Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.1

The Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.1 was an experimental two-seat single-engine biplane built before World War I to serve as a reconnaissance aircraft.


Development and construction:

The Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.1, headed by Geoffrey de Havilland, Henry Folland and Edward Busk, was originally planned as a development of the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2. During the planning, however, the aircraft evolved into an experimental aircraft with which sufficient armor should be tested without loss of power.

In order to carry this intended armor with the same engine, the weight of the aircraft had to be reduced. This could be made possible by staggered wings, as this reduced the interference between the wings. Thus, the wings were not only offset but could also be built smaller.

The saved weight was now used for the use of 1 mm thick armor, which was to surround both the engine and the cockpit. This armor was indeed built, finally used in the two prototypes.

In May 1913, the first prototype was completed, in September, followed by the second aircraft. Both were used by Edward Busk for testing purposes to test stability during the flight. Thus, the pilot should be allowed to fly the aircraft on a straight line with as few hand movements as necessary. Meanwhile, the pilot should investigate his surroundings, take pictures and detect any enemy troop movements to later pass them on to the leadership of the ground forces.

Several modifications were made during the tests, especially on the wings. These findings were later used in the development of the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c, one of the most important reconnaissance aircraft at the beginning of the First World War.



Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.1




Use in the First World War:

In May 1914, one of the two Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.1 aircraft was handed over to the Royal Flying Corps and assigned to the 6th Squadron. This was dissolved at the beginning of the war and the aircraft handed over to the 2nd Squadron.

On August 23, 1914, the squadron was shipped to France and deployed at the front. When used on September 1, it came to the aircraft to an engine failure and it crashed.

Meanwhile, the second Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.1 remained in the UK and was used for testing purposes in Farnborough until February 1915.




Technical specifications:

Designation: Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.1
Country: Great Britain
Typ: Reconnaissance plane
Length: unknown
Span: 10,4 meters
Height: unknown
Mass: 454 kg empty
Crew: Max. 2
Engine: An air-cooled Renault V-8 engine with 70 hp
Maximum speed: 134 km/h
Reach: unknown
Armament: none






You can find the right literature here:


The First Air War, 1914-1918

The First Air War, 1914-1918 Hardcover – December 1, 1990

In this concise study, Kennett tells the complete story of World War I's air battles, from Eastern to Western front, from the skies of Europe and its seas to those of the Middle East and Africa.

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Aircraft of World War I 1914-1918 (Essential Identification Guide)

Aircraft of World War I 1914-1918 (Essential Identification Guide) 2nd Edition

Illustrated with detailed artworks of combat aircraft and their markings, Aircraft of World War I: The Essential Aircraft Identification Guide is a comprehensive study of the aircraft that fought in the Great War of 1914–18. Arranged chronologically by theatre of war and campaign, this book offers a complete organizational breakdown of the units on all the fronts, including the Eastern and Italian Fronts. Each campaign includes a compact history of the role and impact of aircraft on the course of the conflict, as well as orders of battle, lists of commanders and campaign aces such as Manfred von Richtofen, Eddie Rickenbacker, Albert Ball and many more. Every type of aircraft is featured, including the numerous variations and types of well- known models, such as the Fokker Dr.I, the Sopwith Camel and the SPAD SVII, through to lesser-known aircraft, such as the Rumpler C.1, and the Amstrong Whitworth FK8. Each aircraft profile is accompanied by exhaustive specifications, as well as details of individual and unit markings. Packed with more than 200 color profiles of every major type of combat aircraft from the era, Aircraft of World War I 1914–1918 is an essential reference guide for modellers, military historians and aircraft enthusiasts.

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World War One Aircraft Carrier Pioneer: The Story and Diaries of Captain JM McCleery RNAS/RAF

World War One Aircraft Carrier Pioneer: The Story and Diaries of Captain JM McCleery RNAS/RAF Hardcover – June 13, 2011

Jack McCleery was born in Belfast in 1898, the son of a mill owning family. He joined the RNAS in 1916 as a Probationary Flight Officer. During the next ten months he completed his training at Crystal Palace, Eastchurch, Cranwell, Frieston, Calshot and Isle of Grain, flying more than a dozen landplanes, seaplanes and flying boats, gaining his wings as a Flight Sub-Lieutenant. In July 1917 he was posted to the newly commissioning aircraft carrier HMS Furious, which would be based at Scapa Flow and Rosyth. He served in this ship until February 1919, flying Short 184 seaplanes and then Sopwith 1½ Strutters off the deck. He also flew a large number of other types during this time from shore stations at Turnhouse, East Fortune and Donibristle.

He served with important and well-known naval airmen including Dunning, Rutland (of Jutland) and Bell Davies VC. He witnessed Dunning’s first successful landing on a carrier flying a Sopwith Pup in 1917 and his tragic death a few days later. He also witnessed the Tondern raid in 1918, the world’s first carrier strike mission. He took part in more than a dozen sweeps into the North Sea by elements of the Grand Fleet and Battle Cruiser Fleet. He carried out reconnaissance missions off the coast of Denmark, landing in the sea to be picked up by waiting destroyers. He witnessed the surrender of the High Seas Fleet. Promoted to Captain, he acted as temporary CO of F Squadron for a time postwar.

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A World War 1 Adventure: The Life and Times of RNAS Bomber Pilot Donald E. Harkness

A World War 1 Adventure: The Life and Times of RNAS Bomber Pilot Donald E. Harkness Paperback – June 25, 2014

A deeply personal and revealing eyewitness narrative of one airman's life as a bomber pilot in England 's RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) in WWI. It is a true story, an adventure, and a war memoir carefully constructed from Captain Donald E. Harkness's unpublished diaries, letters, sketches and photographs - only recently uncovered nearly a century later - that documented his remarkable experiences and military adventures over England, France and Belgium. The first book written by a highly decorated WWI flyer from New Zealand that captures the "behind the scenes" life of RNAS pilots, as well as the surprises, terrors, traumas, humor, and sheer excitement of an aerial form of combat never before experienced by anyone, anywhere - and only eleven short years after the Wright Brothers historic flight at Kitty Hawk. With a talent for writing, Don begins an epic journey at a major turning point in history when the world is poised at the dawn of flight, and bracing itself for unknown dangers of unprecedented sophistication and savagery. Don's journal reveals unique insights and vivid imagery of another time and experience, to wit: - the terror and devastation of a Zeppelin bombing raid in London - the training regimen of early flying schools, and their serious & comic episodes - the wonder, awe, and poetry of flying aloft in the majestic heavens - vivid bombing raids, plus the raid that earned him the DSC - his crash-landing and capture - working with the underground to help downed pilots evade capture - London's unrestrained exuberance on Armistice Day; . . . and much, much more.

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