Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5

S.E.5aRoyal Aircraft Factory SE.5S.E.5SE.5aRoyal Aircraft Factory S.E.5aRoyal Aircraft Factory SE.5aSE5aRAF SE.5aSE-5S.E.5s
The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 was a British biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War.wikipedia
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Fighter aircraft

fighterfightersjet fighter
The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 was a British biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War.
The Nieuport 11 of 1916 and Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 of 1918 both used this system with considerable success; however, this placement made aiming difficult and the location made it difficult for a pilot to both maneuver and have access to the gun's breech.

Sopwith Camel

Sopwith CamelsCamelSopwith Camel F.1
In most respects the S.E.5 had superior performance to the rival Sopwith Camel, although it was less immediately responsive to the controls.
Together with the S.E.5a and the SPAD S.XIII, the Camel helped to re-establish the Allied aerial superiority that lasted well into 1918.

V8 engine

V8V-8V-8 engine
It was built around the new 150 hp (112 kW) Hispano-Suiza 8, a V8 engine that, while providing excellent performance, was initially underdeveloped and unreliable.
Wright Aeronautical built them in the United States during World War I, with the French-produced versions getting almost-exclusive use to power the SPAD S.VII (about 6,000 produced) and SPAD S.XIII (nearly 8,500 produced) fighter aircraft; as well as both French and British versions (as with the Wolseley Viper version of the HS.8A) for the Royal Air Force's Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 fighters (some 5,200 built) and Sopwith Dolphin (nearly 2,100 built) fighters.

Henry Folland

H.P. FollandH.P.FollandHenry P. Folland
It was developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory by a team consisting of Henry Folland, John Kenworthy and Major Frank Goodden.
Folland worked at the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough from 1912, where he was the lead designer on the S.E.5 during the First World War.

Royal Flying Corps

RFCRoyal Flying Corpairman
Together with the Camel, the S.E.5 was instrumental in regaining allied air superiority in mid-1917 and maintaining it for the rest of the war, ensuring there was no repetition of "Bloody April" 1917 when losses in the Royal Flying Corps were much heavier than in the Luftstreitkräfte.
By the summer of 1917, the introduction of the next generation of technically advanced combat aircraft (such as the SE5, Sopwith Camel and Bristol Fighter) ensured losses fell and damage inflicted on the enemy increased.

SPAD S.XIII

SPAD XIIISPADSPAD S.XVII
It was one of the fastest aircraft of the war at 138 mph (222 km/h), equal at least in speed to the SPAD S.XIII and faster than any standard German type of the period.
The British S.E.5a and Sopwith Dolphin fighters would also be powered by the same engine.

Nieuport 24

Nieuport 24bis24Nieuport 24 and 24bis
At first, airframe construction outstripped the very limited supply of French-built Hispano-Suiza engines and squadrons earmarked to receive the new fighter had to soldier on with Airco DH 5s and Nieuport 24s until early 1918.
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 deliveries began shortly afterward, but a low production rate forced the British to use their Nieuport scouts operationally well into 1918.

Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8

R.E.8Royal Aircraft Factory RE.8RE8
Like the other significant Royal Aircraft Factory aircraft of the war (B.E.2, F.E.2 and R.E.8) the S.E.5 was inherently stable, making it an excellent gunnery platform, but it was also quite manoeuvrable.
The cowling designed for the liquid-cooled engine closely resembled that of the B.E.12b or the S.E.5a.

Airco DH.5

Airco DH 5DH.5Airco D.H.5
At first, airframe construction outstripped the very limited supply of French-built Hispano-Suiza engines and squadrons earmarked to receive the new fighter had to soldier on with Airco DH 5s and Nieuport 24s until early 1918.
As such, the type was quickly withdrawn from service as soon as supplies of the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 permitted.

Wolseley Viper

Wolseley W.4A ViperWolseley AdderWolseley Python
The introduction of the 200 hp (149 kW) Wolseley Viper, a high-compression, direct-drive version of the Hispano-Suiza 8a made under licence by Wolseley Motors Limited, solved the S.E.5a's engine problems and was promptly adopted as the type's standard powerplant.
It powered later models of the S.E.5a, SPAD VII and other British or British-built aircraft designed for the Hispano-Suiza.

John Kenworthy

It was developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory by a team consisting of Henry Folland, John Kenworthy and Major Frank Goodden.
In 1916 he was part of the project team as chief draughtsman who designed the 150 hp S.E.5 (Scout Experimental), and its follow up, the S.E.5a which arrived several months later with the same basic designs, but a more powerful 200 hp engine.

James McCudden

his victimsJimmy McCudden
James McCudden, an ace pilot, was famous for his prolific fine-tuning of his aircraft in order to produce improved performance from it; McCudden was able to increase the top speed by 9 mph and to raise the service ceiling from the standard 17,000 ft to 20,000 ft. His adaptions included replacing the standard pistons with high compression versions, shortening the exhaust (saving weight and improving exhaust scavenging), and changes to mixture, ignition and other engine settings as well as fitting a salvaged German propeller spinner (which he himself credited as gaining 3 mph alone). Many of the top Allied aces of the Great War flew this fighter, including Billy Bishop, Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor, Edward Mannock and James McCudden.
The majority of his successes were achieved with 56 Squadron RFC and all but five fell while McCudden was flying the S.E.5a.

Shuttleworth Collection

The Shuttleworth CollectionShuttleworth TrustOld Warden
According to "Dodge" Bailey, Chief Test Pilot of the Shuttleworth Collection, it had "somewhat similar handling characteristics to a de Havilland Tiger Moth, but with better excess power".

