В.Обухович, А.Никифоров Самолеты Первой Мировой войны
Опытный самолет RE5 представлял переходный тип от ВЕ2 к RE7, оснащался крыльями одинакового размаха и шасси с противокапотажными лыжами
P.Hare Royal Aircraft Factory (Putnam)
Developed from the R.E.2 and R.E.3, this sturdy two-seater was designed towards the end of 1913 and shared many details with the earlier machines. The two-bay wings had ailerons on upper and lower mainplanes and, as in earlier R.E. types, the fuselage frame made some use of steel-tube construction. Power was again provided by the 120hp water-cooled Austro-Daimler engine. The triangular fin was a legacy from the earlier designs, but the unbalanced rudder was of a new shape, and was attached to the sternpost at a lower level than on its predecessors, the elevators being divided to accommodate it.
Because the R.E.5 was not a wholly new design, but a step in a steady development, and appeared to fill an operational requirement exactly, the War Office obviously felt justified in ordering it into production 'off the drawing board'. Construction of a batch of twenty-four was therefore put in hand at the Factory, their cost nominally being taken from the ?25,000 provided by the Admiralty in exchange for the Army's airships, which were to be transferred to the Navy on 1 January 1914.
The first R.E.5 was completed, ready for inspection, by 26 January, and three more were completed the following month. The fifth and sixth examples, delivered in March, had long extensions to the upper wing, supported by additional interplane struts inclined steeply outwards, and appear to have been built as single-seaters. A Factory test pilot, Norman Spratt, took aircraft 380 to an altitude of 18,900ft on 14 May, a feat which, following the machine's handover, service pilots spent much of the summer trying to emulate. Capt J H W Becke, the CO of 6 Squadron, reached over 17,000ft in June.
At least two more examples, the twelfth and thirteenth produced, had the extended upper wing, together with increased fuel tank capacity to extend their range.
Problems with the Austro-Daimler engines delayed production, and later examples were fitted with Beardmore-built engines which incorporated a number of modifications to the Austro-Daimler design, including modified crankshafts. Although at least fifteen machines had been completed by the outbreak of war, the last of the twenty-four were not completed until early in 1915.
Active service revealed that the R.E.5's landing run was rather too long for many of the makeshift aerodromes adopted by the RFC in France, and experiments were made with a 'plough brake', which was fitted to the undercarriage and lowered on landing to reduce the run. This may also have been the reason that experiments were carried out with airbrakes. These comprised flat plates which normally lay against the fuselage sides near to the louvres which allowed airflow through the internal radiator, and were hinged so as to project at right angles to the airflow when required. These airbrakes were also fitted to many R.E.7s.
No further R.E.5s were built once the original production run of twenty-four had been completed. The majority of these served with the RFC either in France or with training squadrons, but one found its way to the RNAS. Another was retained at Farnborough for experimental purposes, eventually being written off while engaged in experiments in the lifting and release of heavy weights, as part of an investigation designed to ascertain what bomb loads might safely be carried in the future.
During 1915 the Factory fitted an R.E.5 with an oleo undercarriage of the type later adopted for the R.E.7. The same machine was also given a pre-production R.A.F.4 V-12 engine with an exhaust manifold similar to that later adopted for the B.E.12. An enlarged fin, with a curved leading edge, was also fitted to this machine.
On 31 July 1915 Capt J A Liddell of 7 Squadron was flying an R.E.5 on a bombing mission, and was badly hurt when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire, which also smashed the top of his control column. Despite his injuries he succeeded in returning the damaged machine to the British side of the lines, thereby saving the life of his observer. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his courage, but died of his wounds some weeks later.
One R.E.5 which was brought down behind the enemy lines was recovered intact and exhibited in Germany, together with other captured Allied weaponry.
Towards the end of 1915 the R.E.5s were gradually withdrawn from active service, the last machine returning from France early the following year, but they continued to serve with training establishments until they were written off.
Powerplant: 120hp Austro-Daimler or Beardmore
span 45ft 3 1/2in (57ft 2 1/2in with extensions);
chord 6ft 0in;
wing area 498 sq ft (569 sq ft with extensions);
max speed 78mph at sea level;
initial climb 400ft/min.
F.Manson British Bomber Since 1914 (Putnam)
Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.5 and R.E.7
Despite the reluctance of the War Office to recognise aerial bombing as a prescribed role for the aeroplane in service prior to the First World War, the fact that no such role was undertaken regularly by the RFC in France during 1914 was attributable as much to the absence of suitable aircraft as to the absence of any significant stock of aerial bombs. Indeed, the only stock amounted to twenty-six 20 lb Hales bombs held by the RNAS at the outbreak of War. It is true that the Bristol T.B.8 had been ordered for the RFC, ostensibly as a bomber, but this order was transferred to the RNAS when war was declared.
The first aircraft considered as adequately powerful to lift pilot, fuel and bomb(s) was the Royal Aircraft Factory's R.E.5, by 1914 a promising member of the 'Reconnaissance Experimental' category of aircraft that had originated in 1912 as a derivative of the B.E.2. The latter aircraft, in its developed forms, also came to carry bombs as a matter of necessity early in 1915, and the only reason that in this work the R.E.5 ante-dates the B.E.2 lies in the work carried out during 1914 to examine the likelihood o f the R.E.5 being capable of carrying bombs in service, although the distinction of it being the first to do so is extremely tenuous.
