The aircraft that bests represents the Royal Flying Corps in the first half of the 'Great War' would have to be the much maligned BE series - particularly the BE2c and its successor the BE2e. Designed prior to WW1 by Geoffrey deHavilland as a two seater reconnaissance aircraft, the BE was intended to be a stable aircraft that would allow its crew to concentrate on the mission without worrying about flying the aircraft. However this very feature, which in peacetime seemed so desirable, in wartime was to have disastrous consequences for the young men who had to fly the BE in combat.
At first the opposing aircrew would just wave at one another, later they began to carry pistols and rifles and take potshots, finally the forward mounted machine gun became standard with the Fokker Eindecker. To avoid becoming 'Fokker Fodder' it was necessary to take evasive action, and here is where the BE series failed, their very stability being a hinderance to rapid changes of direction. One attempt to increase the maneuverabilty was to provide new wings to the BE2c .. up until the 2c, twin bay equal-span wings were standard, with the 2e single bay unequal span wings were adapted. The resulting improvement in speed caused all future BE aircraft to have this layout, and many earlier 2c/ds were refitted with these wings. Production of the BE2e continued into 1919 as the type was used as a trainer after its frontline role was over.
The only previous BE kits I am aware of in 1/72 scale are the Meikraft BE2c; Formaplane vacform BE2c and 2e/12 conversion; and the recent Pegasus kit (which I have yet to see). The basic parts seem to follow the breakdown of the Meikraft kit and consists of 34 resin parts, decals and a piece of brass rod.
The fuselage has finely engraved panel lines as well as location holes for the control cable runs. Locator markings for the interior floor are molded inside the fuselage.
The wings have nice detail that is marred by the wings being of too thick section, reducing the trailing edges is a definite requirement on this kit. The tail surfaces are thin and will just need minor cleanup.
Interior detail is provided in the form of seats, floor, control panel and bulkhead. Other parts include struts, propellor, wheels, Vickers and Lewis guns (former not needed), engine and air intake.
The decals are for A597 .. which was a BE12a, however the roundels are fine for a BE2e. No rudder stripes are included.
Instructions are two sheets of drawings which show the aircraft in five views as well as an exploded diagram showing all parts.
This looks to be a nice kit of an important aircraft in the evolution of the RAF, and with a little work to the wings will be a nice addition to any collection.