The BE-2, Britain's First
Military Aeroplane - Part 1/2
In 1912, with the First World
War looming, the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough
was tasked with creating Britain’s first-ever military aeroplane.
Designed with artillery observation in mind, it was the most stable
aeroplane ever built.
At the time the BE-2 was a world-leading design. One of its designers,
Geoffrey de Havilland, went on to carve a niche in British aviation
- right to the space age.
On 12th August 1912, a BE-2 flown by de Havilland with Major F.H.
the commandant of the Royal Flying Corps as his observer,
set a new British Altitude Record by climbing to a height of 10,560
At the outbreak of hostilities, the BE-2, was a mainstay of the
Royal Flying Corps,
along with French types such as Bleriot monoplanes and
Maurice Farman ‘pusher’ biplanes. On 13th August 1914,
a BE-2 of No.2 Squadron,
piloted by Lieut. H. D. Harvey-Kelly landed near
Amiens in France to become the first British aircraft to arrive
in the theatre of war.