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1/72 3D RAF F.E.8 kit
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1/72 3D RAF F.E.8 kit

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1/72 (25 mm) 3D paper model of RAF F.E.8, WWI British pusher fighter.

Royal Aircraft Factory Fighting Experimental Model 8 (FE8)

The Royal Aircraft Factory was owned by the War Ministry, and was tasked with developing military aircraft for the British Empire. One of their products was the FE8 single-seat fighter. Of pusher configuration, and armed with a single Lewis gun in the nose, the FE8 was designed around the same time as the DH2 and was intended to meet the same threat- the Fokker Eindecker monoplanes, which were having a field day against British observation aircraft. Lacking an effective interrupter gear, and unable to procure enough Nieuport fighters from their French allies, the British resorted to the pusher and designed the DH2, FE2, and FE8.

But the FE8 arrived at the Front almost a year after the other two fighters, by which time the Eindecker was gone, most German units had either Albatros or Halberstadt D.II fighters, and the Albatros D.III was being issued. Author Thomas Funderburk describes a dogfight involving FE8s: 'At the beginning of March 1917 five Albatros D.III's of Jasta 11, led by Manfred von Richtofen, nearly wiped out No.40 Squadron RFC, shooting down an entire patrol of nine FE8's without loss to themselves.'

The FE8 was built by the Royal Aircraft Factory, with contracts also being let to Darraq Motors and Vickers. At the Front, the FE8 only equipped three squadrons: No.'s 40, 41, and 29. Already obsolete when it was built and issued, the types' term of service at the Front was short. FE8's were also used as advanced fighter trainers, armed with camera guns in place of the Lewis gun.

The Models

FE8 kit features four marking schemes. The FE8 is a rarity in the modeling world, and kit features a detailed pilot nacelle with complete cockpit, gun, spare ammo-drum racks, and rotary engine.

Aircraft 7626 was the mount of eight-victory ace Kenneth Leask of No. 41 Squadron, flying from Abelee, Belgium.

Aircraft 6388 was flown by RFC pilot John Hay while on service with No. 40 Squadron.

The third aircraft, with its duralumin nacelle painted all-over grey, is from an unidentified unit, and is possibly serving as a trainer.

The fourth model represents an FE8 captured in flyable condition by the Germans.

Perfect for the WWI air games like Canvas Eagles.

Text written by Bart Wheeler, copyright 2011, Bart Wheeler and Used by permission.

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File Last Updated:
February 13, 2011
This title was added to our catalog on February 13, 2011.
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