greatly reduced its drag by eliminating the 'buffer' nosewheel, together with the struts needed to support it, while retaining its strength and efficiency. This simple modification was therefore adopted for all future F.E.2bs, and at the same time the lower longerons were changed from spruce to ash, presumably to increase their strength, because the landing shocks were less dispersed than with the original undercarriage.
  By the middle of 1916 the role of the F.E.2b began to change as it became outdated as a fighter. The generous lift of its broad wings prompted its adoption as a bomber, a duty in which it continued throughout the war, switching to nocturnal operations as it became too far outclassed for daytime use. In this role its vee-strut undercarriage was found to be a definite advantage, as it allowed sufficient clearance for a 230lb bomb to be carried beneath the nacelle, which the oleo version did not.
  Constant problems with the Beardmore engine, which often needed a complete overhaul after only a few hours' flying, led to the experimental installation of the only available alternative, the 150hp R.A.F.5, F.E.2b - 6360 being so equipped in March 1916. However, the reduction in power cannot have enhanced the machine's already outdated performance, and no service machines were thus powered.
  Experiments with the F.E.2b's armament continued throughout the war. A number had their nacelles modified to accommodate a quick-firing Vickers one-pounder together with a belt of forty shells, and a handful of such machines saw active service, being used in particular for attacks upon road and rail transport.
  In October 1916 one example, 4928, was fitted with a small searchlight mounted on the undercarriage near to the nosewheel, the power being supplied by a propeller-driven generator mounted on the nose of the nacelle. An installalion of a larger light was made on A781 in March 1917. This light had two Lewis guns attached to it, and was mounted on the machine's nose, where it could be aimed by the observer. In this case the necessary generator was suspended below the front of the nacelle. Although they were designed with the intention of equipping the F.E.2b as a night fighter, these installations can only have been regarded as experimental, and neither was adopted for wider use.
  Another experimental installation which was not adopted for service use was a device intended to deflect the cables of barrage balloons. This comprised a 'bowsprit' projecting from the nacelle, from which a stout cable extended to each wingtip. The aircraft thus equipped was deliberately flown into suspended wires by Roderic Hill, but a number of mishaps caused the tests to be discontinued before a fatality occurred.
  A proposal, made in April 1918, that the F.E.2b should be used for anti-submarine patrols (the role for which the C.E.1 had previously been designed), led to the development of emergency flotation bags, fastened below the nacelle, for use if an engine failure forced such a machine to ditch into the sea. Trials, which included at least two ditchings, were successfully conducted at the Isle of Grain but, perhaps fortunately, there is no record of any pilot having to deploy the bags 'in anger'.
  Use of the F.E.2b ceased almost immediately upon the signing of the Armistice, although one was retained at the RAE as a test vehicle until some time in 1924.
  Only one example, D3822, found its way on to the civil register, spending a few years as G-EAHC with the Bournemouth Aviation Comany, giving joy rides.

  Powerplant: 120hp six-cylinder (Beardmore) (later 160hp)
  Dimensions: As F.E.2a.
  Weights:
   120hp 1,9931b (empty); 2,9671b (loaded).
   160hp 2,0611b (empty); 3,0371b (loaded).
  Performance:
   120 hp
   max speed 80mph at sea level;
   ceiling 9,000ft;
   climb: 9min 50sec to 3,000ft.
   160hp
   max speed 88mph at sea level;
   92mph with vee undercarriage;
   ceiling: 11,000ft;
   climb 7min24sec to 3,000ft;
   endurance 3hrs.


F.E.2c

  The first machine to bear the designation F.E.2c was built as an F.E.2a (possibly either 5644 or 5646), and had the crew positions reversed to place the pilot in front but was otherwise of normal configuration. This modification was apparently made to improve the pilot's view, particularly for night landings, but the change so restricted the observer's field of fire that the idea met with little favour from its intended users, a situation which the provision of a forward-firing Lewis gun for the pilot did little to improve.
  At the same time, October 1915, the Factory was adapting a number of production F.E.2bs to the new configuration and, in view of the pilot's disapproval, work was stopped when only two, 6370 and 6371, had been converted. The former machine was retained at Farnborough for continued trials, but 6371 was sent to France in April 1917, possibly in the erroneous belief that it was a standard F.E.2b, and served briefly with 22 Squadron before being written off in a crash in July.
  The final appearance of the type was made late in 1917, when six F.E.2bs were converted to the 'c' configuration, with the pilot's cockpits in front, and served with 100 Squadron. They were probably equipped with Vickers quick-firing guns.

  Dimensions: As F.E.2b.


