RAF RE8

re8

RE8

One of the most readily recognisable two-seaters of ‘The Great War’, the Royal Aircraft Factory RE8, forever associated with music hall comedian Harry Tate, was extensively, and successfully, employed for artillery observation, photo reconnaissance and light bombing. Designed by John Kenworthy, over 4000 of them were eventually delivered to the RFC and RAF; the many corps squadrons equipped with this awkward-looking biplane found it adequate for purpose, despite it becoming increasingly obsolescent as the war ground on. The gangling looking RE8 with its ‘bent’ fuselage, large air intake and full exhausts appears an unlikely contender for air combat, yet determined RE8 crews got the better of experienced German fighter pilots on several occasions.