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The Breguet 14 was a Frenchmarker biplane bomber and reconnaissance aircraft of World War I. It was built in very large numbers and production continued for many years after the end of the war. Apart from its widespread usage, it was noteworthy for becoming the first aircraft in mass production to use large amounts of metal rather than wood in its structure. This allowed the airframe to be lighter than a wooden airframe of the same strength, in turn making the aircraft very fast and agile for its size, able to outrun many of the fighter of the day. Its strong construction was able to sustain much damage, it was easy to handle and had good performance. The Breguet 14 is considered one of the best aircraft of the war.

Design and development

The aircraft was designed by Louis Breguet, who flew the first prototype (originally designated Breguet AV Type XIV) on its first flight on 21 November 1916. The design was a come-back for Breguet to designing conventional planes, after designing pusher-type aircraft Breguet BUM. Later that month, the French Army's Section Technique de l' Aéronautique (S.T.Aé.) issued requirements for four different new aircraft types. Breguet submitted his new design for two of those categories - reconnaissance aircraft, and bomber.

Following evaluation in February, the Breguet 14 was accepted for both these roles, and in March, orders were placed for 150 reconnaissance aircraft and 100 bombers, designated Breguet 14A.2 and 14B.2 respectively (by 1918 written Breguet XIV A2/B2). The A.2 was equipped with a camera, with some carrying radios, while the lower wing of the 14B.2 was modified slightly in order to accommodate bomb racks (built by Michelin). Both variants featured automatic flap, but these were not fitted to production aircraft.

Other minor variants flown in small numbers during the war included the 14B.1 long-range single-seat bomber, the 14GR.2 long-range reconnaissance, the 14H floatplane, the 14S air ambulance and the 14Et.2 trainer. Later variants 14bis A2 and 14bis B2 featured improved wing. An improved variant with bigger wings was the 16. There was also the two-seat fighter 17, which was built in small numbers only.

Operational history

Following successful deployment by the French, the type was also ordered by the Belgian Army (40 aircraft) and the United States Army Air Service (over 600 aircraft). Around half the Belgian and US aircraft were fitted with Fiat A.12 engines due to shortages of the original Renault 12F. By the end of World War I, some 5,500 Breguet 14s had been produced.

The type continued to be widely used after the war, equipping the French occupation forces in Germanymarker and being deployed to support French troops in the colonies. A special version was developed for the harsh conditions encountered overseas, designated 14TOE (Théatres des Operations Extérieures). These saw service in putting down uprisings in Syriamarker and Moroccomarker, in Vietnammarker and in France's attempted intervention in the Russian Civil War. The last trainer examples were not withdrawn from French military service until 1932.

Other air arms using the type included Brazil (30), China (70), Czechoslovakia (10), Denmark, Finland (38), Greece, Japan, Siamese Air Forcemarker, Uruguaymarker (9) and Spain. Polish Air Force used 158 Breguet 14s, about 70 of them were used in combat in the Polish-Soviet war. In Japan, Breguet 14s were licence built by Nakajima.

Post war, Breguet had also begun to manufacture dedicated civil versions. The 14T.2 Salon carried two passengers in a specially modified fuselage. An improved version of this was the 14Tbis' manufactured as both a land-plane and seaplane. The 14Tbis also formed the basis of the improved 14Tbis Sanitaire air ambulance version, and 100 mail planes custom-built for Pierre Latécoère's fledgling airline, Lignes Aeriennes Latécoère. After changing name to CGEA, the airline used among others 106 Breguet 14s for flights over Sahara desert. The 18T' was a single 14T re-engined with a Renault Ja engine and equipped to carry four passengers. When production finally ceased in 1928, the total of all versions built had reached 7,800 (according to other sources, 8,000 or even 8,370).

Operators

Persiamarker
Kingdom of Serbiamarker
Siammarker
Kingdom of Yugoslaviamarker


Specifications (14B.2)

{{aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop

ref={name of first source}
crew=Two
capacity=
length main=8.87 m
length alt=29 ft 1 in
span main=14.36 m
span alt=47 ft 1 in
height main=3.30 m
height alt=10 ft 10 in
area main=47.50 m²
area alt=511 ft²
airfoil=
empty weight main=1,010 kg
empty weight alt=2,227 lb
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=1,536 kg
max takeoff weight alt=3,386 lb
more general=
engine (prop)=Renault 12Fe
type of prop=
number of props=1
power main=224 kW
power alt=300 hp
power original=
max speed main=175 km/h
max speed alt=95 kn, 109 mph
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main=900 km
range alt=486 nmi, 560 mi
ceiling main=6,000 m
ceiling alt=19,685 ft
climb rate main=292 m/s
climb rate alt=960 ft/min
loading main=32 kg/m²
loading alt=6.6 lb/ft²
thrust/weight=
power/mass main=0.14 W/kg
power/mass alt=0.09 hp/lb
more performance=
guns= 1 × fixed 7.7 mm (.303 in) Vickers machine gun
  • 2 × flexible 7.7 mm (.303 in) Lewis Gun for observer
bombs=300 kg (660 lb)
avionics=}}

See also

References

  • Tomasz J. Kowalski, Samolot Breguet 14, TBiU no.197, Warsaw 2002, ISBN 83-11-09461-6 (Polish language)



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