F.E.2d

  In what now seems to have been an almost desperate attempt to improve the performance of the sturdy but somewhat sluggish F.E.2b, a new variant, designated F.E.2d, was designed early in 1916, powered by the 250hp Rolls-Royce Eagle V-12 engine. The airframe remained unaltered except for those detail changes necessary to accommodate the new engine, but the fuel system was modified to allow the storage of an additional twelve gallons of petrol.
  The prototype, 7995, was completed, ready for inspection, by 4 April 1916, and flew for the first time three days later with Frank Goodden at the controls. Although the massive increase in power brought about only a small increase in top speed, and manoeuvrability and landing speed were adversely affected, the rate of climb and service ceiling were sufficiently improved to justify its adoption, especially as the Beardmore engine normally used in the F.E.2b was far from reliable. Production was therefore undertaken at the Royal Aircraft Factory and by Boulton & Paul of Norwich.
  The Factory seems to have worked with commendable dispatch, and A 1, the first of a batch of forty machines, was completed by the end of May. The last machine was delivered by the end of August.
  To facilitate the removal of the massive engine from its mounting, surrounded by tailbooms and bracing wires, the Factory designed a portable hoist with which the engine could be lifted clear and lowered to the ground or on to a bench.
  The radiator designed for use with the Rolls-Royce engine was found, in practice, to be too large, resulting in excessive cooling. Although shutters, operated by the pilot, went some way towards alleviating the problem, they relied principally on his intuition for correct operation, and provided a distraction which was wholly unwelcome in a combat aircraft. The final solution turned out to be remarkably simple; the radiator previously used for the Beardmore engine was substituted, but installed without the cowlings fitted to the earlier variants so that it received the full effect of the airflow. Shutters were still fitted to allow a faster warm-up, especially during colder weather.
  The modification to the oleo undercarriage which eliminated the nosewheel, and which was already in use on the lower-powered F.E.2b, was tested on the '2d' towards the end of August 1916, and was adopted for all new machines with effect from 15 October.
  Unfortunately the German air force became familiar with the new machine almost as quickly as did the RFC, for A5, one of the first F.E.2ds to go to France, was ferried across the Channel by an inexperienced crew and inadvertently landed, without serious damage, on the wrong side of the lines, near Lille, effectively making a present of it to the enemy.
  The F.E.2d had originally been conceived as a stopgap until the problems with the 160hp Beardmore engine could be resolved, and some machines, ordered as Rolls-Royce-powered '2ds' were actually completed with the smaller engine. The type continued in service, alongside its forebear, the far more numerous F.E.2b, and many other, newer designs until the end of the war.
  In April 1917 work was started on the design of a seaplane version of the F.E.2d, but before much work had been done the scheme was dropped in favour of the C.E.1 project.

  Powerplant: 250hp Rolls-Royce Eagle V-12
  Dimensions:
   span 47ft 9in;
   chord 5ft 6in;
   gap 6ft 3 1/2in;
   wing area 494 sq ft;
   length 32ft 3in;
   height 12ft 7 1/2in.
  Weights: 2,5091b (empty); 3,4691b (loaded).
  Performance:
   max speed 97mph at sea level;
   ceiling 17,000ft;
   climb 6min to 3,000ft; 14 1/2min to 6,000ft;
   endurance 3 1/2hrs.


F.E.2e,f,g&h

  Although relatively few details survive of the variants to which these designations were applied, it is recorded that the F.E.2h was a standard F.E.2b or d modified to accept the 230hp Siddley Puma in an effort to conserve stocks of the Rolls-Royce Eagle, which was in great demand for other designs, while producing an aeroplane of equivalent performance.
  The prototype was produced late in 1917 by the conversion of an existing F.E.2d, A6545, the actual work being undertaken by Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies. Testing at Martlesham Heath, with both vee and oleo undercarriages, was undertaken early in 1918, and proved that the new variant's performance was little better than that of the F.E.2b and much lower than that of the Eagle powered F.E.2d. Nevertheless, three more Boulton & Paul-built machines, A6501-6503, were converted to the Puma engine, the work again being undertaken by Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies. These were renumbered E3151-3153, and were tested at the Isle of Grain armed with the recoilless six-pounder Davis gun.
  Various other engine installations were tested, including the R.A.F.5, and all failed to find approval. It is believed that the remaining designations were to have been applied to these machines if they were placed into production, thereby forestalling the confusion which had arisen with the early B.E.2es.

  Powerplant: 230hp six-cylinder Siddeley Puma
  Dimensions: As F.E.2d.
  Weights: 2,2801b (empty); 3,3551b (loaded).
  Performance:
   max speed 93mph at sea level;
   ceiling 14,000ft;
   climb 11 1/2min to 6,000ft;


O.Thetford Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 (Putnam)


F.E. 2b

  First introduced as a two-seat fighter on the Western Front in January 1916, the F.E. 2b was later used extensively for night bombing and on 1 April 1918 remained in service for this work with Nos. 38, 83, 100, 101, 102, 148 and 149 Squadrons as well as with Nos. 191, 192, 199 and 200 Squadrons for night training. One 120 or 160-h.p. Beardmore engine. Loaded weight, 3,037 lb. Max. speed, 81 m.p.h. at 6,500 ft. Climb, 210ft. min. Service ceiling, 11 000 ft. Span, 47 ft. 9 in. Length, 32 ft 3in.


F.Manson British Bomber Since 1914 (Putnam)


Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2B Bomber

  The venerable F.E.2 (Farman Experimental) was originally flown long before the War, and production examples of the first variant, the F.E.2A, were sent to France in January 1915 - the first British aeroplanes designed for air combat to reach the RFC. As such the F.E.2A was to shoulder much of the early responsibility for defence against the Fokker monoplane scouts over the Western Front, a brave but largely ineffective defence owing to the aircraft's deficiencies in performance and agility.
  When British purpose-designed dogfighters, beginning with the Airco D.H.2, began arriving in France, some of the pressure was removed from the F.E.2As and 2Bs - the latter with 120hp Beardmore engines - and the opportunity was taken to investigate the possibility of operating the F.E.2B at night, and No 6 Squadron flew a number of night patrols from Abeele, confirming that the aircraft was indeed suitable for night operations, provided that the outrigged nosewheel was removed; to begin with, however, the oleo struts were retained, until these were replaced by plain V-struts. Late production F.E.2Bs were powered by the 160hp Beardmore, but this engine initially proved unpopular owing to unreliability.
  By the spring of 1916 a new generation of German fighting scouts had started appearing over the Front, and new efforts were made to find a substantially more powerful engine for the F.E.2, and the choice fell upon the new 250hp Rolls-Royce, soon to be named the Eagle. The version thus powered, the F.E.2D, entered production in March and the first example to be dispatched left for France on 30 June, only to be captured intact by the Germans later that day when its pilot landed at Lille in mistake for St Omer.
  This aircraft had been intended for No 20 Squadron at Clairmarais, and subsequent deliveries were safely made during the following month, the Squadron being engaged in converting from the F.E.2B during the Battle of the Somme. No 57 Squadron, also flying the F.E.2D, arrived in France during December that year, and No 25 Squadron converted in March 1917.
  By then, however, it was recognized that the slower F.E.2B was fatally vulnerable in daylight operations, and it was No 6 Squadron, drawing on its previous night flying experience, which flew the first significant night bombing sorties on the night of 16/17 November 1916, when four aircraft, each carrying three 100 lb bombs, took off to attack targets of opportunity - and achieved notable success against enemy rail targets.
  With a relatively large number of F.E.2B squadrons now in service (and a shortage of Rolls-Royce engines threatening early in 1917), the decision was taken to retain the 2B in service as a night bomber, a role it continued to perform for the remainder of the War. On the other hand, the F.E.2D (of which very few were ever flown with bombs) was withdrawn from front-line service before the end of 1917.
  Results of the early night attacks by No 6 Squadron were examined closely by the War Office, and the first dedicated night bombing Squadron to be equipped with F.E.2Bs was No 100, which was formed at Hingham in Norfolk on 23 Februarv 1917 and moved to France the following month, where it was placed under the direct command of RFC HQ. The aircraft flown by this Squadron featured the plain V-strut undercarriage, without oleos, as standard, for this configuration permitted the aircraft to carry a 230 lb RL bomb, whereas the gear with oleos did not.
  During the first week of July No 100 Squadron twice raided targets at Douai, location of a German fighter aerodrome and, during an attack on the night of the 7th/8th included a pair o f newly-arrived F E.2Bs each armed with a single Vickers one-pounder quick-firing gun. Although these guns, which continued to be used for about three months, were found to be quite effective so long as they continued firing, any stoppage that occurred could not be rectified in the air; there was also a danger that spent shell cases could foul the propeller. Aircraft armed with the one-pounder (also flown by No 102 Squadron) were distinguishable by the side-by-side disposition of the crew, the gunner being seated to the right of the pilot.
  In August No 100 Squadron was heavily engaged during the battles of Messines and Ypres, dropping four-and-a-half tons of bombs in attacks on Mouveaux aerodrome and on railway targets at Comincs, Courtrai, Menin and Roulers on the night of the 16th/17th. This series of raids presaged a continuing bomber offensive that lasted through the autumn and winter, and was joined by the bomb-carrying F.E.2Bs of Nos 58,83,101,102,148 and 149 Squadrons although, with Trenchard's creation of the 41st Wing for the strategic bombing of German industrial targets, No 100 Squadron, itself coming to be regarded as the spearhead of the RFC's night bombing effort, was transferred to the new force on 11 October 1917. Its first major attack with the Wing was flown on the 24th of that month, when fourteen F.E.2Bs accompanied nine naval Handley Page O/100s to bomb the Burbach factory near Saarbruchen.
  As early as January 1917 it had been assumed that, with the F.E.2B's approaching obsolescence, its value as a bomber would be short-lived, and for several months its production was allowed to run down, and would have ceased altogether by the end of that year had not No 100 Squadron's early successes suggested that the F.E.2B represented an economical, and by all accounts effective bombing weapon by night. Therefore, as new squadrons were about to be formed and others transferred to the night bombing role, new orders were placed for F.E.2B production - so much so that as late as the third quarter of 1918 its production rate was still accelerating. Indeed, at the date of the Armistice, the venerable pusher bomber was still serving with six front- line squadrons, while a further six were training on the type in the United Kingdom.
  That the F.E.2B was outdated long before the end of the War is undeniable, and it was quite fortuitous that the art of night fighting was still in its infancy, so that bombing by night could be, and was performed with some impunity by both sides. Yet the old pusher aeroplane demonstrated a number of important attributes that recommended it for such operations: it possessed docile handling qualities and was straightforward to land at night, and with the engine located aft the crew was afforded an excellent field of view, unimpeded by exhaust flash. With generous wing area and ample power, it could lift a 230 lb bomb or, perhaps surprisingly, as many as fourteen 25 lb bombs (The actual weight of the Cooper '20-pounder' with fragmentation case) - the latter a most appropriate armoury for use against diffuse targets such as trains and other troop transport.