Royal Aircraft Establishment

Royal Aircraft FactoryRAE FarnboroughRAE
It was developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory by a team consisting of Henry Folland, John Kenworthy and Major Frank Goodden. In total 5,265 S.E.5s were constructed by six manufacturers: Austin Motors (1,650), Air Navigation and Engineering Company (560), Curtiss (1), Martinsyde (258), the Royal Aircraft Factory (200), Vickers (2,164) and Wolseley Motors Limited (431).
The S.E.4a had nothing in common at all with the S.E.4, while the S.E.5a was simply a late production S.E.5 with a more powerful engine.

Sopwith Dolphin

Dolphin
The troublesome geared "-8b" model was prone to have serious gear reduction system problems, sometimes with the propeller (and even the entire gearbox on a very few occasions) separating from the engine and airframe in flight, a problem shared with the similarly-powered Sopwith Dolphin.
In his memoir Sagittarius Rising, Cecil Lewis described a mock dogfight between his S.E.5 and a Dolphin: "The Dolphin had a better performance than I realised. He was up in a climbing turn and on my tail in a flash. I half rolled out of the way, he was still there. I sat in a tight climbing spiral, he sat in a tighter one. I tried to climb above him, he climbed faster. Every dodge I have ever learned I tried on him; but he just sat there on my tail, for all the world as if I had just been towing him behind me."

No. 84 Squadron RAF

No. 84 Squadron84 SquadronNo. 84 Squadron RFC
Sholto Douglas who commanded No. 84 Squadron RFC which was initially equipped with the S.E.5a, listed the type's qualities as being: "Comfortable, with a good all-round view, retaining its performance and manoeuvrability at high level, steady and quick to gather speed in the dive, capable of a very fine zoom, useful in both offence and defence, strong in design and construction, [and] possessing a reliable engine".
It flew the SE.5a over the Western front, at one time based in Bertangles, France until it returned to the UK in August 1919.

Martinsyde

Martin-HandasydeMartin & HandasideMartin & Handayside
In total 5,265 S.E.5s were constructed by six manufacturers: Austin Motors (1,650), Air Navigation and Engineering Company (560), Curtiss (1), Martinsyde (258), the Royal Aircraft Factory (200), Vickers (2,164) and Wolseley Motors Limited (431).
The company also manufactured the BE.2c and S.E.5a aircraft under sub-contract.

Bloody April

AprilApril 1917crippling losses
Together with the Camel, the S.E.5 was instrumental in regaining allied air superiority in mid-1917 and maintaining it for the rest of the war, ensuring there was no repetition of "Bloody April" 1917 when losses in the Royal Flying Corps were much heavier than in the Luftstreitkräfte.
The new generation of Allied fighters were not yet ready for service, although No. 56 Squadron RFC with the S.E.5 was working up to operational status in France, intended to use both the synchronized Vickers gun, and an overwing-mount Lewis machine gun firing above the propeller arc for a twin-gun offensive punch.

Lewis gun

Lewis machine gunLewis .303 cal machine gunLewis
The S.E.5 was armed with a single synchronised .303-inch Vickers machine gun in contrast to the Camel's two, but it also had a wing-mounted Lewis gun fitted on a Foster mounting, which enabled the pilot to fire at an enemy aircraft from below.
Some British single-engined tractor fighters used a Foster mounting on the top wing to elevate a Lewis gun above the propeller arc for unsynchronized firing, including production S.E.5/S.E.5a fighters and field-modified examples of the Avro 504.

Frank Goodden

Frank W. GooddenFrank Widenham Goodden
It was developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory by a team consisting of Henry Folland, John Kenworthy and Major Frank Goodden.
On 28 January 1917, Goodden was killed in a crash at Farnborough while flying one of the first prototypes of the S.E.5, which he had designed with Henry Folland and John Kenworthy.

Chilean Air Force

Air ForceFuerza Aérea de ChileFACH
Typical aircraft of that era were Avro 504, Bleriot XI, Bristol M.1C, DH.9, and SE5a.

Bristol F.2 Fighter

Bristol FighterBristol F.2bBristol F.2b Fighter
This worked better than the Arab, but there was already a severe shortage of Hispano-Suizas for other types, such as the S.E.5a and the Sopwith Dolphin.

Hispano-Suiza 8

Hispano-Suiza 8AHispano-Suiza 8FHispano-Suiza 8Fb
It was built around the new 150 hp (112 kW) Hispano-Suiza 8, a V8 engine that, while providing excellent performance, was initially underdeveloped and unreliable. Problems with its Hispano-Suiza engine, particularly the geared-output H-S 8B-powered early versions, meant that there was a chronic shortage of the type until well into 1918.
The 8B series was used to power the earliest versions of the S.E.5a, all examples of the SPAD S.XIII, front-line versions of the Sopwith Dolphin and several other Allied aircraft types, with its gear reduction easily identifiable in vintage World War I photos, from its use of a clockwise (viewed from in front, otherwise known as a left hand tractor) rotation propeller.

Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor

Beauchamp-Proctor, Andrew
Many of the top Allied aces of the Great War flew this fighter, including Billy Bishop, Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor, Edward Mannock and James McCudden.
On 23 September 1917, the unit went to France flying SE5s.

Synchronization gear

synchronisedsynchronizedinterrupter gear
The S.E.5 was armed with a single synchronised .303-inch Vickers machine gun in contrast to the Camel's two, but it also had a wing-mounted Lewis gun fitted on a Foster mounting, which enabled the pilot to fire at an enemy aircraft from below.
As a result, synchronized guns seem to have been rather unpopular with British fighter pilots well into 1917; and the overwing Lewis gun, on its Foster mounting, remained the weapon of choice for Nieuports in British service, being also initially considered as the main weapon of the S.E.5.