What we have here is the venerable Be2 (Short for Bleriot/Experimental). Extremely slow and heartily disliked by pilots as being ready-made Fokker fodder, it was eventually replaced by better machines to everyone's relief.
However, there is another side to this story.
The Be2 was actually the first ever British aircraft purely designed for aerial warfare. Test flown for the first time Geoffrey De Havilland it was designated as a bomber without any armament.
Later on in 1916, when the German Zeppelins were bombing everywhere without fear of retribution, a Be2 piloted by Lt.Leefe-Robinson armed with a single Lewis gun and incendiary ammunition succeeded in bringing one down in flames near London. He was immediately awarded the Victoria Cross and became a national hero overnight. He was the second person to be awarded a VC in one of these machines.
My image shows how the pilot sat in the rear seat, with the observer/gunner at the front. Not the best setup in the world! The German gunners soon learned who was who and where to aim.
Aug 28, 2008 9:58:49 amby proteus2 Homepage »
Extraordinary evening light here!
And btw,some flyer had stated
that in order to put a zeppelin ablaze, one had to go
so close as to be able to see the puncture holes of his
incendiaries...so pulling out would involve a bitch of a "split-S"