  Type: Single pusher engine, two-seat, three-bay biplane as employed as a night bomber.
  Manufacturers: The Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough, Hampshire; Boulton & Paul Ltd, Norwich, Norfolk; Richard Garrett & Sons, Leiston, Suffolk; Ransome, Sims & Jefferies, Ipswich, Suffolk; G & J Weir, Cathcart, Glasgow.
  Powerplant: F.E.2B as bomber. 120hp or 160hp Beardmore six-cylinder, water-cooled, inline engine driving four-blade pusher propeller. F.E.2D. One 225hp Rolls-Royce (Eagle I).
  Dimensions: Span, 47ft 9in; length, 32ft 3in; height, 12ft 7 1/2 in; wing area, 494 sq ft.
  Weights (160hp Beardmore): Tare, 2,061 lb; all-up, 3,037 lb.
  Performance (160hp Beardmore): Max speed, 91.5 mph at sea level, 76 mph at 10,000ft; climb to 10,000ft, 39 min 44 sec; service ceiling, 11,000ft.
  Armament (as a bomber): Usually a single 0.303in Lewis machine gun, bracket-mounted on the front cockpit. 160hp Beardmore-powered night bombers could carry up to three 112 lb bombs when flown as single-seaters, or one 230 lb bomb when flown as two-seaters; combinations of smaller bombs were sometimes carried, equivalent to these bomb loads.
  Production: Total number of F.E.2Bs converted or built and flown as bombers is not known (some sources give the total as about 860). The following figures refer to the entire new production of F.E.2Bs and F.E.2Ds (1,810 aircraft). Royal Aircraft Factory, 137 (Nos 6328-6377 [Bs], No 7995 [D], A1-A40 [Ds], A1932-A1966 [Ds], A5143-A5152 [Ds] and A8950 [B]); Boulton & Paul, 550 (Nos 5201-5250 [Bs], 6928-7027 (Bs), 7666-7715 [Bs], A6351-A6600 [Ds], B1851-B1900 |Ds] and A5438-A5487 [Bs]); Garrett, 60 (D3776-D3835 (Bs]); Ransome, Sims & Jefferies, 250 (B401-B500, C9786-C9835 and D9900-D9999, all Bs); Weir, 650 (Nos 4838-4937, A778-A877, A5500-A5649, A5650-A5799 and D9081-D9230, all Bs); constructors not known (probably R.A.F., Farnborough), 163 (Nos 4938-5000 and E7037-E7163, all Bs). Bomber conversions are known to have been made in almost all the above batches.
  Summary of Service: F.E.2Bs operated regularly as night bombers with Nos 58, 83, 100, 101, 102, 148 and 149 Squadrons, RFC and RAF, and with No 3 Naval Wing, RNAS, in France. They were also flown by numerous other squadrons over the Western Front on short-range bombing-reconnaissance attacks.


H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)


F.E.2a. A single Lewis gun was the armament of this fighter/reconnaissance two-seater, first constructed in 1915. The gun was mounted on a tubular arm, pivoted to the floor of the front cockpit. The underside of the nacelle was armoured and an angular tubular framework built over the nose may have afforded protection for the aircraft structure against misdirected fire from the gun.

F.E.2b. To the single pillar-mounted Lewis gun of the F.E.2a, which had an arc of fire of about 180 degrees, there was added, as a more or less standard fitment on the F.E.2b, a second Lewis gun on a telescopic pillar mounting between the cockpits. In order to man this gun, the gunner stood on the cupboard which contained spare parts and miscellanea and fired rearwards above the pilot's head. The pilot could fly with one hand and operate the rear gun with the other. Sometimes two pillar-mounted guns were installed between the cockpits. When the pillar or pillars were fully extended, the gunner's insteps were on the upper rim of the plywood-covered nacelle. An F.E. gunner was almost as much acrobat as marksman. Arch Whitehouse recalls of one energetic occasion:
  'By the time we were back opposite Arras, the empty gun drums were rattling around the bottom of my nacelle and the canvas bag bolted to the side of my gun to catch the empty cartridges was jammed to its capacity.'
  In the spring of 1916 an experimental insiallation was made of a Vickers 1-pounder 'Pom-pom', of the type which had been used in the Boer War, and two aircraft having this armament were delivered about a year later to No. 100 Squadron for ground-attack work. No. 102 Squadron used the same armament. Among difficulties encountered were malfunctioning of the gun, the fierce recoil - which on one occasion at least snapped the engine holding-down bolts - and the shell cases which were blown back into the airscrew. The Pom-pom gunner sat to the pilot's right and could elevate or depress the gun in a slot formed in the nacelle. A special form of sight appears to have been fitted on a fore-and-aft tube on top of the nacelle. A few F.E.2bs used for Home Defence had a Pom-pom gun; two had a 0.45-in Maxim gun, and some had a Lewis gun on a n Anderson mounting. This type of mounting comprised a tubular inverted-U member braced to the nacelle and having a central pivoted pillar to which the gun was attached. At Farnborough early in 1917 an installation was made of two Lewis guns, one fixed to each side of a Harle searchlight for simultaneous training. There was also an installation of twin-yoked Lewis guns without the light. Some Home Defence F.E.2bs were single-seaters, either with the front cockpit faired over or with a special top decking. One or two fixed Lewis guns sometimes formed the armament and there were instances of a Lewis gun on a normal telescopic mounting. In training units a Scarff ring-mounting was tilted.
  Good load-carrying ability, tractability and field of view made the F.E.2b an attractive proposition as a bomber. A single 230-lb bomb could be carried, but two of 112 lb was a commoner load. Three 112-lb bombs could be lifted. Other types of bomb carried were of 100 lb (anti-submarine F.E.2bs carried two), 40-lb Phosphorus and 20 lb, the last-named up to fourteen in number. One identified load was one 112-lb + eight 20-lb. Bomb rails were fitted under the lower inner wings and fuselage, and a C.F.S. bombsight was mounted at the starboard side of the pilot's cockpit. The F.E.2bs of No. 149 Squadron were adaptable for bombing or reconnaissance, having special carriers designed by one of the squadron mechanics to take bombs or Michelin flares without modification.

F.E.2c. In this relatively little known F.E. variant the crew positions were transposed and the shape of the nacelle was much modified. The pilot sat considerably aft of the nose, and a Lewis gun was mounted low in the nacelle ahead of him. This gun could be trained by the pilot over a limited arc in conjunction with a sighting bar forward of the windscreen. A second Lewis gun, worked by the observer, was fitted on an Anderson mounting behind the pilot's seat. Some parts of the nacelle were armoured.
  One F.E.2c was fitted with an experimental gun mounting of unknown type and another was used for gyroscope tests, though whether these were in connection with bombsight development is not known.
  The designation F.E.2c was also applied to a version of the F.E.2b bomber with transposed crew stations.

