Corgi AA37701 Royal Flying Corps Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a Night Fighter - Lt. C. A. Lewis, B658, No. 61 Squadron, Home Defense, 1918 (1:48 Scale)
"Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible."
- Eddie Rickenbacker
The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 was a British biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War. Like the Hurricane compared to the Spitfire in the Second World War, the S.E.5 was not as glamorous as the Sopwith Camel, nor did it achieve the same iconic status, but it was one of the most important and influential aircraft of the war. The S.E.5 was instrumental in ensuring that the period of German dominance known as Bloody April 1917 was not repeated.
The S.E.5 (Scout Experimental 5) was designed by Henry P. Folland and J. Kenworthy of the Royal Aircraft Factory in Farnborough. It was built around the new 150-hp (112 kW) Hispano-Suiza 8a V8 engine which, while it provided excellent performance, was under-developed and unreliable. The first of three prototypes flew on 22 November 1916. The first two prototypes were lost in crashes and the third underwent modification before production commenced.
Only 77 original S.E.5s were built before the improved S.E.5a model took over. In total 5,205 S.E.5s were built by six manufacturers including Austin Motors and Vickers. A few were converted as two-seat trainers and there were plans for Curtiss to build 1000 S.E.5s in the United States but only one was completed before the end of the war.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a S.E.5a night fighter piloted by Lt. C. A. Lewis of No. 61 Squadron, attached to the Home Defense during 1918. Sold Out!
Length: 5.25 inches
Wingspan: 6.75 inches
Release Date: February 2008
Historical Account: "Flyboys" - The third SE5 produced (A4563) became, in effect, the prototype S.E.5a, with a 200-hp Hispano Suiza power plant and shorter wing span. The S.E.5a went to No. 56, No. 40 and No. 61 Squadrons in June 1917, and by the end of the year, Nos. 24, 41, 68 and 84 Squadrons had taken them on charge. After troubles with the reduction gear of the Hispano Suiza, together with a general shortage of these power plants, the direct-drive Wolseley Viper became the standard S.E.5a power unit. The S.E.5a built a fne reputation for strength, performance and general flying quality, which together with the Sopwith Camel were the main reasons for the Allies gaining and maitaining air superiority during 1918.
Some aircraft with fitted with four 25-lb. Cooper bombs under fuselage racks. The S.E.5a will always remain one of aviation's great warplanes.