Fokker Fodder

The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c

Paul R. Hare

Date Published :
March 2015
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781550656
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


In the 1912 Military Aeroplane Competition, the B.E.2 outperformed all its competitors; it was put into production and quickly became the most numerous single type in the Royal Flying Corps. B.E.2c, a later variant nicknamed the 'Quirk' by its pilots, was designed for stability and intended mainly for reconnaissance. Matched against the German Fokker Eindecker fighter in the First World War, it was hopelessly outclassed. The Eindecker, piloted by top scoring German aces such as Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke, made short work of the B.E.2c in the aerial bloodbath known as the 'Fokker Scourge'. Such was the B.E.2c's vulnerability to fighter attack that the British press dubbed it 'Fokker Fodder', while to the Germans it was known as 'Kaltes Fleisch' or 'Cold Meat'. British ace Albert Ball called it 'a bloody terrible aeroplane'. The B.E.2c slogged on throughout the War, and its poor performance against German fighters - and the failure to improve or replace it - caused great controversy in Britain. One MP attacked the B.E.2c and the Royal Aircraft Factory in the House of Commons, stating that RFC pilots were being 'murdered [rather] than killed'. The factory was cleared in the resultant judicial inquiry, but the woeful shortcomings of the RFC were exposed, heralding the establishment of the Royal Air Force.

About The Author

Paul R. Hare, a retired engineer, has made a lifelong study of early aviation, becoming a recognised authority in his field, and has publishing several books and numerous magazine articles various aspects of the first war in the air. He first began researching the failure of the American Aeroplane building Programme over 25 years ago and has lectured on the topic both in The UK and the USA as well as writing a number of articles about it, and about the Liberty engine that was crucial to it.

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