F.E.2d. The F.E.2d and its armament are epitomised in the following excerpts from two memorable articles by W, C. Cambray. M C , (No.20 Squadron) which appeared in Flight International during December 1968 under the title 'We Stood lo Fight':
  'On joining the unit I became friendly with a Canadian observer, and we found ourselves greatly impressed by the F.E.2d biplane and its armament - 250 h.p. Rolls-Royce engine, 47 ft wing span, three Lewis guns, a camera, eight Cooper 20-lb bombs and 1.000 rounds of ammunition (one in every three of them tracer). We realised immediately that to stay alive we must become 100 per cent familiar with the machine. We spent much time in jumping from the front gun to the rear gun, standing up in the cockpit to fire over the back and then jumping down again. We practised, also, lying on the range with loaded Lewis guns by our sides, and at a shout of "Now!" seeing who could fire at the target first. This, I think, was one good reason why we both managed to survive the experiences that were to follow.
  'As No.20 was mainly a fighter squadron an observer quite often went west during his first encounter. If he was lucky enough to return he was good for one more; and if he returned after three fights he was so experienced that, with luck, he would last six months and return to England for Home Establishment. But the proportion who thus returned was indeed small.
  'The usual perch for the observer was on the side of the cockpit, always on the watch above and to the rear. As leader of a patrol my pilot would instruct other pilots in the formation of three, five or eight to keep close "but not too damned close, for fear of collision". I well remember a dog-fight in which another machine passed over us so close that I could have reached up and touched it; a nasty thought, for we had no parachutes.
  'The enemy usually collected a formation of six, then perhaps an additional eight, and when there were about 20 of theirs to five of ours they would come close in to attack. 1 would thereupon fire a red Very light, which told our formation we were going to fight.
  'We would then go round and round in a big circle, each pilot following the tail of the man in front, and always making the whole circle approach gradually closer to our own lines Should a Hun dive to attack, the observer of one machine in the circle would fire his top gun and the observer of the next machine would use his front gun, so that at any given time the attacker would have two guns firing at him.
  'A close understanding between pilot and observer was essential. On one occasion I was with a new but good - pilot who had not previously been in a fight. We were flying in a formation of only three aircraft when we became engaged in a brief but rather exciting encounter. A Hun dived from our rear and I could see his tracer bullets going under us as I stood up firing over the tail. I signalled to the pilot to throw the machine about to get rid of him; but, to my surprise, he did only a simple aerodrome-style turn. The Hun climbed again and made another attack, and this time I was fortunate enough to hit him and see him going down out of control while we did a second aerodrome turn. On returning to the squadron I asked my pilot in no uncertain terms why he had not thrown the machine all over the place. "I was afraid I'd chuck you out," he answered. I replied that it was my job to slay in. A very minor incident, perhaps, but one illustrating the necessity of close cooperation.
  'Our ceiling was 17.500 ft and we did our best to get there, because the anti-aircraft fire was pretty accurate; but a little drift to the left, a little to the right and an occasional about-turn kept us reasonably safe. On the odd occasion the machine would give an appreciable lift as air was displaced by a passing shell that eventually burst well above us. At this height, with no oxygen, of course, the moving from one gun to the other was quite an exertion and made one pant a good deal.
  'A useful manoeuvre in dog-fights was the Immelmann turn, but it could be disconcerting when the machine hung momentarily on one wing-tip and everything, including the observer, started to fall out of it. However, the F.E.2d usually scooped everything up in the nick of time and all was in order again. Which reminds me that another pilot and I decided to try to loop one of these machines. We had arranged for it to be rigged tail-light to help it to get over, and we intended to strap ourselves well and truly in. However, the pilot was killed before we could try; and nobody else was game - which, on mature consideration, was probably just as well.
  'Bombing was something of an experience, as it was necessary to fly over the target once to set the bomb sight and a second time to release the bombs. We loaded our 20-lb Cooper bombs four under each wing. They were released by pulling a Bowden cable in the pilot's cockpit; as they fell away their wind vanes would rotate, making them live before reaching the ground.
  'There was the odd occasion when the bomb fell forward but was caught by its tail in the rack. The vane began to rotate, and soon the bomb was live. The observer would signal the pilot to throw the machine about, and it was then a relief to see the bomb fall clear.
  'At one time we were told we would have Bristol Fighters to replace the F.E.2ds. We were not at all pleased, as the pusher's rear-mounted engine gave the Hun something to fire into and was a protection for the pilot and observer. The Bristol, being a tractor machine, made the observer feel he was rather easy meal.'
  It remains to add to the foregoing stirring account that of the three Lewis guns mentioned one was fixed for the pilot's use, as shown in a photograph. Sometimes two fixed guns were fitted, and there was also an installation of twin pillar mountings in the nose of the nacelle, also illustrated. The '1.000 rounds' of ammunition mentioned would comprise ten 97-round drums.


