Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12

Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12

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Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12

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<!-- This article is a part of WikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout. -->The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12 was a British single-seat aeroplane of The First World War designed at the Royal Aircraft Factory .


The B.E.12 was essentially a B.E.2c with the front (observer’s) cockpit replaced by a large fuel tank, and the 90&nbsp;hp RAF 1 engine of the standard B.E.2c replaced by the new 150&nbsp;hp RAF 4. Aviation historians once considered the type a failed attempt to create a fighter aircraft based on the B.E.2 - that was improvised and rushed into service to meet the Fokker threat. Many writers perpetuate this view or something like it. J.M. Bruce, in Warplanes of the First World War (MacDonald, 1968 ISBN 035601473 8) has pointed out that this is simplistic at best and doesn't fit historically.

The prototype (a modified B.E.2c airframe fitted with the more powerful 150&nbsp;hp (112&nbsp;kW) RAF 4a air-cooled V12 engine) was already in the process of conversion in June 1915, while the Fokker scourge cannot be said to have started before the first victory by a Fokker E.I on the 1st of August, when Max Immelmann shot down a British aircraft that was bombing Douai aerodrome. At the time the B.E.12 was conceived the necessity for an aeroplane to defend itself was by no means as clear as it became later. Certainly the new type cannot have been produced specifically as an “answer” to the...
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