The R.A.F. B.E.2 was a design dating back to 1912. B.E. stood for "Blériot Experimental", or -- more generally -- a tractor biplane. Like the BE.1 before it, twin forward skids were provided to prevent a tip-over during landing. There was considerable variance in the first B.E.s, both in chosen engine and configuration such as equal-span or unequal-span wings. In the earliest BE's, the observer sat exposed in the forward seat with no cowling or decking in front of him, as if his seat were directly bolted to the top of the cut-away fuselage. Thirty BE.2s were assigned to the Expeditionary Force in 1914. 
|Designer||Geoffrey de Havilland|
|First flight||early 1912 |
|Primary user||U.K. (RFC/RAF)|
|Number built||~32 |
|Wingspan||11.3 m (37 ft) |
|Armament||none, or 45 kg (100 lb) of bombs|
|Max Speed||113 km/h (70 mph)|
|Climb||910 m (3,000 ft) in 9:00|
2,100 m (7,000 ft) in 35:00
|Ceiling||3,000 m (10,000 ft)|
For more information, see Wikipedia:Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2.
- Bruce'69, p.350.
- Lamberton, p.46.
- Lamberton, pp.214-215.