The “very British” R.E.8 was designed in 1916 as a replacement for the deadly -for their crews- B.E.2. Curiously, they persevered in the R.E.8 with the same formula of B.E.2: a highly stable platform to aid in recon/observation duties. Some modification cured in part that defect, besides, it was better armed and a little more powerful,… and that sure helped. Built in huge numbers (more than 4,000), these ungainly aircraft never gained much acclaim with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) crews, but they gave a decent service and fought bravely until the end of WW1.
Lovely atmospheric Imperial War Museum pic. These blokes are getting ready to do a test run of the 140hp RAF 4a. Always a fan of those RAF air-cooled V12 engines and their stunning Laminated mahogany four-bladed props..