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British Industrial History

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Royal Aircraft Factory: B.E.8

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Note: This is a sub-section of Royal Aircraft Factory.

Known as the 'Bloater'. Powered by 80 hp Gnome and 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape engines. A total of around 70 were built by -

The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.8 was a British two-seat scout biplane designed by John Kenworthy at the Royal Aircraft Factory.

The B.E.8 was the last of the Bleriot Experimental types to be designed with a rotary engine. A conventional 1910s biplane with a fixed tail-skid landing gear. It also had a pair of skids mounted forward to prevent the aircraft nosing over on rough ground. Three prototypes were built at Farnborough with a single long cockpit for both crew members.

The production aircraft had two separate cockpits and where built by sub-contractors. An improved B.E.8a in 1915 had new wings the wing warping replaced by ailerons and a revised tail unit.

The aircraft entered service with the Royal Flying Corps and a small number served in France between 1914 and 1915 but most were used by training units.


  • BE.8 Production aircraft with wing warping. Three protypes built.
  • BE.8a Production aircraft with ailerons. Around 70 built.

Sources of Information

  • The Royal Aircraft Factory by Paul R. Hare. ISBN 0-85177-843-7
  • [1] Wikipedia