Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2c


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Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2c

Among the 12 F.E.2a's sent to France in 1915, where they were flown by No 6 Squadron RFC and sometimes known by the alternative official designation of Fighter Mark I, one had its seating arrangement reversed. Thus, the pilot occupied the front cockpit - located a little farther aft than in the F.E.2a and 2b - and the gunner was in an elevated aft position. An additional Lewis gun was fitted in the nose, remotely controlled by the pilot. In this form, the aircraft was designated F.E.2c. Conversion of a small number of F.E.2b's to 2c configuration was put in hand at the RAF, Farnborough, but only two are thought to have been completed as the F.E.2c was found to offer no advantage over the F.E.2b. Six more 2b's were converted to 2c's in late 1917, however, to serve as night bombers with No 100 Squadron, for which role the improved view for the pilot outweighed the difficulties posed for the gunner.

Terrence I. Murphy, e-mail, 11.02.2012 17:50

General characteristics (F.E.2b)
• Crew: Two (pilot & observer)
• Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
• Wingspan: 47 ft 9 in (14.55 m)
• Height: 12 ft 8 in (3.85 m)
• Wing area: 494 ft² (45.9 m²)
• Empty weight: 2,061 lb (937 kg)
• Loaded weight: 3,037 lb (1,380 kg)
• Powerplant: 1 × Beardmore 6-cylinder inline piston engine, 160 hp (119 kW)
• Maximum speed: 80 knots (91.5 mph, 147 km /h)
• Service ceiling: 11,000 ft (3,353 m)
• Rate of climb: 39 minutes 44 sec to 10,000 ft (3,048 m)
• Wing loading: 6.15 lb /ft² (30.1 kg /m²)
• Power /mass: 0.053 hp /lb (0.086 W /kg)
• Endurance: 3 hours
• Guns:
o 1 or 2x .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun for observer (one mounted in front and one firing back over the top wing)
o 1 or 2x .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun sometimes mounted for the pilot's use in the F.E.2d
• Bombs: up to 517 lb (235 kg) of bombs


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