Breguet XIV

Breguet XIV

Primo volo21 novembre 1916

Le Bréguet 14 · was a French biplane bomber and reconnaissance aircraft of World War I. It was built in very large numbers and production continued for many years after the end of the war. Apart from its widespread usage, the Bréguet 14 is known for being among 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 relatively fast and agile for its size; in combat it was able to outrun many contemporary fighters. The Bréguet 14’s strong construction allowed it to sustain considerable damage, in addition to being easy to handle and possessing favourable performance. The type has often been considered to have been one of the best aircraft of the war.

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The Breguet XIV was a French biplane bomber and reconnaissance aircraft of World War I. It was designed by Louis Breguet, a pilot and engineer who had pioneered the use of metal in aircraft construction. The Breguet XIV was one of the first mass-produced aircraft to have a mainly aluminium structure, which made it lighter and stronger than its wooden counterparts. It was also fast and agile, capable of outrunning some contemporary fighters. The Breguet XIV was powered by a Renault V-12 engine or a Fiat A12 BIS engine, and could carry up to 250 kg of bombs. It had a crew of two, a pilot and an observer, who operated three Lewis machine guns for self-defense. The Breguet XIV entered service in 1917 and was widely used by the French, American, Polish and Thai air forces.
It was considered the best medium bomber of the war, as well as the fastest two-seater aircraft. After the war, the Breguet XIV continued to serve in various roles, such as mail delivery, colonial policing and exploration. It was also flown by famous pilots such as Mermoz, Daurat, Saint-Exupéry and Guillaumet, who were part of the legendary Aéropostale company. The Breguet XIV was produced until 1928, with more than 8,000 units built. Today, only two original Breguet XIVs are preserved in museums, but they are not airworthy.

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