The Royal Aircraft Factory’s SE5a (Scout Experimental)
was another of the outstanding British planes of World War
I . The SE5a entered operational service in June 191 and helped
in no little way to wrest control of the air from the German
air force in late 1917 and 1918.
The Se5a was a single seat fighter which was robust, fast,
easy to fly and reliable with a very good rate of climb and
very fast in a dive. It also provided a very stable gun platform.
Although not as agile as some of its adversaries its speed
of climb and dive meant that it could make swift, scything
attacks with relative impunity. The SE5a was armed with a
single Vickers machine gun firing forward and a Lewis gun
mounted on the main plane which could be angled to fire forwards
A flying example of this type of aircraft is owned by the
Shuttleworth collection in the UK and static examples can
be seen at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford and the RAF Museum,
Type: Single seat fighter
Powerplant: 200 hp Hispano Suiza/Wolseley Viper V8
Maximum Speed: 120 mph
Maximum Altitude: c 20,000 feet
Range: c 300 miles
Armament: 1x forward firing .303/7.7 mm Vickers machine gun.
1x .303/7.7 mm Lewis gun over wing.