French aviation design triumphed with the arrival of the Breguet Br.14 series (sometimes written as Breguet Br.XIV). The aircraft proved to be of the utmost reliability and lethality upon entering the war front in 1916 and would go on to become the single-most important aircraft of the French flying forces during the whole course of the war. The Breguet's successes continued in the post-war years as total production rang up an astounding 7,800 examples, with more than 2,500 appearing after the war ended in 1918.
From a visual perspective, the Br.14 was very utilitarian in appearance. The system was fielded with a powerful Renault 12 Fcy water-cooled inline engine that generated an impressive 300 horsepower. Crew accommodations amounted to a pilot seated in front and behind the Renault engine with the gunner/observer directly behind him. This seating array was optimal in that it provided a clear line of communications between both parties along with excellent visibility particularly from the rear cockpit position. The aircraft was armed with a single 7.7mm forward-fixed Lewis machine gun and an additional defensive set of 7.7mm Lewis machine guns on a mounting in the rear cockpit. External stores could be carried when in the full bomber role.
Designed in the summer of 1916 by the aviation firm led by Louis Breguet, the Breguet 14 was all set to fly operationally by the following year. Construction allowed the aircraft to absorb a lot of punishment from both performance and enemy fire. The structure was comprised mainly of duralumin and steel with wood along with a fabric covering. Light alloy panels were used in the design as additional landing gear supports allowing the Breguet 14 a sense of rugged durability. Initial orders came in the form of a two-seat artillery observer and a two-seat dedicated bomber. The bomber variant featured some notable changes over the artillery observer including an increased wing span.
Beyond that, the Br.14 could be found in various other forms including a single-seat pilot derivative and the all-important air ambulance. The system was fielded throughout the war since its inception and would also see operational service along France's colonial lines. The system as a whole would continually see service in frontline French forces up until 1932, a testament to the durability and capabilities of this fine machine.
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Breguet Br.14B2 production model)
1 x Renault 12 Fcy water-cooled inline engine developing 300 horsepower driving a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.
121 mph (195 kph; 105 kts)
13,993 feet (4,265 m; 2.65 miles)
301 miles (485 km; 262 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Breguet Br.14B2 production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
1 x 7.7mm Lewis Machine Gun in fixed, forward-firing position.
2 x 7.7mm Lewis Machine Guns on trainable mounting in rear cockpit.
Up to 573 lb of externally-held drop bombs.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Breguet Br.14B2 production model)
AV Type XIV - Initial Model Designation
Br.14 - Main Series Designation
Br.14A2 - Two-Seat Artillery Observation Variant.
Br.14B2 - Two-Seat Bomber Variant; increased wingspan; flaps positioned on trailing edges of wings lower wing element.
Br.14B.1 - Single-Seat Bomber
Br.14S - Ambulance Variant
Br.14 TOE - Post-War Model used mainly on colonial fronts.
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
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