The R.E.5, like its immediate predecessor, the R.E.3, was powered by the 120hp Austro-Daimler water-cooled inline engine, and was ordered into production by the War Office 'off the drawing board' in December 1913, the cost of the 24 aeroplanes (less engines) being subscribed by a windfall payment by the Admiralty in return for the transfer of all Army airships to the Navy at that time. Thus the R.E.5 was among the first Factory aircraft actually built in quantity at Farnborough, instead of being subcontracted to a commercial manufacturer.
The first R.E.5 (there was no prototype per se) was completed before the end of January 1914, being a two-bay, two-seat biplane with equal-span wings; construction was of mixed metal tube and spruce with fabric covering. Ailerons were fitted to upper and lower wings, and the unbalanced rudder was hinged to a triangular fin; a conventional twin wheel and skid undercarriage was standard.
The 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th aircraft were completed as single-seaters with upper wings extended in span to 57ft 2 1/2 in, the large tip overhang being braced by additional outward-raked pairs of interplane struts. These aircraft were often referred to - though unofficially - as R.E.5As and were intended for high altitude work, and Norman Spratt, a Factory pilot (later Gp Capt, RAF), climbed No 380 to a height o f 18,900 feet on 14 May 1914.
Beardmore-built Austro-Daimler engines with strengthened crankshafts proved to be more reliable than the imported examples, and an R.E.5 thus powered was retained by the Factory to investigate the carriage of bombs, and was flown with various loads of jettisonable weights for investigation of performance penalties and effects on handling. Although these trials were performed before the War, they were largely academic for, as already stated, real bombs were in acutely short supply.
By the outbreak of war about 15 RE.5s and 5As had been completed, and a few of these accompanied the RFC squadrons to France. One example, allocated to the RNAS, was flown to Dunkerque by Sqn-Cdr A M Longmore on 27 September. Three days later Longmore carried out a bombing attack on Courtrai railway station but, as the aircraft was without bomb racks, Longmore's observer carried the small, improvised French bombs in his cockpit, dropping them over the side when above the target!
As far as can be determined, RFC R.E.5s did not fly true bombing sorties until 26 April 1915, when a pair of these aircraft from No 7 Squadron, accompanied by seven B.E.2Cs of No 8 Squadron, flying from St Omer, set out to attack German troop trains near Ghent. Thereafter such attacks became fairly commonplace (though the first regular bombing attacks by RFC aircraft had in fact commenced a month earlier, see the B.E.2C). In the course of one R.E.5 attack on 31 July, Capt John Aidan Liddell of No 7 Squadron was mortally wounded in the thigh by ground fire. His aircraft was hit and dropped out of control, the throttle and control wheel being smashed. In great pain, Liddell managed to regain control and crash landed on a Belgian aerodrome, thereby saving the life of his observer. Liddell was awarded the Victoria Cross, only to succumb to his wounds shortly afterwards.
O.Thetford British Naval Aircraft since 1912 (Putnam)
The R.E.5, the first aeroplane to be produced in quantity at the Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough. made its appearance in 1914. It was used mainly by the RFC but one example (No.26) reached the RNAS and was flown to Dunkirk on 27 September 1914 by Sqn Cdr A M Longmore (later Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore). It was used for a bombing raid on Courtrai on 30 September 1914. One 120 hp Austro-Daimler engine. Maximum speed, 78 mph.
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
R.E.5. Some of the earliest bombing raids of the 1914-18 War were made by aircraft of this type. On 30 September, 1914, an R.E.5 flown by Sqn Cdr A. M. Longmore bombed Courtrai railway station. Two or three improvised French bombs were thrown overboard by the observer. Flt Lieut Osmond. Later a load of three 20-lb Hales bombs was carried, and one R.E.5 was used to test the carrier and release gear for the 336-lb bomb developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory and associated particularly with the R.E.7 and Martinsyde 'Elephant'.
Pistols and rifles were carried as defensive armament.
M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)
The R.E.5 first appeared early in 1914 and was a two-seat tractor reconnaissance biplane designed and built by the Royal Aircraft Factory. In appearance it was a larger version of the R.E.1, being larger and heavier. Two-bay wings of equal span were fitted, and ailerons gave lateral control to a very stable design. Long range was a feature of the R.E.5, which was equipped to carry a bomb load of 500 lb. and W/T. At the end of March. 1914, a special high-altitude, single-seat version, No. 380, with upper-wing strut-braced extensions and a two-bladed propeller made its appearance, and was taken to 17,000 ft. in the following June by Capt. J. H. W. Becke. Norman Spratt reached 18,900 ft. in one, and the R.E.5 went into production as the first of the Factory designs to be produced in quantity.
An initial batch of twenty was built at Farnborough from ?25,000 allocated to the War Office from Admiralty funds made available when the Navy took over the development of airships from the Army at the beginning of 1914. Two or three of the first batch were in use with the R. F.C. at the outbreak of war. Some of the early R.E.5s were fitted with original Austro-Daimler engines of 120 h.p., later examples receiving Beardmore-built versions. The machine was used by R.F.C. Squadrons Nos. 2, 6, 7, 12 and 16, and one found its way to the R.N.A.S. An experimental R.E.5 was tested with air-brakes. Maximum speed, 78 m.p.h.