M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)


Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing


W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters


ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY F.E.2A & F.E.2B UK

  Sharing little more than its configuration with the F.E.2 flown at Famborough in 1913, the F.E.2a appeared early in 1915 and was designed to provide the RFC with an armed reconnaissance aircraft. It was a large three-bay biplane, using a flat centre section and outer panels that were identical with those of the B.E.2c (which see), and incorporating dihedral. A short nacelle carried the observer/gunner in the nose ahead of the pilot, and the pusher engine. The tail unit was carried by four booms extending aft from the wings and comprised a large tailplane with elevators, a kidney-shaped rudder and small triangular fin above the tailplane. A small nose-wheel was provided ahead of the oleo-strutted main wheels to help prevent nosing over, and the whole of the upper wing centre section trailing-edge aft of the rear spar was hinged for use as a flap-cum-airbrake. Armament normally comprised a 0.303-in (7,7-mm) Lewis machine gun in the front cockpit on one of several alternative mounts. The first F.E.2a flew on 26 January 1915 with a 100 hp Green six-cylinder inline water-cooled engine but proved underpowered and the 120 hp Austro-Daimler built under licence by Beardmore became the standard for 11 more F.E.2a’s and early production examples of the F.E.2b. The latter was the ”productionised” version with the Beardmore engine, trailing-edge flap deleted, simplified fuel system and other changes to facilitate large-scale pro¬duction by inexperienced companies. These comprised, apart from the RAF itself (which built only 47 F.E.2b's): Boulton & Paul (250); Barclay Curie (100); Garrett & Sons (60); Ransome, Sims & Jefferies (350); Alex Stephen and Sons (150) and G & J Weir (600). A 160 hp Beardmore engine was adopted later, and the oleo u/c with nosewheel gave way to a simplified form without the nosewheel or, later, a non-oleo V-strut arrangement. All 12 F.E.2a’s and almost a thousand F.E.2b's went to RFC squadrons in France, where they engaged in offensive patrols over the enemy lines in the role of fighter escort for unarmed reconnaissance aircraft. Over 200 were issued to Home Defence units, some of these flying as single-seaters, and service use of the F.E.2b continued until the Armistice in November 1918. The following data are for the version with 160 hp Beardmore engine.

Max speed, 91.5 mph (147km/h) at sea level, 76mph (122 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3 050 m).
Time to 4,000 ft (1220 m), 9.85 min.
Service ceiling, 11,000 ft (3353 m).
Empty weight, 2,061 lb (935kg).
Loaded weight, 3,037lb (1378kg).
Span, 47 ft 9 in (14,56 m).
Length, 32 ft 3 in (9,83 m).
Height, 12 ft 7 1/2 in (3,84 m).
Wing area, 494 sqft (45,89 m2).


ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY F.E.2c UK

  Among the 12 F.E.2a's sent to France in 1915, where they were flown by No 6 Squadron RFC and sometimes known by the alternative official designation of Fighter Mark I, one had its seating arrangement reversed. Thus, the pilot occupied the front cockpit - located a little farther aft than in the F.E.2a and 2b - and the gunner was in an elevated aft position. An additional Lewis gun was fitted in the nose, remotely controlled by the pilot. In this form, the aircraft was designated F.E.2c. Conversion of a small number of F.E.2b's to 2c con¬figuration was put in hand at the RAF, Famborough, but only two are thought to have been completed as the F.E.2c was found to offer no advantage over the F.E.2b. Six more 2b’s were converted to 2c’s in late 1917, however, to serve as night bombers with No 100 Squadron, for which role the improved view for the pilot outweighed the difficulties posed for the gunner. Data for the F.E.2c were as for the F.E.2b.


ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY F.E.2D UK

  On 7 April 1916, a version of the F.E.2b was flown at the RAF Famborough, fitted with a 250 hp Rolls-Royce Mk I (later, Eagle I) 12-cylinder water-cooled V-type engine, becoming thus the prototype F.E.2d. Compared with the 160 hp F.E.2b, the Rolls-Royce-engined version had better rate of climb and ceiling and slightly improved speed performance, and although the heavier engine adversely affected manoeuvrability and field performance, the F.E.2d was ordered into production as an interim supplement for the F.E.2b. Eighty-five were built at Famborough and 270 by Boulton & Paul, although many of these were completed, in the event, with Beardmore engines as F.E.2b’s. In those F.E.2d’s completed, several versions of the Rolls-Royce engine were fitted; as well as the Mk I these comprised the 250 hp Marks III and IV (later, 284 hp Eagle III and IV) and the 275 hp Marks I and II (later, 322 hp Eagle V and VI). The first few F.E.2d’s had the oleo undercarriage with nosewheel extension, but the modified oleo type without the nosewheel was soon adopted. The F.E.2d was in service in France by July 1916, and the type also served with Home Defence units, although its low speed performance made it an ineffective Zeppelin-chaser. Most F.E.2d’s were armed with two Lewis guns, one on a flexible mounting in the nose and another fixed forward-firing for the pilot; in some cases a third gun, on a telescopic pillar mounting, was also provided between the two cockpits. The following data apply to the F.E.2d with 250 hp Rolls-Royce Mark I engine.

Max speed, 94 mph (151 km/h) at 5,000 ft (1525 m), 88 mph (142 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3050 m).
Time to 5,000 ft (1525 m), 7.15 min.
Service ceiling, 17,500 ft (5334 m).
Endurance, 3.5 hrs.
Empty weight, 2,509 lb (1138 kg).
Loaded weight, 3,470 lb (1 574 kg).
Span, 47 ft 9 in (14,55 m).
Length, 32 ft 3 in (10,13 m).
Height, 12 ft 7 1/2 in (3,85 m).
Wing area, 494 sqft (45,89 m2).

