Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Breguet 14 was a French biplane bomber and reconnaissance aircraft of World War I, it is often considered to have been one of the best aircraft of the war.

The Breguet 14 was built in very large numbers and production continued for many years after the end of the war. 

Apart from its widespread usage, it is known for being the first mass-produced aircraft to use large amounts of metal rather than wood in its structure. This allowed the airframe to be lighter than a wooden airframe of the same strength, in turn making the aircraft very fast and agile for its size, able to outrun many of the fighters of the day. Its strong construction was able to sustain much damage, it was easy to handle and had good performance. Following successful deployment by the French, the Breguet was also ordered by the Belgian Army (40 aircraft) and the United States Army Air Service (over 600 aircraft). Around half the Belgian and U.S. aircraft were fitted with Fiat A.12 engines due to shortages of the original Renault 12F. By the end of World War I, some 5,500 Breguet 14s had been produced.

Postwar, Breguet had also begun to manufacture dedicated civil versions. The 14 T.2 Salon carried two passengers in a specially modified fuselage. An improved version of this was the 14 Tbis, manufactured as both a land-plane and seaplane. 

The 14 Tbis also formed the basis of the improved 14 Tbis Sanitaire air ambulance version.

100 custom-built 14 Tbis mail planes were built for Pierre Latécoère's fledgling airline, Lignes Aeriennes Latécoère. 

When production finally ceased in 1928, the total of all versions built had reached 7,800 (according to other sources, 8,000 or even 8,370).

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