Breguet XIV A2

 

 

Breguet 14A2 2355

 

 

 

Breguet XIV A2

Single engine, two seat observation aircraft

 

   Halfway through the first World War, in April 1916, most of the allied day-bombing missions were suspended as no adequate aircraft was available in numbers. The Farman cage--poules  series of pusher aircraft were much to slow and the Sopwith 1 Strutter which replaced them could only carry some 40 kgs of bombs.  However the Breguet company was working at a new machine that could solve all the problems encountered by its predecessors. The new aircraft designated Breguet 14 (also Breguet XIV) had a low wing-loading and a very powerful engine (for its time) which was either the 260hp Fiat A-12, the 300 hp Fiat A-12bis or the 300 hp Renault 12Fcx.  The first prototype flew on December 21st, 1916 at Villacoublais (F.) and was piloted by Louis Breguet himself. The aircraft came in two version; the 14 A2 which was a reconnaissance /observation aircraft and the 14 B2 which was intended to meet the French requirement for a day-bomber. Belgium only used the Breguet 14 A2 version which can be identified by its wire bracing running from the rear of the undercarriage to the undersides of the lower wing at the position of the inner interplane struts. Between March 1917 and 1926 no less than 8.000 Breguet 14 aircraft were constructed, (5.500 of which during the first World War). The exact number of Breguets delivered to Belgium is not known, but most sources mention 31/35 machines before the end of World War I and 12 to 15 after the war. 

   The Breguet 14 entered service with the Aviation Militaire Belge in 1918 with N 2 Squadron (Mouette /C.O. Cdt F. Isserentant) and N 3 Squadron (Feuille de Houx /C.O. Cpt R. Dhanis) at De Moeren (Les Mores) airfield where they replaced both squadrons Sopwith 1 Strutters. Other units operating some Breguets alongside their Spad 11's were: Hondschoote based N 4 Squadron (C.O. Cdt E. Richard), Bray-Dunes based N 5 Squadron (C.O. Cdt S. Hugon) and Houtem based Ns 6 Squadron (C.O. Cdt R. Desmet) and N 7 Squadron (C.O. Cdt. J. Jaumotte). All Belgian war deliveries were produced by the French firm Paul Schmidt based at Levallais-Perret and were powered by both types of Fiat engines.  Post-war deliveries also include aircraft equipped with the more usual Renault 12F engine. After the war the 1st Squadron of the VI Groupe Ecole (C.O. Cdt J. Hagemans) based at Asch airfield, was also equipped with the large observation aircraft.  Although most Breguets had disappeared from operational Squadrons by 1923, some were retained as communications aircraft up to 1928. The Breguet aircraft identification system was quite complex. The aircraft of the "war deliveries" were only identified by their construction number marked on the rudder. (Some machines also sported an individual squadron number or letter either on the rudder or fuselage). The Breguets delivered immediately post war at first were numbered "BRE 1 (to 12) Renault" but with the reorganisation of the Aviation Militaire Belge of May 1922 a standardised registration system was introduced in the force, consisting of a letter identifying the aircraft type followed by a number. The Breguet 14 was assigned the type letter B. As this designation was introduced at a time the Breguet was already being replaced in first line squadrons, only a handful machines received this new registration. (Daniel Brackx)


Picture  Constr. Number Serial A.M Date In Date Out History
2355 - Apr 1918 - "2355", N 3 Squadron (Feuille de Houx), fate unknown.
2360 - 1918 Nov 1918 "2360", Squadron number "8", N 5 Squadron, badly shot up in combat, written off in field landing in Nov 1918.
2366 - 1918 - "2366", N 5 Squadron, fate unknown.
2370 - 1918 - "2370", N 2 Squadron (Mouette), fate unknown
2371 - 1918 1918 "2371", N3 Squadron (Feuille de Houx), written off in an accident before the end of the war.
2373 1918 "2373", "BRE-FIAT - 2372", N 2 Squadron (Mouette), fate unknown
2374 - 1918 - "2374", N 3 Squadron (Feuille de Houx); N 2 Squadron (Mouette)
7008 - 1918 - "7008", fate unknown.
7012 - 1918 - "7012", N 2 Squadron (Mouette)
7094 - 1918 - "7094", Squadron number "108", fate unknown.
7124 - 1918 - "7124", N 2 Squadron (Mouette), fate unknown
- BRE 1 RENAULT 1919 - "BRE 1 RENAULT", 1920 heavy landing at Bockum (D.)
- BRE 5 RENAULT 1919 Jan 1925 "BRE 5 RENAULT", 1/VI
- B-6 1918 Aug 1928 "3"/M, B-6, 1/VI, withdrawn from use 13 Aug 1928
 
Fiat Powered Breguet 14 A2 taking off from Evere sporting airshow number 66.

 

 

 

 

Last updated 17/06/15 09:18   Daniel Brackx

brackda@gmail.com