The Royal Aircraft Factory A.E.3 (Armed or Armoured Experimental), also known as the Farnborough Ram, was a prototype British armoured ground attack aircraft of the First World War. The A.E.3, which was a development of the Royal Aircraft Factory's N.E.1 night fighter, was a two-seat single-engined pusher biplane. Three were built in 1918, but the type was unsuccessful, with no further production ensuing.
Development and design
In late 1917, the Royal Aircraft Factory started development of a two-seat, heavily armoured contact patrol aircraft for the Royal Flying Corps, designed to carry out observation in contact with the infantry, a job that required flying at low altitudes over the front line, exposing the aircraft to heavy small-arms fire from the enemy's trenches. Three prototypes of the resulting design, designated A.E.3, were ordered. It was a single-engined pusher biplane, based on the N.E.1 night fighter. It retained much of the structure of the N.E.1, includi