The Royal Aircraft Factory BE (British Experimental) 2 was first built in 1912; in all, five models were eventually developed. The BE-2e entered service in 1916 and had an improved and larger engine, and included modifications to improve its already good stability. Though faster than its predecessor, the BE-2d, and possessing a rear observer/gunner, the BE-2e was no match for German aircraft and suffered heavy losses in April 1917 over the Western Front. The aircraft was used in a training role during 1917-18, its front-line duties being taken over by the RE-8. In the Middle East, where air operations were less intensive, the BE-2e remained in front-line service for much of 1917, but they remained very vulnerable to German fighters.


Type:   Biplane reconnaissance aircraft/light bomber
Entered service:   1916
Crew:   2
Wing span:   12.42 m
Length:   8.3 m
Weight (laden):   952 kg
Ceiling:   3,048 m
Endurance:   4.25 hrs
Speed:   132 km/h
Armament:   1 x .303 Lewis machine-gun
90 kg of bombs

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