В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
RAF FE.2b с пулеметом "Льюис", 6-й дивизион RFC, Фландрия, ноябрь 1915г.
А.Шепс - Самолеты Первой мировой войны. Страны Антанты
Истребитель/разведчик RAF F.E.2b 25-го дивизиона RFC (1916г.)
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
The F.E.2b was utilised by the RFC primarily in the role of armed reconnaissance aircraft.
В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
RAF F.E.2d, 20-й дивизион RFC, пилот - капитан Ф.Д.Стивенс, лето 1917г.
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
RAF FE.2a was a much enlarged aircraft developed in 1914. The prototype flew with a Green engine but the small number of production aircraft used the Beardmore.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
The F.E.2b. With Beardmore engine of 120 h.p, fore-runner of the Rolls engined type, which it resembles in general design. This machine, with slight modifications and a 160 h.p. Beardmore engine, was still in use at the end of the war, as a night-bombing machine.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
A Green-engined F.E.2a
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Fig. 27. - Two-seater fighter. F.E. 2b.
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
Although ungainly in appearance, the FE2b was reasonably effective when it first appeared operationally in early 1916: however, it was not the great success in the fighter-reconnaissance role that had been hoped.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
FE.2b со 120-сильным мотором "Бердмор"
F.Manson - British Bomber Since 1914 /Putnam/
Standard production F.E.2B with plain V-strut undercarriage; the nose Lewis gun has not yet been fitted on this factory-fresh example.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
No.4873 had a double-yoked pair of Lewis guns
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
An early production F.E.2B, No 4962, probably built at the parent Factory with 120hp Beardmore engine and the cumbersome oleo undercarriage with nose wheel.
A.Brew - Boulton Paul Aircraft since 1915 /Putnam/
The first F.E.2b completed, 5201, Bombay No.1. First flown on 4 October 1915 and delivered to Farnborough by Howard Pixton on 8 October.
The two seat Royal Aircraft Factory FE 2b was designed as a fighter, reconnaissance and night bomber and was a 120hp, later 160hp Beardmore-engined development of the 1913 FE 2a. The first FE 2b flew initially during March 1915, the type entering operations two months later, with No 6 Squadron, RFC, based at Abeele. Initial delivery build-up was slow, with only 32 having been handed over by the end of 1915. Sadly, British pilots were to suffer badly at the hands of the Fokker Eindekkers thanks to this delay, as the FE 2B, along with the Airco DH 2, was to be pivotal in ending the Fokker scourge. Despite its poor top level speed of 91.5mph at sea level, the FE 2b's clear forward arcs of fire more than compensated. In all, 1,939 examples, including some converted FE 2a, were to be built.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
5203 was the third production FE2b built by Boulton & Paul, Ltd., and was a typical early FE2b with the 120-hp Beardmore
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
5648
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
In the few F.E.2c’s built, the positions of the pilot and gunner were reversed.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
No.6338 was a presentation aircraft, but bore its inscription - Ceylon No.3, A Nightjar from Ceylon - only on the port side of nacelle. On February 29 1916, while being flown by 2/Lts. L A Newbold and Chapman it was shot down by Wass of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 3, and is here seen shortly after capture
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
The first FE2bs were delivered to 20 Squadron in December 1915 and the following month the unit moved to France. This two-seat pusher was ordered in large quantities from a variety of contractors and throughout 1916 was one of the most important aircraft on the RFC's operational strength. This particular aircraft, '6338, was a presentation aircraft - Ceylon No 3 - with 20 Squadron.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
An early-production FE2b that fell into German hands was 6341, Zanzibar No.1
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
There was, quite literally, another side to 6341. Although marked Zanzibar No.1 on its port side it bore the more personal name The Scotch Express on the starboard
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
No.6937 was built by Boulton & Paul, and was marked as a presentation aircraft, Punjab No.29, Rawalpindi
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
A single-seat F.E.2b, 9124, of 51 Squadron RFC, some time in 1918. The two small circular apertures in the nose are for the muzzles of its two Lewis guns.
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
F.E.2b A781 fitted with a small searchlight coupled to two Lewis guns.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A800 at Marske, the base of several training units that gave instruction in air combar and aerial gunnery
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A5449
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A "presentation" aircraft from the Gold Coast, this F.E.2b served with No 25 Sqn, RFC.
Meanwhile, the FE2b soldiered on although with the increasing numbers of better aircraft available from early 1917 it was soon 'relegated' to the night bomber role - as here with A5478 of 100 Squadron, this unit having formed in February 1917 for this specific role with the FE2b. This picture shows the vulnerable position of the observer in combat.
F.Manson - British Bomber Since 1914 /Putnam/
A presentation F.E.2B, A5478, Gold Coast No 10, of No 22 Squadron, probably at Chipilly during 1917; it is shown carrying a single 230 lb bomb under the nacelle and six 25 lb fragmentation bombs under the wings - the maximum bomb load of the F.E.2B with a two-man crew. The tube extending down from the nose of the nacelle is a flare chute.
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
Presentation F.E.2b A5481, Gold Coast No 13, fitted with a vee undercarriage. A pillar mounting for the Lewis gun can be seen to the rear of the observer's cockpit.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
FE2b A5548 of No.64 Training Squadron at Sedgeford 1917
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
FE2b A5666 with the 160hp Beardmore engine. This engine gave even more trouble than the other fits - and it must be born in mind that many of the engines in use were not particularly reliable - and caused much adverse comment. The Fees generally proved inadequate as fighters but appeared at a time when there was little else: however, they soon found a new role as bombers as this role grew in importance throughout 1916.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
RAF FE2b A5794 of 192NTS, for the training of observers and pilots in night flying
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A6536
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Британский флот также применял FE2. На этом F.E.2D, оборудованном специальным шасси со сбрасываемыми колесами и надувными баллонетами, испытывались возможности безопасной посадки сухопутного самолета на воду. (A6536, here seen at Grain on May 30 1918 with its modified under-carriage, wing-tip floats, and stowed air bags)
