Author Topic: BE2a A Definitive History  (Read 2137 times)

Offline Dave W

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BE2a A Definitive History
« on: March 12, 2021, 11:39:17 AM »
BE 2a - A Definitive History

By PR Hare and A Wilcox
Published by [email protected]. 190 pp., 2020
Cost: 30 incl postage in UK only

Reviewed by Stephen Foster

The Royal Aircraft Factory BE 2a was one of the more important flying machines in the early history of British aviation.

It made a significant contribution to establishing Britain as an air power prior to 1914, not least because of the relatively large number built. It was the most important  single type in the Royal Flying Corps in August 1914, and four were employed by the RNAS.

It was tested at Farnborough for a variety of different roles including with radios, different construction techniques, aerodynamic experiments and wing aerofoil sections. It made many long distance flights and in November 1913 achieved a record flight of 630 miles non-stop. In August of that year its designer, G. De Haviland took one to 10,560 feet - then an altitude record. RFC aircraft no 471 flown by Lt H. D. Harvey-Kelly of No 2 Squadron was the first British military aeroplane to land on foreign territory on 13 August 1914.

The book has short chapters on G. De Haviland, various experiments carried out with BE 2as, and an account of every machine built with an accompanying photograph or photographs where available.

There are also chapters on wireless machines, the Australian CFS aircraft, (there were two them), the Elliot instrument boards, Renault engine and propellor. Lt. Col. C. J. Burke and Capt. C. A. H. Longcroft each have a chapter - Burke because he was the first commander of No 2 Squadron who established ground rules for leadership in the air, and Longcroft for his long -distance flights.

There are two chapters on the modern replicas at Montrose in Scotland and Point Cook near Melbourne Australia, including some superb photos of the structure of the latter machine which was built by A. Wilcox. All of the photographs are of high quality, and although many of them have been published elsewhere, this collection is the most comprehensive one can find in a single volume. The texts are clear and informative with all known details given for each machine.

This book is an invaluable resource for any modeller who is contemplating building or converting a model of the BE 2a. There are no 3-view drawings but these can be found in the Centenary DataFile No 163: this pair complement each other very well. It is also recommended to anyone who is interested in the early history of British aviation.

Enquiries should be directed to: [email protected]

I bought my copy from the author.

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