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S.E.5A

Three British SE5a biplane fighters and pilots in front of hangars, the nearest with engine running.
Text, reverse:
Pencil: S.E.5A; stamped: 29

Three British SE5a biplane fighters and pilots in front of hangars, the nearest with engine running.

Image text

Reverse:

Pencil: S.E.5A; stamped: 29

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Built by the Royal Aircraft, the 'Scout Experimental' S.E.5A was preceded by the S.E.5, an underpowered plane with an unreliable engine. Introduced in 1917, the S.E.5A continued to have engine problems until the original Hispano-Suiza engine was replaced with a Wolseley version. The plane was flown by leading British and Canadian aces including Albert Ball, Billy Bishop, and James McCudden.

In addition to the single fixed Vickers machine gun mounted on the fuselage, the S.E.5A also had a Lewis machine gun on a Foster mount above the upper wing. The mount was a curved rail that allowed the pilot to pull the machine down 90 degrees for reloading and angled firing.

Over 5,200 of the S.E.5A were built by the end of the war.

Engine: 200hp Wolseley W.4a 8-cylinder Vee piston engine

Maximum speed: 222kph/138mph; ceiling: 5,185m/17,000ft; range: 483km/300mi

Length: 6.38m/20ft 11in; wingspan: 8.11m/26ft 7in

Armament: one fixed forward-firing 7.69mm/.303in Vickers machine gun; one 7.69mm/.303in Lewis machine gun on Foster mount on upper wing

S.E.5A is an aircraft: single-seat scout plane.