Royal Aircraft Factory



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The BE2 (Bleriot Experimental) was originally designed by Geoffrey DeHavilland. About 3500 of the BE2e models were built after the first appeared in 1916. They were constructed mainly for reconnaisance at a time when it was considered the most important role in aviation. They were fitted with a single Lewis gun, a couple of 100lb. Hales bombs and were powered by a Renault V-8 engine. This aeroplane was largely a failure of the times....virtually useless against the Fokker E1 and Eindecker. It was nicknamed "The Quirk" by those who flew them and called "cold meat" by the Germans.

January 2011.....

My project is an 80" scale kit by Practical Scale old kit that is now discontinued. Like most old designs it looks to be built very heavy so I will try to keep the weight down whenever possible. It looks like a Saito 56 or 62 will do nicely for power. This is a charming old WW1 that I think is the perfect example of a WW1 fighter. The design that was not very successful in real life but a real looker in my books!!





Here is the start of the wings and tailfeathers.....
72 ribs and about the same number of short ribs. The wings are pretty much standard construction but the rudder and fin are quite unique......The design is a little heavier than I would like but I love the shape!!




Here the fuse is shaping up.....The Saito 62 is installed along with the muffler and tall pipes.....are they cool or what?? A dummy V-8 engine will cover up the Saito later on. I made the lower wings to plug into the fuse.....this will make it easier to put together at the flying field and it will be lighter.



.....All the framed-up parts for covering !!




The BE2 carried up to eight 20lb. Hales bombs or two 100 lb. under the wing although it could not take the second passenger if the bombs were on board. In this case I am installing two 100 lb. bombs



Here the modified stab construction can be seen and the rudder has been painted with
latex, Solartex covering is being used.

The two chimneys will be live.....they are attached to the top of the cabane with brass supports.

Mid April 2011.....

The tailskid is installed a little unlike called for in the is steerable with the rudder.....I hate being stuck on the runway not being able to turn the plane when needed. It is connected to the rudder servo by a wood pushrod to a steering arm at the top of the vertical shaft. The main gear are sprung by bungee chords on the axel.


The top of the fuse is covered with a stick-on wood veneer (artificial) supplied in the kit. The little windshields, front cowling panels and fuel tank are in place. The cowling panels have the scale rivets and are painted the final color.





At this point the covering is on (Solartex), it is painted (latex with clearcoat) and the decals are applied. The decals are computer-made on waterslide paper. The control cables are installed too (kevlar chord).

The zig-zag stitching is just string pushed into holes drilled in the fabric.....very slow to do but looking good.




 The rib tapes have been stuck on.....they are just glue drops covered with strips of Solartex.


Here the cockpit is in place with the seats and instruments

The Lewis gun is mounted on the rear cabane is fired from the front seat over the head of the pilot!!   The fuel tank can be seen under the top left wing.


The Renault V-8 engine is made of balsa scraps .....the sparkplugs are 4-40 alum. locknuts with a little piece of white plastic stuck into them. That's a Saito 62 with spark ignition under the cowl.

Mid June 2011.....



The cylinders are balsa scraps,
The sparkplugs are shop scraps

Here is the finished top wing.....The roundells are masked and spray painted. The two exhaust chimneys are installed and hooked up to the Saito four-stroke......they stand up above the top wing. I'm anxious to hear what they sound like. The top wing support wires are stretched through two brass standoffs. I painted the wood Zinger to look like a laminated prop.


Roll-out day.....




Is that a pretty biplane or what!!!



more to come.....