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From early 1917 the aircraft settled to a steady career as a reconnaissance aircraft and light bomber on the Western Front and in Palestine and Italy, remaining active until the Armistice, when they were in service with 15 RAF squadrons.
Designed as a replacement for the BE2c in the reconnaissance and light bomber roles, the prototype RE8 was first flown on 17 June 1916.
The RE8 was not a very manoeuvrable machine but it made up for this with two or three machine gun armament. Various engines were fitted in place of the original 150hp RAF 4A, including a 200hp Hispano-Suiza.
1918 Daimler Motor Co built RE.8 F3556
During the course of the latter half of World War I, 4,077 R.E.8 were built for the RFC/RAF and a few for Belgium. R.E.8s for British service standardised on the 112kW RAF 4a engine with a variable-pitch airscrew and were known as the 'Harry Tate'. During a brief spell on the Western Front in late 1916 several were lost through accidents, resulting in their temporary withdrawal. The tendency to spin was reduced by fitting a ventral fin at the base of the tail. This further reduced what little agility the RE.8 had.
The RE.8 reconnaissance machine performed well as the equipment of the Australian 3 AFC, and one crew brought down the Albatros DVa on display in the Australian War Memorial.


RE8 ‘K’ of 3 AFC


After the war RE8s served with the RAF overseas and equipped Nos 6, 30 and 208 Squadrons until the end of 1919.




Engine: 1 x R.A.F.4a, 150 hp / 112kW
Span: 42ft 7in
Length: 8.5 m / 28 ft 11 in
Height: 3.47 m / 11 ft 5 in
Wing area: 35.07 sq.m / 377.49 sq ft
Max take off weight: 1300 kg / 2866 lb
Empty weight: 717 kg / 1581 lb
Speed: 98 mph
Ceiling: 4115 m / 13500 ft
Armament: 2 x 7.7mm machine-guns, 100kg of bombs
Seats: 2

Engine: 1 x 200-h.p. Hispano-Suiza
Span: 42ft 7in
Seats: 2


Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8



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