Aeroplane Monthly 1983-10
Personal album
This B.E.2c was evidently a “bitsa”: note the P.C.10 doped centre-section, and part of an apparently white ring - probably from a training unit marking - on the replaced port upper aileron. The wings and nacelle in the background are those of an early Maurice Farman Shorthorn; we may be looking at the result of a taxying collision. Shorthorns were widely used for training in Egypt, and in Mesopotamia they were employed on land survey work in preparation for the Battle of Ctesiphon. Their slow-flying ability and excellent field of view made them ideal for the purpose.
A Bristol Scout C, 5318, of a training unit. A good deal of training was carried out in Egypt from the Summer of 1916 onwards, because the constant good weather allowed uninterrupted flying operations. Another aircraft from the same production batch, 5313, carried the first operational Vickers-Challenger gun interrupter gear on the Western Front in the Spring of 1916. The Scout gained a reputation for being extremely delicate and difficult to fly, and was withdrawn from front-line use in France six months later.
British & Colonial built B.E.2C 4152 after an unscheduled arrival in the desert, being sized up for removal to ‘X’ Aircraft Depot. The camel lying in the foreground is either very tired or very dead.
This Avro 504/504A was from a batch of 50 allocated the numbers 4737-4786. Of these, 4784 and 4785 were used for fabric strength and protection tests under the fiery Egyptian sun - very probably at “X” Aircraft Depot itself. The rudder of the aircraft had been replaced from another aircraft - hence the obliterated serial.
An unidentified Avro 504 is having its wings removed outside Aboukir. The outer bay remained braced to keep the wing cellule rigid for easy handling. Note the large cutouts in the cowling for extra engine cooling.