Bréguet Bre.5/Bre.6/Bre.12

The Bréguet Bre.V B.2 bomber and Bréguet Bre.V Ca.2 escort fighter were French biplanes of World War I which were developments of the Bréguet Bre.IV bomber.

The Bre.VI and Bre.XII were, in turn, developments of the Bre.V

This aircraft was a refinement of the escort fighter that Breguet Aviation had designed and was manufactured by Michelin as the Breguet-Michelin BUC.

Initially intended to carry the same 37 mm (1.5 in) Hotchkiss cannon that armed the BUC, the Bre.5 was revised at the request of the French Army to carry a 7.7 mm (0.30 in) Lewis Gun fired rearward from atop the biplane’s upper wing.

A small number of cannon-armed machines were produced from April 1916 onwards and allotted to bomber units.

The British Royal Naval Air Service operated 35 of which ten came from Bréguet, and 25 were built in the United Kingdom by Grahame-White as the G.W.19.

The Bre.6 was similar but powered by a buried 240 hp (180 kW) Canton-Unné A9 radial engine and was developed in case production of the Bre.5’s Renault engine was unable to keep up with demand.

It was also produced both as an escort fighter and as a bomber.

As the Bre.5 reached obsolescence, a number were rebuilt as Bre.12-night fighters and night bombers.

The fighter carried a 37 mm (1.5 in) cannon and a searchlight and had a double nose wheel distinguishing it from previous versions.

Variants

Bre.5

Renault-powered version.

Bre 5 B.2

Bomber version.

Bre.5 Ca.2

Cannon-armed escort fighter version.

Grahame White G.W.19

British-built version for RNAS with Rolls-Royce Falcon engine.

Bre.6

Canton-Unné-powered version.

Bre.6 B.2

Bomber version.

Bre.6Ca.2

Cannon-armed escort fighter.

Bre.12

Bre.5s remanufactured for night fighting

Bre.12 B.2

Night bomber.

Bre.12 Ca.2

Cannon-armed night fighter.

Specifications

Crew

Two

Length

9.90 m (32 ft 10 in)

Wingspan

17.50 m (57 ft 8 in)

Height

3.90 m (12 ft 9 in)

Wing area

57.7 m2 (621 sq ft)

Empty weight

1,347 kg (2,970 lb)

Gross weight

1,886 kg (4,158 lb)

Powerplant

1 × Renault 12Fb,

164 kW (220 hp)

Performance

Maximum speed

136 km/h (83 mph, 72 kn)

Range

700 km (435 mi, 378 nmi)

Endurance

6 hours 15 minutes

Service ceiling

4,300 m (14,110 ft) 

Rate of climb

1.2 m/s (236 ft/min)

Armament

1 × trainable 37 mm (1.46 in) Hotchkiss cannon in front cockpit

Military Users

French Army

Royal Naval Air Service

Romanian Air Corps

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