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A6536 with its airbags inflated
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
Flotation trials of F.E.2b 6536 at the Isle of Grain.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A6562, seen here with all the external fittings and finish of a night-bombing FE2b
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
F.E.2b B401 equipped for experiments in flying into balloon cables. Note the outriggers from the outermost interplane struts, carrying the fender wire to the bowsprit in the nose.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
B401
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
B419 of No.38 Squadron
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
B1877, a presentation aircraft, St Andrews No.1
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
C9795
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
The only FE2b to receive a British civil registration was D3832
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
D9134
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
100 Squadron FE2b in its night environment, Western Front 1917. Note the underwing bracket for the 'Holt' landing flare.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
An unidentified FE2b of No.18 Squadron, with a camera mounted on the starboard side of the nacelle
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A blood-less face-off between two deadly rivals: a Fokker E.III beside a captured F.E.2b
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
A British FE2b in flight
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
The F.E.2b. Viewed from below.
Журнал - Flight за 1918 г.
ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. - With our night bombing planes in France. One of our night bombing machines returning after a flight.
Журнал - Flight за 1918 г.
A Sunday morning service in an aerodrome on the British Western front in France. - The Chaplain conducting Service from the nose of an aeroplane.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
With the R.A.F. in the Field: - A R.A.F. Padre preaching to officers and men of the R.A.F. from the nacelle of a F.E.2b Night-bomber. It will be noted that the men still wore R.F.C. uniform. This custom still prevalied in many parts until the middle of 1919, when nearly all the men were demobilised.
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
The FE2b carried a variety of armament but the commonest arrangement was for two (sometimes three) Lewis guns, the mounts for which can be seen here. The rear mount allowed the observer to fire back over the wing.
Журнал - Flight за 1917 г.
The presentation of an aeroplane to India by the City of Leeds. Lord Desborough after his flight.
Журнал - Flight за 1918 г.
With Our Night-Bombing Planes on the Western Front in France. - The observer has very often occasion to use the gun fitted to his seat, and his method is seen when firing down on the enemy.
F.Manson - British Bomber Since 1914 /Putnam/
Pilot and observer watch an armourer load a 112 lb bomb on their F.E.2B; either six or eight 20 lb Cooper bombs are also being carried under the wings.
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
Another type to join the night battle was the FE2b, seen here with 51 Squadron.
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
The occasion which prompted this impressive line-up of Factory designs is unfortunately not recorded, nor is the purpose of the marquee behind them, but the types present suggest a date of mid-1916. Left to right, the aircraft are: B.E.2c, B.E.2c, B.E.2b. B.E.12, Hispano-Suiza-powered B.E.2c, F.E.8, S.E.4a, F.E.2c, F.E.2b, R.E.8, R.E.8, and R.E.7.
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
An F.E.2d, showing the unshuttered radiator. The airship sheds in the background were, at that time, the home of the Southern Aeroplane Repair Depot.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
An early series F.E.2d built at Farnborough, showing the low-sided pilot’s cockpit.
H.King - Armament of British Aircraft /Putnam/
Early F.E.2d with two partially faired pillar mountings for a Lewis gun.
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
The FE2d resulted from an attempt to re-equip the FE2b with a more powerful engine such as the 250hp Rolls-Royce. It was never truly a success but the type entered service on the Western Front and for Home Defence from mid 1916.
В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
F.E.2d с тремя "Льюисами".
H.King - Armament of British Aircraft /Putnam/
F.E.2d with two free Lewis guns and one fixed. Note also rails for bomb-carriers under wings.
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
Added protection for this Royal Aircraft Factory FE 2d came in the form of a second, pedestal-mounted .303-inch Lewis gun just ahead of the pilot. Operated by the front-seated observer, this flexibly trained weapon provided him with an upwards and rearwards arc of fire. Also noteworthy in this image is the long focal depth reconnaissance camera that the observer is pretending to sight.
K.Delve - World War One in the Air /Crowood/
The Allied bombing offensive grew in intensity during the summer of 1918. FE2bs continued to act as night bombers; here is a 58 Squadron example - plus a unicycling pilot, possibly W.L. Hope.
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
An F.E.2d with the Trafford Jones modification to its oleo undercarriage.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
An overhead view of an FE2b nacelle
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
The cockpits of an F.E.2b. The observer's Lewis gun is attached to the front pillar mounting, and alternative mountings are provided immediately in front of the pilot's windscreen and to each side of the nacelle, that on the port side having a fixing clamp already attached.
Other 0
Photo from Nick Gribble: "My grandfather is 2nd from left on this picture (third if you count the man who is half on the picture)."
Other 0
Photo from Nick Gribble: The details are written on the back:"1917 Nov 28 Night Flying Machine FE2B B444 built by Ransomme, Sims & Jefferies and F Tibbenham Ltd, Ipswich - Crashed Paddock Wood, Kent"
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
An F.E.2d. A photograph from Germany, via a neutral country, showing an F.E.2d, which landed by error at Lille and tried to turn over on reaching the ground. It will be seen that it resembles the F.E.2b, but it has a 250 h.p. Rolls-Royse engine instead of the 150 h.p. Beardmore. It is regretted that the only photographs available are those of damaged machines, but the R.A.F. machines, being definitely of Government design, may not be photographed under normal conditions.
Сайт - Pilots-and-planes /WWW/
Remains of a British FE2b after being shot down by a German aircraft. The body of the British pilot lies in foreground
А.Шепс - Самолеты Первой мировой войны. Страны Антанты
Английский разведчик RAF F.E.2B ведет бой с германским истребителем
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
FE2a
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
FE2b
F.Manson - British Bomber Since 1914 /Putnam/
Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2B
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
The more numerous Beardmore-engined F.E.2b.
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
FE2c
P.Hare - Royal Aircraft Factory /Putnam/
FE2d
В.Кондратьев - Самолеты первой мировой войны
RAF F.E.2b