Wednesday, August 06, 2014

New B.E.2s in UK

Although not Bristol-designed aircraft, two new arrivals in the UK are worthy of mention here, for reasons explained below.

In June this year, two flying reproduction First World War aircraft were unloaded at Old Warden in Bedfordshire. These were B.E.2 aircraft, built by TVAL in New Zealand. Both are due to be based at Stow Maries, have been kept at Old Warden until hangar space is available. They are due to relocate in mid-August. They are painted to represent B.E.2s built in 1917: A2767 (actual registration ZK-KOZ) is painted in 37 Squadron RFC colours, which was based at Stow Maries in 1917. The other (actual registration ZK-TFZ) is in 7 Squadron markings as A2943. It is hoped the the former will remain at Stow Maries, and the latter, which is owned by Oliver Wulff, a German collector, will eventually go to Germany, but will stay at Stow Maries until 2018.

The Bristol connection comes from the aircraft they represent. Although designed by Geoffrey de Havilland of the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, production of the B.E.2 was assigned to several factories in the UK. The British & Colonial Aeroplane Company at Filton built over 1,000 of the type, more than any other factory. The original A2767 was delivered from Filton to 37 Squadron in February 1917, and A2943 was dispatched to France the following month.

More information on Stow Maries here, and the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust here.

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