The S.E.5 (Scout Experimental 5), was designed for the new 150 hp Hispano-Suiza 8a V8 engine. The prototype made its maiden flight in November 1916. Due to errors in the design of the wing the first two prototypes crashed. The third prototype was modified and soon production started.
The aircraft proofed to be stable, manoeuvrable and strong. It was pone of the fastest aircraft of its time, though it appeared, in comparison to his contemporary, the Sopwith Camel, the lesser in a dog fight.
The S.E.5 had a fixed synchronized .303 inch Vickers machine gun on the nose plus a Lewis machine gun on the upper wing. Initially there were many problems with the synchronization system, so the Lewis gun was very appreciated by the pilots.
- S.E.5: The original version, 77 were built.
- S.E.5a: Equipped with the improved 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8B and often a four blade propeller. 5265 examples were built at six plants.
Some were modified to two seat trainers. As the Hispano-Suiza 8B engine suffered technical problems and difficulties with delivery. Replacing the engine with a 200 hp Wolseley Viper, a licensed version of the Hispano-Suiza 8a solved the engine problems, so this engine was used as standard engine for the S.E.5A.
- S.E.5b: a more streamlined version with wings of unequal span. Only one example built for research.
|Length:||6,38 m||Wingspan:||8,12 m|
|Height:||2,9 m||Wing area:||22,67 m2|
|Empty weight:||635 kg||Max. start weight:||887 kg|
|Max. speed:||220 km/hr||Climbing speed:||- m/min|
|Cruising speed:||- km/hr|
|Range:||483 km or 3 hours||Service ceiling:||6705 m|
|Engine type:||One Wolseley W4A Viper rated 200 hp|
|Armament:||One forward firing 7.7 mm Vickers machine gun plus one movable Lewis machine gun; Four bombs of 18 kg each.|
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