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. Sykes,
the commandant of the Royal Flying Corps as his observer,
set a new British Altitude Record by climbing to a height of 10,560 feet.

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.

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